‘DA’ as in darling

A Sparkle in the Eye

Frida said something yesterday. It wasn’t something that you would normally pay attention to coming from an almost 2-year old, but for Frida it was something completely new. She said: ” Da, da, da, da, da”. Yippieeee!

2738_front_original_detailSo why is that such a big deal? Well, as many of you know, she was born with a cleft palate, and had surgery at the beginning of April to have this closed. Children with a cleft palate have open access between the mouth and nose, meaning that they are unable to build up air pressure in the mouth, which is necessary to articulate certain sounds, known as plosives (consonants that require a slight explosion of accumulated air pressure – if you’re interested, read more here). I know I’m getting kind of technical here, but the thing is that even after surgery when the palate is closed, the child will still need to learn how to cut the airstream by closing the passage towards the nose. She also had to learn how to drink using a straw, something she learned a few weeks after surgery.

Still with me here? D is a plosive, and Frida said it, so this is kind of a break through! I should say that Frida does speak, and say small sentences and stuff, but normally her speech contains no “hard” sounds – everything is kind of mushy, and can be hard to understand. Now we can start working with that – at least a little bit.

Actually we have been taking pictures of Frida’s palate after her surgery to see how well it healed up, and I must say, I’m just really impressed with what doctors can do these days. I should say though, that what you see below will probably never be a woman’s best angle – and it’s not easy to take palate pictures! Follow the progress from the upper left (taken one month before surgery) to the lower right (taken approximately 2 months after surgery).

Progress of the palate after palate repair

So everyone – da, da, da, da!  😉  Do ask questions if everything is not clear.


  1. Millie says:

    How wonderful! I’m delighted to hear she’s doing so well with her speech. I found your blog around the time of her surgery and read about it again the other day, such an anxious time for you all. Great to hear what a success it has been. She looks beautiful in the big photo, I love the ponytails! Are her eyes green?

  2. suzy says:

    Oh, that is wonderful. Well done Frida! You must be so happy to see how well she is healing and making progress. It’s very exciting.

  3. CreatureofHabit says:

    Ta Da! Love it!

    She’s adorable, I just want to squeeze her. It’s pretty amazing that in such a short time it has healed and looks totally normal (at least from the photos).

    My nephew Milo had an enlarged-something or ‘nother in the back of his throat and never learned to make a “ck” (hard C) sound on his own (for instance, cookie was “ookie”). He had to go to speech therapy as he grew and is totally fine now, but it really is amazing when these little guys overcome something seemingly minor. I know I cried the first time Milo asked me for a “k-ookie”, so you must have been thrilled to hear the “da da da”. Hugs to you! 🙂

  4. Astrid says:

    All – thank you so much for all your congrats and well wishes!

    Millie – I think her eyes are like mine, kind of greyish blue. But it can appear green at times. 🙂

    Amy – well, the palate actually does look almost completely normal – it’s amazing. Wonderful story about Milo – it just really is a big deal, right. 😉

  5. Sara says:

    Oh that’s fantastic news!

    You are so right about the things they can do these days. Those photos are great. It’s so interesting to see the changes.

  6. Ulla V. says:

    Hvor er det bare en vidunderlig ting for Frida og for jer alle sammen. Jeg blev helt rørt da jeg læste dine ord og samtidig så på søde, lille Frida. :))

  7. katharina says:

    Tak for updaten, det er simpelthen så dejligt at læse om hendes udvikling. Og tak for billeder, det viste på en hel ny måde for mig hvad ganespalte er. Utroligt så dygtige lægerne er til at ordne det på hende! (og køn er hun jo også)

  8. Jeannine says:

    Yippee! She looks wonderful, and I feel so happy for you. Nicolas always had problems with his speech, and has been in speech therapy since he was three. I thought I would have to do the same thing with Olivia, but lo and behold, she started speaking right before I left for California. She was 2 1/2, when she said her first fuzzy sentance. I did not hear the words mama until she was 2 years old. I know how good it feels when they make progress. It is still difficult to understand her, but everyday we make progress. It always puts a smile on my face. I just want to kiss her when she makes sense. So hug that girl with every DaDaDa.

  9. Karin says:

    Dejligt at høre – tillykke med, at det går så godt 🙂
    Vi følger jo med herude – så mange positive tanker fra cyberspace!

  10. teri says:

    yay frida!!!! that photo is gorgeous. love, love, love the little pig tails. 🙂

    i know this has been a long, hard journey, but sounds like it will all be a distant memory soon. wonderful progress.

  11. Lis says:

    Uh, der blev jeg lige så glad på hendes og på jeres vegne, at jeg nu har helt våde kinder!

    hvor ER det simpelthen rart at læse!
    Søde, søde da-da-dapige:)

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