Gavin had his annual craniofacial team appointment at Loma Linda on April 19. We started by meeting with Heather, the speech pathologist who worked on helping Gavin learn to use a bottle before I returned to work. She asked about his speech sounds and if he was saying any words yet. We told her that he babbles constantly, but has not said any words with meaning at this point. We have been working on "mama" and "dada" but to no avail. She said that she would like to see him again at about 18 months, just to make sure that he is saying a few words by then. However, she is not overly concerned about his speech, since he is saying so may consonant and vowel sounds.
Next, we met with the pediatric team dentist, who came with two assistants. Gavin didn't like them from the moment they walked in. Not because they weren't nice people, but because Gavin becomes extremely upset whenever anyone wants to touch or look in his mouth. Matt and I think that it probably stems from memories of his lip repair. Poor guy has already been through so much! I had to hold him down while they looked in his mouth. He screamed the whole time and it was traumatizing for both of us. The dentist said that we should move from just using a finger toothbrush to using an actual stage 1 toothbrush with water daily. She also recommended that we bring Gavin to see a pediatric dentist since it is beneficial to get cleft-affected children checked out early.
Our third and final team doctor of the day was the plastic surgeon. This time it wasn't Dr. Martin, who did Gavin's surgery, but another surgeon whom we hadn't met before. He was very nice, but had some unfortunate news for us - Gavin would probably need two additional surgeries! He explained that Gav would need a second aveolar ridge (gum line) surgery when he is about 7 or 8 years old and possibly another surgery on his nose sometime down the road. We were definitely not thrilled to hear the news, but he was able to explain the reasons why and helped it all make sense to us. He said that if Gavin does not have a second gum line surgery, he risks losing some of his adult teeth, which we certainly do not want. And the nose surgery may need to be done to prevent the risk of the nose collapsing over time, which, of course, we definitely do not want to happen. At this point, I am wearing my rose-colored glasses and hoping that he won't need any more surgeries, but I guess only time will tell.