Charlotte’s Forever Smile

Did you know that here in Australia, 1 in every 700 children are born with a cleft lip and/or palate?!

We had the absolutely pleasure of capturing dear little Charlotte when she was just four weeks old. Prior to her commencing her journey with the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Charlotte’s parent Katie and Luke, learned during their 20 week ultrasound that Charlotte would be born with a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate.

As first time parents, whilst initially a little scared and in shock, it didn’t take long for them to snap out of that mindset and instead take every opportunity to learn more about cleft conditions and the road ahead for their darling little girl.

They knew they wanted to share their story.

Not only with their nearest and dearest but where able, raise awareness, remove the stigma associated with facial abnormalities and change the perception of the wider community that cleft conditions are just an ‘easy fix’. Whilst in some cases its as simple as one surgery, that’s not the case for many others.

After spending her first two weeks in the Special Care Nursery establishing the ability to feed. Charlotte is now navigating the NAM (Nasoalveolar Moulding).
The NAM is a nonsurgical way to reshape the gums, lip and nostrils with a mouth mould, extensive facial taping and nasal stint.

At 6 months of age, she will under go lip repair surgery, palate repair surgery at 12 months. A bone graft surgery at 8 years and then potential breaking of her jaw.

Those are just the ‘givens’, the ‘must haves’ if you will.
She will likely have numerous other surgeries all the way through to her 20’s.
Cleft affected children also often require further monitoring and intervention in relation to speech, hearing and dental. Charlotte will (as will many others), endure more than most!

Would you like to learn a little bit more about cleft conditions?

Head on over to the RCH website or visit CleftPALS Victoria to read some amazing stories from this strong, proud, special and supportive community.

We look forward to continuing to follow Charlotte on the road to her forever smile. The team here at Aurora Joy Photography are #cleftproud to be part of it!

“To the amazingly talented team at Aurora Joy Photography, thank you for capturing our Charlotte perfectly, just the way she is.

In a few short months, Charlotte will start the long journey to her forever smile. But it’s her smile now that we will remember and miss the most. Katie & Luke xo”


Newborn Photography

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  1. Barbara says:

    Thank you, Kate & Luke for sharing Charlottes story & photos, I wish you all a successful journey, through some trying times & lots of happy days, please know others do care.  God Bless, Barbara, a friend of Mandys.