clefties

5

When I was younger I was so ashamed of my cleft lip and was made fun of almost daily, and as a result I’ve spent my whole life trying to hide it away from everyone but mostly I tried to hide it away from myself. It was not until I was contacted by my cosmetic surgeon for my final surgery that I finally looked in the mirror and accepted that this is me, this is how I look and it is beautiful. This scar is what makes me who I am and makes me stand out.

So because this week is cleft lip & palate awareness and prevention week I thought I’d share some amazingly beautiful clefties I have come across here on tumblr. And I Tho I that the more that we share these adorable faces & smiles the more that we can help younger clefties become more positive about their own smiles. We are all uniquely beautiful in our own ways. Love yourself!
Pic 1 @summersymptom
Pic 2 aubreylou22
Pic 3 @skinsandpizza
Pic 4 me❤️

If I didn't have cleft, I wouldn't be who I am today. I learned how to fight, stay strong, and have faith. I always wanna help people and make sure they don't ever have to feel the way I've felt.

Stay strong my fellow clefties. We all get through this. One day at a time.

I’m here if anyone ever needs to talk. 24/7 about anything.

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Photo one is my first professional picture I ever had done. You can clearly see my unilateral cleft. As an infant, I had feeding issues and wore a dental appliance for much of my life.

I had my lip repaired at 3 months old, and my palate repaired at 14 months old. My palate currently features a remaining anterior fistula, about 2/3 of the way back on my hard palate. (Essentially, this means that there is a hole in the roof of my mouth)

Photo 2 was taken right before I had my palate repaired, I’m about a year old in that photo. You can see how the left side of my nose is a little more flat, but as I grew that became more prominent.

Photo 3 shows me at about 2 and a half. Comparatively, you can see more of a crease on that part of my nose, and the scaring on my lip is starting, because my teeth were coming in, and rubbing against my repaired cleft, creating scar tissue. 

Photo 4 shows me at about 3 and a half. (It was the early 90s, don’t judge my outfit!) This photo shows that my outer scar on my lip is almost invisible, but it also shows the crowding of my teeth. As a result of being cleft all the way through, my jaw bone was also clefted and my teeth crowded on either side of that. Inside my lip during this time, I also had a protruding flap of scar tissue.

When I was 10, I had a bone graft in which they took bone marrow from my hip, and injected it into my jaw bone to fuse that together. After that I had braces for 3 years, the results of this can be seen in photo 5.

Photo 6 represents my smile post braces, with wisdom teeth. My wisdom teeth actually grew in impacted and pushed some of my teeth back in. This photo was taken at the end of 9th grade, so I was about 15.

It is one of the last photos that was taken before I had my rhinoplasty three days before junior year of high school. My plastic surgeon reshaped the end of my nose, evened out my nostrils, and removed the protruding flap of scar tissue. 

The last photo was taken today. I am 23, and unless you are in the know about cleft palate and cleft lip, you can’t even tell that I was born with any cosmetic defect. 

My mother says that in the grand scheme of things, to have a cleft baby, is not the worst thing that can happen. It is repairable, and most kids can lead a full and happy life. She says that it hasn't always been an easy road, but in the very least, 23 years later I’m happy, healthy and thriving on a path to help other people much like myself. 

So done with the cleftie tags right now tbh

They’re all click bait, homestuck headcanons (?) along with other headcanons and dehumanization of children with clefts. Like you can hardly find any posts in sharing experiences and actually talking about the subject for sifting through all the bullshit.

Eh.

I rant on this but they’re still gonna be in my tracked tags.

3

Today it was pointed out to me by a customer at work that the two sides of my face didn’t match up properly and that it was like I was two face. I was so stunned that I didn’t have the reflex to explain to her that I was born with a cleft lip and palate and that I have gone through 17 very painful surgeries to get to where I am today in regards to the symmetry in my face.

