This article was first published on CafeMom and was republished here with permission.
My 'Friend' Assumed I'd Be Pro Abortion for Cleft Babies Like Mine & He's Dead Wrong
"Do I wish he didn’t have to go through all of this? Of course. But do I wish we never had him? A million times no. This baby has changed me in so many ways."
Over the weekend, I was brought into a group text with a couple of old friends. One that I talk to on a fairly regular basis that I met in college, and one that I met at work who I talk to sporadically. (He’s in and out of rehab among other things.) I introduced the two many years later. The relationship between all of us is weird and I try not to give too much time to it, but the discussion this weekend really opened up a lot and ended one friendship.
As with a lot of people these days, politics got brought up.
My “friend” said, “Come on, of all people, you should get why someone would want to abort a cleft baby.”
That shocked me. Why would he think that? Why would someone think I would agree that babies like my son shouldn’t have the opportunity to live, simply because they’re different? Not long after that statement was made, I spoke my last words to him. BUT, I thought, maybe this could lead to great opportunity to share my son’s story (so far) and hopefully shed some light on clefts. So MAYBE, when a mom and dad go to get a sonogram or get blood work done and find that they’ve got a beautiful cleft baby, they won’t think their world is over. That it’ll just be a little different.
On April 3, 2018, at 10:46 a.m., my son Jack Carson Martin was born via C-section.
I leaned down and kissed my son. “What’s going on with my other son?”
Once that was figured out and he was eating a decent amount (two days later), he came up to our room. People apologized and cried for us. Our doctor came up and apologized for their sonogram tech not catching it, so we could be prepared. These first few days were full of mixed emotions. Overwhelming love for these two that just came into our family, and fear for everything we didn’t know about Cam’s future.
Not too long after we went home, we had an appointment with a plastic surgeon. He got fitted for what’s called a mouthpiece called a NAM, which in essence would cover his palate and also stretch things out in preparation for his first surgery at 4 months which would be his soft palate repair and lip repair. At 18 months he would have his hard palate repair and they would reshape his nose. Between ages 4 and 6 he would have a bone graft done to make his top gums one solid piece.
He had a lot going on with his face, that’s for sure. And I feel like someone was always messing with him.
It’s weird to say, but we didn’t want to do it.
He really has changed my life.