It’s actually day 12 of Elsa’s little life, but it feels like day 30…. she continues to grow and progress. We’re still settling into a new normal around here (ie: rearranging ALL of our sleep patterns and everything else that comes with a special needs baby that requires attention every 4-5 hours). I continue to try to teach her to ‘figure out’ a way to nurse, and although she tries, she simply cannot get enough nourishment simply by sucking on her mama’s teat. The negative pressure required to get the milk out is not easily achievable with a cleft palate.
I went back to work (at the pharmacy) yesterday, and we have our farm ‘nanny’, an awesome RN student who also works at our vet’s office, that is coming to feed and check on her while we are away. Everything went well for both Elsa, her mama, and our nanny, and I am able to breathe a little easier after having gotten this first day away under my belt.
There are all variations of cleft palate. Hers is completely internal, showing no cleft from the outside. She appears to have a slight malformation of her lower jaw and tongue that would not necessarily be noticeable to anyone but those who know her best. Her cleft starts about 1 and 1/2 inches from her nose and then appears to extend all the way back (from what I have been able to see). She drips milk from her nose after every feeding… mostly from the right nostril. Despite this, she is imperfectly perfect! Baby girl has quite the personality…. impatient, sassy, sweet, and smart. Once she is eating solid food, Elsa should be a ‘normal’ cow who may sometimes have food show up in her nose. I am assured by a friend whose cute son who had a cleft palate (now surgically repaired) that this is normal for CP kids.
Here is her update from Saturday: https://youtu.be/abUFMHFNQgA
Thank you all so much for your concern and prayers!
Hugs and love~ liz