Generally, when people ask about my scars I am more than willing to explain what one in one thousand children, including myself have gone through without feeling embarrassed or shy about my face. But in this moment I felt myself pause, stunned, because it was the first time in years that I felt self conscious. And for the first time in my life I didn’t feel that an explanation was proper.

Instead, as I was helping this lady chose which head of lettuce she should take home for her salad tonight, I picked up a recently conditioned head of romaine and said

“This head of romaine had to be conditioned today because it came in less than sufficient off the produce truck this morning. But if you look closely, you’ll notice that after a little tender love and care, it is now just as pretty as the others on the shelf.”

So here are the two sides of my face, both of which I love and hate at times, but I have come too far to let anyone let me believe that I am not beautiful just as I am.

So, I figure that since I’m reblogging a lot of cleft stuff, I should probably throw my little tid-bit out there;

I was born with a cleft lip (a unilateral complete cleft on the left side) but no cleft palate- which I am beyond thankful for, because that entails a whole lot of other struggles and difficulties that I was blessed not to have to deal with. In fact, I have been blessed in so many ways in this particular area! From what I’ve read of others’ stories, I have had some of the most minimal bullying and surgeries of most kids/people with cleft lips. For the most part, I started looking up clefts and the stories of the others put there with them, because I’ve become insatiably curious; as a kid, I hardly thought about my cleft- unless someone asked about it, I almost tended to forget it was there. As a young adult-and in the recent year- I’ve been asked more questions about my scar. Not only that, but I have heard of so many more people around me who also have a cleft. So now, more than ever before, I’m curious and more aware of my scars and that of others like me. I’m embracing it whole-heartedly, and I feel as though God is calling me to do something- though I am not sure what. There are lots of people with clefts out there that don’t see their own shining beauty, or are going through different struggles, and don’t know where to turn. I may not be an expert, and I may not have gone through all that you have, but I’m a true Hufflepuff at heart (and for you non-potterheads, that means friend to all) and I’m willing to be there for anybody, or just talk to someone similar to me. Mostly, I want to make friends; so if you’re a fellow clefty(cleft lip or cleft lip and palate) feel free to reblog/contact me or follow me or something. Love you guys!

this is something I never thought I would do, but it’s an important step to finding acceptance in who I am. Because it’s cleft awareness week I wanted to share the fact that I was born with a cleft lip and palate. It’s a birth defect that has made a significant impact on my life and it is a part of me that I’m trying to love. It has shaped me into the person that I am today. It has made me stronger. It has made me a better person, but living with it is so hard. Sometimes I feel like I don’t want to live and I’m scared that I’ll never enjoy life. But I won’t let it define me. Sorry to my followers (you probably don’t care) but this is so important to me and it’s the first time that I’ve ever done something like this, so please, no hate. To all the clefties out there: STAY STRONG, I LOVE YOU. xxx

This week is cleft lip awareness week. Cleft lip and or palate is one of the most common birth defects in the UK and it’s surprising how many people are still to this day ignorant to it. A cleft lip and cleft palate is a birth defect it’s where the baby’s lip/mouth doesn’t form properly during pregnancy. It can affect the mouth, lip, nose, teeth and speech. While I have been fairly lucky with mine as I personally don’t see much wrong with my nose or speech some clefts are quite severe. Growing up I would say going through school it was something that affected me daily, and I got quite a lot of mean hurtful comments of ignorant bullies. I have only had two surgeries in my life, once when I was a baby and one last year, which is amazing as some people with cleft lips need a lot more some 20+ including jaw surgeries and nose jobs.
The point of this post is just to make you think, next time you stare or call someone a name that has a cleft lip just think in years to come your own child could have one! How would you feel if someone was saying hurtful things to your perfect little child?
I am older and wiser to know now that there is NOTHING WRONG with my lip, I have a cleft lip, and I am proud.
#cleftaware

howwerewetoknow asked:

Hey! I'm a cleftie and I just saw your posts about your nose job. You look beautiful and I hope you're doing okay!

Thank you so much that’s very nice of you to say!! You’re pretty good looking yourself! High-five, other cleft person!!