Never did we think that we would be going to the dentist 6 days after Tessa was born. After a brief visit with the dentist we realized we would be having even more visists then we initially thought. When meeting with our lactation consultant last Thursday, within the first 3 minutes she mentioned several times over that Tessa had to go see Dr. Cortez (the cleft palate team dentist). She was very frank with us and said that in her 29 years she had seen few cleft palates that were as bad as Tessa's. She said not only was there no soft palate but very little hard palate. The next morning we called first thing to make an appointment with this guy. They told us that Dr. Cortez was scheduling for July. We told her our situation so she double checked the schedule. After putting us on hold she asked if we could be there in an hour. Praise the Lord we were able to get in. We ran around the house gathering things and quickly feeding Tessa. Allison grabbed the pump and pumped in the car on the way to the Dr's in our new car with semi-tinted windows. After being totally exposed on and off for the last week, pumping in the car seems like not big deal. Soon after arriving we were confronted with the dilemma that they probably will not take our insurance. Hmmmm. Funny how we are doubly covered right now and they didn't take either of our insurance. Anyways, before I started filling out paperwork I got to read the Dr. Cortez's bio. This man is amazing. He went to a local college, then USC for his Phd, then he went back to specialize in pediatric emergencies specifically cleft palates. He has been part of the "team" for the past 28 years. He has a very gentle spirit and he just reassured us that we are in good hands with this team of Long Beach Memorial Hospital. He told us a couple of options of how we could deal with the palate and cleft lip and we will be starting with one of them next week. She is going to get a obturator (retainer) fitted to her roof of her mouth. She will need one fitted every 6 weeks or so as her mouth grows. Initially we thought we would have the palate surgery around 1 year old, but he informed us that hers will more likely be around 3-5 years old since it is so wide. Allison and I feel very fortunate to be able to have such wonderful doctors that can take such good care of Tessa. They truly care for her and want the best for her. God is watching out for all of us. Please continue to pray for little Tessa as she will be poked and prodded many times by many different doctors in these coming weeks...months...years. Please continue to lift us up as parents as we cart her around to all these appointments and try to make room for the special bonding that all new parents look forward to.