Science shows that approximately 1 in 2,000 people are born with a rare genetic. This fact brings to light the incredible diversity and complexity of human Biology.
This story proves once again that the support of our loved ones is really important. Courtney and Gavin, parents with a special daughter, share their inspiring experience with many people on their social networks about what it’s like to have a baby with a cleft lip to help other families who are going through the same thing.
Courtney and Gavin Gardner welcome their daughter, Sutton, who was born with a cleft lip. The mother is concerned about the health of her second child and spends the entire night after Sutton’s birth wondering and praying that everything will be okay. In the 20th week of her pregnancy, the doctor does an ultrasound, which reveals that the baby has the so-called rabbit lip. When Gardner receives the news, he is in for a real shock.
“The last part they did was the ultrasound on her face, and then the specialist said, ‘Oh, she really has a cleft ʟɪᴘ.’ This could happen,” says Courtney.
Cʟᴇꜰᴛ ʟɪᴘ and ᴘᴀʟᴀᴛᴇ are very ʀᴀʀᴇ ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴs affecting 1 in 1,600 babies and occur when a baby’s lips or mouth do not develop normally during pregnancy. This can Be ᴄᴀᴜsᴇᴅ by various factors, such as food or ᴅʀᴜɢs that the mother took, But it can also Be a type of ɢᴇɴᴇᴛɪᴄ ᴘʀᴇᴅɪsᴘᴏsɪᴛɪᴏɴ.
After the Gardners welcomed their first son, they regretted not doing a special baby photo shoot with him. When Courtney became pregnant again, she knew she wanted to capture every moment of her newborn daughter. Photographer Shannon Morton takes the photos, which the parents later share on social networks. One of them quickly gained popularity and collected over 10,000 likes within hours. Over the next few days, the number of likes increased to an impressive 750,000.
Courtney says all the comments about her daughter have Been kind and encouraging, with most people saying how Beautiful she is. The post inspired many people to share their stories and photos. The Gardners are motivated to create their own Facebook page, My Cleft Cutie, to help other parents who are going through a similar diagnosis with their children. “My little princess was born with a ʙɪʟᴀᴛᴇʀᴀʟ cleft. Fortunately, her palate was intact. Daddy and I assure her every day that she is the most beautiful girl in the world and her personality is amazing,” commented a mother under the Facebook post.
The parents are worried about their daughter’s health but also very grateful to the hospital, which is helping them immensely during this incredible journey. Sutton’s cleft ᴘᴀʟᴀᴛᴇ made bottle feeding a real challenge, and she spent the first 18 days of her life in the ɴᴇᴏɴᴀᴛᴀʟ ɪɴᴛᴇɴsɪᴠᴇ care unit. The little girl is expected to undergo the first of a series of sᴜʀɢᴇʀɪᴇs in just a matter of days, with the next one when she turns one. Specialists are adamant that intensive work with a speech therapist will be necessary.
“Although things are scary and may seem bleak in this initial period for little Sutton, this is actually a condition that is 100% ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴀʙʟᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ᴍᴀɴᴀɢᴇᴀʙʟᴇ,” says Courtney. Her parents describe her as very social, lively, smiling, and truly happy, especially when her older brother is by her side. And they hope that one day this story will be just a memory of the past.