Hazel Hazel E. Fiel
Born September 27, 1995
Right Unilateral Cleft Lip
It was two weeks before the arrival of number two girl to be named Hazel Elizabeth Fiel. During a routine doctors exam, my doctor suggested another ultrasound. Joyfully I want back to the doctor’s office the following day . During the exam, my doctor confirmed that I was indeed carrying a baby girl. She also informed us that she was breech. My doctor then went silent staring at on specific area on the ultrasound monitor. What is it? What was wrong? She took my hand and proceeded to tell me that our baby had a cleft lip and that she could only see one side of the baby. My family cried as we walked out of the ultrasound room. After further discussion with our doctor, a more detailed ultrasound was recommended and scheduled for the following morning.

As we were leaving in the car, my three year old, Rachel, asked the question "What is wrong with the baby?" I calmly explained that the baby had an "ouchie" on her lip and we had to see a doctor to get it fixed. Rachel was still upset but this explanation seemed to satisfy her.

The next day a detailed ultrasound confirmed a unilateral cleft lip. The ultrasound technician could not tell if the palate was involved. Everything else appeared fine. An appointment with a genetic counselor lasted a half an hour. We were informed that this happened at four to nine weeks gestation when the skin did not come together as it should. They explained that there is really no explanation for the cleft in this case. An immediate appointment was made at a our plastic surgeons office, one who is very reputable and known in the community. In less than two hours after our detailed ultrasound we were on our way to see the plastic surgeon. We could not believe how smoothly things were running.

As we were sitting on the couch at our plastic surgeon’s office, he walked in and shook our hands in a very soft and gentle manner. I explained what we had just been through and what we know thus far. The doctor listened and then responded "Do not worry. This is something that can be repaired". Those reassuring words were all we needed to hear and I finally felt that everything would be allright.

My family experienced emotional highs and lows for the next two weeks but somehow we made it through. A cesarean section was planned for September 27, 1996. At 9:30 AM, a wonderfully beautiful healthy baby girl was born at 6 pounds 4 ounces. Being the mother, I was given God’s gift not to see the imperfection to the extreme that it truly was. My husband was there and then my mother arrived. This imperfection seemed to upset them. No one seemed to know what to say. I went on as a new mother would under normal circumstances making statements such as "Look at how clear her skin is. How about all that black hair. No wonder I had so much heartburn." I quietly asked everyone "It does not look that bad, does it?"

Later a nurse came in and said to try and breastfeed Hazel. There were no palatal problems. I was thrilled and Hazel did great! Our plastic surgeon visited us and informed us that repairing the lip would be no problem. He instructed us to contact his office to schedule Hazel for next week.

Monday morning at 8:15 AM, the operating room nurse took this precious baby out of my arms for surgery. A few hours later (that seemed like an eternity), my husband and I walk into recovery and heard Hazel crying. We both cried with joy with the knowledge that she made it through surgery and was perfect now. The lip was completely closed and the nose aligned. Her lungs were working great. Only 24 hours in the hospital and we were home. The cleft lip never bothered my three year old daughter. However the site of the sutures did upset her and it took several hours for her to even look at her sister.

Julie & Randy Fiel
Tel: (757)934-2187

Technogent, LLC
Operation Smile

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