Matchstick Monkey is thrilled to be collaborating with Georgia Nighy (@CleftMumofTwo) to raise awareness about Cleft Conditions. Georgia is a mother to two beautiful young boys, both born with cleft conditions. As a clef awareness champion, Georgia is on a mission to build awareness about cleft conditions and offer support to other families who may be seeking guidance.
Georgia has kindly written the following blog post to provide insight into her experience with cleft conditions, including when she found out her sons would have a cleft condition during her pregnancy and what drove her to use her platform to raise awareness about cleft.
Without further ado, let’s introduce Georgia Nighy, @CleftMumofTwo.
Hello, my name is Georgia and I am the proud Mummy of two beautiful sons.
Theo is six and Jude is four months old. Both boys were born with clefts, which occurs in roughly 1 in 700 pregnancies. Theo had a unilateral cleft lip and gum notch and Jude had a complete bilateral cleft lip and palate. As a family, we had no experience of cleft conditions, so as you can imagine it was a huge shock for us when we found out.
I was told about both boy’s clefts at my 20-week scans. It was an extremely hard and anxious time, not knowing what the future held and worrying how others may judge the boys for not looking the same as most other babies.
Theo had his first surgery at four months and honestly, you can barely notice he ever had a cleft now. His repair is so amazing!
When finding out during my second pregnancy that Jude would have a bilateral cleft, I was devastated. I knew the chances of the palate being involved were much greater. He was likely to have difficulty feeding, possibly hearing and also problems with his speech. As our eldest, Theo, had a cleft lip but didn't have a cleft palate, this was going to be a whole new experience, which was daunting at the time.
After speaking to the cleft team, I was told that Jude would need multiple surgeries throughout his life which was so upsetting. I honestly felt exhausted. Just thinking about going through more surgeries and medical interventions a second time around. I worried about how I would cope, but after Jude's arrival, I knew my love for him would get me through just as it did with his big brother.
Theo was slow to start feeding properly, but once he got the hang of it he never looked back. Considering Jude's cleft is very severe, he is doing absolutely amazingly! He is using his special cleft bottles and is gaining weight consistently. He started teething very early which has been the biggest issue we have faced. When Matchstick Monkey sent Jude some of their fabulous teethers, we were extremely grateful.
When starting our Instagram page (@CleftMumofTwo) almost two months ago, it was my mission to build awareness of cleft conditions and to offer support to other cleft families.
I hope by sharing our journey that we can be of some comfort to others going through similar experiences.
Thank you for reading,
We would like to thank Georgia for sharing her cleft experiences with us and we are so glad to hear that our Matchstick Monkey teethers are comforting Jude whilst he is teething! You can find Georgia on Instagram (@CleftMumofTwo) to keep up with her story and support her mission to raise awareness of cleft palate.