birth defect

‘Chance of defects, chance of blindness, deafness, death.’ There was so. Much. Blood. I couldn’t feel a single thing. He was STUCK.’: Mom recounts traumatic labor, son’s ‘unique health issues’

“You don’t necessarily notice the impact early on, even if you start to recognize things just aren’t ‘right.’ You see differences at the park, watching other kids interact. Your friends’ kids start walking, then talking, and you start to notice delays. You question what you did wrong and what you could have done differently.”

‘I overheard nurses murmuring about a ‘bruise.’ Then I heard, ‘I don’t think that will fade.’ The left side of her face was a deep red.’: Mom vows to raise baby with Port Wine Stain as ‘the most confident girl to ever walk the planet’

“We weren’t trying to get pregnant. They lifted me off the toilet after I nearly passed out. My vision dotted with stars, I remember saying, ‘I don’t care if it’s permanent. I love her just the way she is.’ Everywhere we go, strangers ask, ‘WHAT happened?’ We can’t go to the store without getting stared at.”

‘I gasped in the CVS parking lot. The file read, ‘Child Reserved.’ My hands shook as I waited for my husband. I tried not to peek. Then, we saw the face that took our breath away.’: Couple adopt special needs child, ‘She has forever changed our hearts!’

“I called our agency and said, ‘YES! Tell us all you can.’ We were told she might not ever walk. The lower portion of her body had not properly formed in the womb. She was missing her sacrum and bottom 3 vertebrae. Her little intestines were blocked. ‘Can you be in India in four days?’ Something in us knew this precious girl was ours.”

‘Are you joking?’ My doctor had a very serious look. ‘Pregnancy is not something I’m allowed to joke about.’ I’d been taking birth control pills.’: Mom births warrior baby with ‘sweet cleft smile’

“I said goodbye to his sweet, wide smile and tried to hold it together as the nurse carried him away. The second I got to the café, with my COVID-19 mask under my chin, I ugly cried into my sandwich. I texted my best friend, ‘I’m going to puke or soil my pants.’ I was a ball of emotion.”

‘The doctor paused at the end of the bed. ‘Uhhh…it’s a boy that looks a lot like a girl!’ My husband took a closer look. ‘OH MY GOD, IT’S A GIRL!!!’: Mom births baby with cleft lip, ‘She is my hero’

“We cried loud and hard and basked in that moment of complete shock and joy. The room seemed so loud, when suddenly somewhere in the room I hear the words, ‘What about the lip…’ and then deafening silence. I shot straight up, picked her up, and flipped her over.  The world stopped. ‘Babe look….’ My husband turned pale.”

‘The ultrasound tech got quiet. He dug into my stomach. ‘We can’t find her limb. Termination is always an option.’: Special needs mom says daughter has ‘changed my life for the better’

“We were newlyweds. I took a pregnancy test, honestly not expecting it to say PREGNANT. I felt a rush of emotions. ‘What are people going to think?’ The morning after the ultrasound, the nurse said, ‘Her esophagus isn’t connected to her stomach.’ She went in for surgery at 4 days old. ‘We found something else.’ How could the doctors have missed this? ‘We need to cut both sides of her chest.'”

‘I don’t want any more operations!’ It was so hard on me, I decided enough was enough.’: Woman with Apert Syndrome wants people to know, ‘‘I have a great personality if people take the time to get to know me’

“I was about 6 or 7 when I truly realized I was different from other kids. I looked different. There was a lot of staring, whispering, and pointing fingers from other people, as they had never seen anyone like me. I sometimes feel lonely and would love to have more friends.”

‘The doctor said, ‘I don’t want you to think everything is okay. It’s not. Your baby’s hands are fused together,’ then left the room.’: Mom to son with Apert Syndrome urges for kindness, ‘It’s the best gift you can give’

“‘I’m sorry, but he will definitely have mental issues and live in a home.’ The doctor told me to go home. The second I made it to the car, I lost it. I was crying uncontrollably. I called my husband, but I couldn’t get anything out. ‘Ashley, I need you to PULL OVER. I’m coming to get you.’ I couldn’t, I was so distraught. I just wanted to get home where no one could see me.”

‘What’s it like being a little person?’ I was touched without my consent and forced to apologize. I was so naive.’: Woman with Achondroplasia urges ‘I’m not a little person, I’m not a dwarf, I’m just Chandler’

“For so long, I thought the compliments were genuine. People would brag about how smart my brother was and be in awe over my sister’s art, while I got a pat on the head for just being…me. When I’d move my head out of the way and say, ‘Don’t pat my head,’ I got, ‘Your daughter shouldn’t talk to me like that. You should teach her manners.’ If I said ‘no’ when being asked if they could shake my hand, because they ‘always wanted to shake a little person’s hand,’ I was ‘rude.’ I felt trapped.”

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