Iva is married and is currently studying for a PhD in marketing. She has an 11-month-old son who was born with cleft lip.
Iva is a Bulgarian living in the UK and is studying for a PhD in marketing. Her husband is also Bulgarian and works as a pharmacist in the UK. During her pregnancy Iva had received regular check-ups in Bulgaria. However, their son was diagnosed with a cleft lip during a routine 20-week scan in the UK. The diagnosis was a big shock for Iva and her husband because in Bulgaria mothers expecting children with clefts are usually advised by health professionals to terminate their pregnancy. On hearing the diagnosis Iva and her husband looked at the internet to find out more about what to expect regarding their son’s cleft. They were overwhelmed by the information and “awful” pictures they found of children born with clefts. They also consulted Iva’s husbands parents who are both doctors in Bulgaria.
When Iva’s son was born it was apparent that it was an incomplete unilateral cleft which was a great relief for the couple. Although he was able to breastfeed a cleft nurse also gave Iva advice about expressing milk with a pump and using specialist feeding bottles. Iva and her husband made a decision to stay in the UK as they were aware that the treatment and surgery their son would receive for his cleft would be superior to the treatment he would get in Bulgaria.
Their son had his lip repair surgery when he was 4 months old. He made a good recovery and was able to breastfeed again on the same day. Iva and her husband have found their cleft nurse to be very supportive and the couple also used the CLAPA Facebook pages to make contact with other parents with children born with clefts. Iva is optimistic regarding her son’s future and believes that children with clefts are special children that have been “kissed by an Angel.”