Mothers really do know best. It’s that strong, always-on-point instinct that knows when something is off, whether about suspicious silence in the house, the kids’ thoughts and emotions, and even their little one’s health and well-being. You see, even when experts dismiss certain fears that parents raise, moms still have that gut feeling that can’t just be shaken off.
And it’s always the wisest of decisions when moms decide to go with that gut feel and consequently go through great lengths to get answers.
Vanessa’s story proves just how maternal instincts can point you in the right direction.
She gave birth to a beautiful girl named Emmy, a precious angel who charmed everyone with her sweet, heart-melting grin. To Vanessa and the rest of the family, Emmy’s pretty smile was a sign of a cheerful disposition; she was a happy baby and right off the bat, she knew how loved she was by her parents.
But Vanessa couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was different about Emmy.
While everyone immediately embraced the idea that Emmy would be the all-smiles type who would spread sunshine wherever she went, Vanessa couldn’t bring herself to feel entirely at ease. To the worried mom, it felt like there was something more than just signs of joy and good-naturedness in the child.
Somehow, Vanessa felt something else was up.
“When she was born and I was holding her in the NICU, I noticed that her smile was strikingly big for a newborn and also that her pinky fingers turned in. These things were different from her older sister, so I immediately thought something was ‘off’.”
She decided to ask the NICU doctors about it, to which they responded by saying she was just being silly and “looking for things.”
They did, however, tell her that Emmy had a heart murmur and a visit to the cardiologist was imperative. Although Vanessa was given the assurance that heart murmurs are quite common in babies, doctors advised her to see a specialist just in case so that any issues could be ruled out.
After seeing a cardiologist for Emmy, Vanessa was able to confirm that there really was an explanation behind her daughter’s big smile and pinky fingers that were turned in.
Emmy was diagnosed with Williams syndrome.
“Williams syndrome is a genetic condition that can affect anyone. It is caused by the spontaneous deletion of 26-28 genes on chromosome #7. It is likely that elastin gene deletion accounts for many of the physical features of Williams syndrome. Some medical and developmental problems are probably caused by deletions of additional genetic material near the elastin gene on chromosome #7. The extent of these deletions may vary among individuals. In most families, the child with Williams syndrome is the only one to have the condition in his or her entire extended family. However, the individual with Williams syndrome has a 50% chance of passing the disorder on to each of his or her children.”
The rare genetic disorder is characterized by growth delays before and after birth. From it also stems cardiovascular diseases. These greatly affected Emmy, too. Because of these cardiovascular issues, Emmy had to undergo several surgeries over the years.
The truth about Emmy’s health and the accurate diagnosis would not have been brought to light had it not been for that consultation with the cardiologist and strong maternal instincts that told her something was different.
In an interview with The Mirror, the mom shares,
“The special days I have with Emmy aren’t the ‘big’ days like trips to Disney World, it’s snuggling on the couch on a rainy day. I’d love Emmy to be able to drive a car, go to college, and get married (if she wants to). To have a profession that she’s proud of, and I would like for her to feel valued at work. I’d like her to have a couple of good, solid, meaningful friendships. Above all, I’d wish for her to have unending happiness.”
Williams syndrome may come with its fair share of complications but we’re positive Emmy and Vanessa will get through the challenges together.
With a mom as supportive, dedicated, and loving as Vanessa, we have no doubt Emmy will achieve great things in life.
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