Since that moment, I have been through every possible range of emotions. As far as birth defects go, this is pretty mild. In our day and age it is easily repaired within the first few months of life, and done so well that you can't even tell later in their life that they had any defect. So, I am definitely grateful that if something is wrong, that this is it, and that it isn't life threatening or life altering by any means.
But at the same time, this is my baby boy, and I'd rather that nothing be wrong. My heart has been broken, finding out that my baby will have to be a little tattered for awhile. When I think of the surgeries he will have to go through at such a young age, my heart breaks again. In the grocery store, I look at moms pushing around their infants in their car seats, and I feel a pang of sadness- their babies are fine. Mine won't be. How in the world are we the 1 in 750 births where this happens? Those are crazy odds. I can't believe that we're the 1.
We have been blessed with so much peace, though. I was in denial for awhile, thinking that it must have been a mistake. But when it was confirmed at our specialist appointment, I wasn't filled with sadness, but rather peace. I feel strongly that our little boy knew that he would need to come to the world this way, and he was okay with that. He accepted that, and so did we. I keep thinking of a story in the talk Pres. Monson gave in the Relief Society broadcast last September:
"Mary [visited] with a friend who had a greenhouse. As she looked at her friend's flowers, she noticed a beautiful golden chrysanthemum but was puzzled that it was growing in a dented, old, rusty bucket. Her friend explained, 'I ran short of pots, and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting in this old pail. It's just for a little while, until I can put it out in the garden.'
"Mary smiled as she imagined just such a scene in heaven. 'Here's an especially beautiful one,' God might have said. . . 'He won't mind starting in this small, misshapen body.' But that was long ago, and in God's garden how tall this lovely soul must stand!' "
We are so grateful to be able to bring this special spirit into our home! Heavenly Father has a plan for us, and I know that as long as we have faith and trust in Him, that we can get through anything.
I am so grateful and amazed at everyone who has reached out to us and supported us in so many ways already. We've had dinner brought to us, received a gorgeous bouquet of daisies, and have received so many touching texts, phone calls, and messages from people letting us know they are thinking of us. Thank you to all of you who have supported and comforted us. We appreciate it more than you will ever know.
So now we just wait. There are still a lot of unknowns- does the cleft involve his palate? Is it a part of a chromosomal or genetic defect?- and a lot of those won't be answered until he is born. But for now, we take comfort in the fact that he is OK.
He is OK, and so are we.
"God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid. . . "
(2 Nephi 22:2)