On March 12, 2014, Sawyer David celebrated his first birthday. As a family, we look back on his amazing first year and smile. He has reached many milestones already in his young life, and provided all of us with indescribable happiness and pride.
It feels like only yesterday, we were told at 19 weeks pregnant, that Sawyer definitely had a cleft lip and possibly a cleft palate. We spent the next weeks preparing for the worst and praying for the best. On the day that Sawyer was born, we were checking his lip and palate before counting fingers and toes. It didn’t matter though, in our eyes he was the most beautiful baby.
Three months flew by and we met the day of his surgery with anxiety and anticipation. We were excited to put the process and milestone behind. However, to us, our sweet baby looked perfect the way he was and we were very scared that something could go wrong. Leaving our sweet boy in the arms of the nurses that day was one of the hardest moments of our lives. Watching him smile hours after his surgery was one of the best. We could not believe the bravery our sweet baby showed during his recovery!
As Sawyer rapidly approached his first birthday, we began talking about how fortunate we have been. We have a phenomenal team of doctors and nurses that helped to prepare us in the beginning, and then took excellent care of Sawyer during his cleft lip repair. It’s hard to believe that our sweet baby could be more handsome, but we never get tired of seeing his new smile.
Additionally, we were fortunate that Sawyer was born with a cleft lip only. However, we know that many other babies and families are not as lucky. These babies will need countless surgeries throughout their early lives. We wanted to give back as a way of celebrating Sawyer’s milestone birthday. We asked our family and friends to donate to the Cleft Palate Foundation in lieu of bringing gifts to his party. In years to come, we can talk to Sawyer about his bravery during this year and the way that he was able to help others born with cleft lip and palate.