When we found out I was pregnant in 2010 we were so excited…so happy, but definitely not prepared! At around 16 weeks, we went in to find out the sex. During the ultrasound, the tech said ‘It’s a boy! He looks healthy, but I want you to go see a specialist.’ I didn’t think anything of it. So we went to see a maternal fetal medicine doctor, and he did another ultrasound. It was a little, dark room…that’s where he told us. He was very calm and said, ‘It looks like the baby is going to have a cleft lip.’ Then he told me to get dressed and for us to meet him in his office. When we sat down to talk about it…it hit me. He gave us our options, and then left us alone to think things over. I cried a little...we talked, and when the doctor came back we told him we had decided to move forward. When he was born, it was surreal! There was a little human being who fully had both of our hearts - instantly. He had his first surgery at three-months-old. I was fine until the moment I had to hand him to the surgeon. Luckily our family was there, and the cleft lip/palate clinic introduced us to another couple who had been through the same thing with their little girl. The mother sat with us and was so helpful…so reassuring. He will be six soon…and he’ll have another surgery within the next couple of years. It’s funny…we don’t even notice anything now, and I don’t think strangers do either! So when I found out I was pregnant this time around, we were a little nervous, but we didn’t panic. We actually just found out that it’s a girl and everything looks great! The whole experience has made me more sensitive, more accepting, less judgmental…it has made me look at the world differently. If I could go back in time and tell myself anything, it’d be that when the baby is born, no matter how bad it is, you’ll love them…that’s a guarantee.
-Renny Wheeler, Administration