Parents who are expecting a new baby have a lot to be excited about.
They also have a lot to worry about. It’s important to look on the bright side of things, but it’s also good to be prepared in case something unexpected happens.
Most parents hope and assume that their babies will be born without any health problems. One young couple was anxiously awaiting the arrival of their sweet baby.
Their new baby, Brody, was different, but they wouldn’t know how different until he was born.
At their 24-week ultrasound, they found out that Brody had a bilateral cleft lip and palate. Their baby would be born with this deformation and likely suffer from other health problems caused by it. The doctor even asked if they wanted to keep the baby or consider other options.
The young couple knew they wanted to keep their baby.
They didn’t care if he looked different, and they were ready to provide the medical help he may need if he did indeed have other health problems after he was born.
They wanted to change the way people view babies and children with deformities and birth defects, and they already loved their baby no matter what. There was no question they were keeping him.
Brody’s mother, Sara, said;
“It is OK to be proud of your baby no matter the circumstances. We wanted to change what ultrasound/newborn/first year pictures on our Facebook/Instagram accounts looked like. We wanted to spread awareness of cleft lips and palates.”
Cleft lips and palate are common birth defects that occur when certain tissues don’t form or fuse together.
The defect can make it hard for the baby to eat, drink, smile, and even breathe. If it is not corrected with surgery, the child won’t be able to talk as he or she gets older or live a normal life. Most parents choose to have surgery to correct the clefts and help their babies live normal lives.
Sara and her partner, Chris, were still proud of their baby boy and, like most parents, they shared photos of him on their social media pages. They received an outpouring of kindness and support. Of course, some people were still curious about his condition. Some people sent messages to Sara asking what was wrong with the baby’s face.
Sara was upset by these questions but used them as an opportunity to educate people about her son’s condition and, hopefully, prevent them from asking questions like this in the future.
“I decided to educate rather than create a confrontation because that is what I want Brody to do in the future. I will want him to educate, to be an advocate for younger cleft kids who don’t have their own voice yet.”
Sara said that they have received incredible acts of kindness. She shared a story where she and a friend were at dinner with the baby when a waiter brought them a folded piece of paper. Inside was a check for $1,000. It read, “for the beautiful baby.”
Sara and Chris used the money to pay for some of Brody’s medical expenses and help him get the surgery he needs to repair his lip.
Last year, Brody underwent his lip repair surgery. He is recovering well, and while he will likely have several other surgeries in the future, he is a happy little boy.
“This experience has shown us just how strong the cleft community is. We’ve been contacted by people all over the country. they are praying for us and asking us to reach out if we need anything.”
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