Even though it's sometimes hard for us to remember that Ian is different, not everyone makes it so easy. We went out to eat last night with some friends. When our waitress saw Ian she asked, "Aw, a baby. Does he have something stuck in his mouth?" (Referring to the NAM.) My first reaction was anger. Why would someone say something like that? Luckily DJ was the first to say anything. He explained that Ian had a cleft lip and palate. "Oh, I've seen documentaries on kids like that. He's going to be such a sweet boy." I was still a bit frustrated with the whole thing. I had to remind myself that most people are not familiar with clefts and as parents of a cleft baby, it is part of our responsiblity to teach them.
DJ and I were talking the other night about Ian's conditions. Once I found out I was pregnant with Ian, I did everything I could to ensure he would be a healthy baby. Since he was a surprise baby, I didn't start taking prenatal vitamins until 8 weeks into the pregnancy. I did my best to eat healthy once we did learn about him, taking care to not eat things not recommend for pregnant women. Once we found out about Ian's cleft, I was even more careful and ate even healthier. For example, eating blueberries, which are good for the brain and no-caffine, which is bad for the baby in large amounts. I made sure to stay away from others who were smoking. I didn't want Ian to have to deal with anything else. Sometimes now I can't help but feel like there was more I could have done. Did the fact that I did not start taking the vitamins until later have an impact on his cleft? Or even, had we been tested, could we have learned our child could have blood disorders? Well, the other night DJ reminded me that there was nothing we could have done differently. God wanted Ian to be like he is. He hasn't given us more than we can handle. Instead He's blessed us with a child that can teach us, as well as others, about his differences that so many others also deal with. Only God knows exactly why Ian was born with a cleft, but I know our little man will do great things.