As her son approaches his teens, Laura remembers her pregnancy and looks back on some of the challenges he has faced.
When I fell pregnant with our first child we were over the moon.
We couldn’t wait to be parents – buying baby things and thinking of baby names! My pregnancy was going fine until we had our 5 month scan and they told us our baby boy might have a cleft lip and palate.
I was devastated. I didn’t really understand what it was at the time. I was offered an amniocentesis (a test used during pregnancy to find any chromosomal abnormalities or infections in the fetus) which I had. The results came back clear.
The rest of my pregnancy was full of worry as I started to read up about cleft lip and palate. I kept thinking to myself “What is my baby boy going to look like?” and “What will people say?” Maybe they would even just stare but not say anything. I used to blame myself, ask myself “Why me?”
I went in to labour 5 weeks early and all my worrying disappeared when I saw my beautiful baby boy. I didn’t care what people might say about his looks. He was mine!
…all my worrying disappeared when I saw my beautiful baby boy. I didn’t care what people would say about his looks. He was mine!
He has been though so much – speech therapy for years and having to deal with hearing problems. Even last year, at the age of 12, we had a scary experience when we found a lump in his mouth. We took him to hospital, scared it might be cancer, but thank god it was a benign tumour growing from his jawline.
No matter how we as parents worry and panic, my little soldier has taken everything in his stride and not complained once. He’s nearly 14 now and at high school he gets a few cruel kids make fun at him. It has gotten to him recently but with help from school it’s calmed down.
He has still got so much treatment ahead but he seems happy.
Thanks so much to Laura for sharing her and her son’s journey with CLAPA. If you’d like to share your story you can share it here through our website.