My mom and I sat in a dark room as we waited for the ultrasound tech to find the face of my baby boy. It was mine and my husband’s first child and it would be my mom’s first grandchild. We were excited to say the least! It wasn’t the first time I saw him on the screen though. Curtis and I decided to pay the extra $150 for the 3D ultrasound which was completely optional and just for fun. I told him we had to do it for our first and for the rest it didn’t matter. We were in the middle of buying our first home and living at my grandparents at the time and money was tight. Even though he couldn’t make it to the appointment he agreed to it and my mom was more than happy to be there with me.
We “ooed” and “awed” at the little being on the screen. We picked out whose features he had and laughed when he covered his face with his foot and then finally turning his back to us. The tech asked me to lay on my side to see if he would turn back around and then left us alone in the room. When she returned 15 minutes later the doctor followed in behind her. I immediately knew she was concerned about something. My eyes grew wide as the tech searched for my baby’s face. I thought of everything that could possibly be wrong with him. She showed the doctor the screen who then began to tell me my baby would be born with a cleft lip. My heart sank, tears filled my eyes, and my throat began to burn. I felt as if I was watching the scene from someone else’s eyes. This kind of stuff doesn’t happen to me! I’ve lived an ordinary life. These are the things you hear about from someone else. It just wasn’t real. I tried my best to sound normal as I asked questions and made my next appointment. The doctor couldn’t tell the extent of the cleft but told us that a level 2 ultrasound would tell us more. For a small fortune of course.
I gave my mom short answers as I drove her back to work in fear I would burst out in tears. She gave me a hug and walked back into her office. I knew she was heartbroken for me. I tried to drive back to work through my tear filled eyes. I knew I would again have to choke back tears as I told the girls at work what the ultrasound had found. I felt sorry for myself. I was fortunate enough to drive home later that day to my loving grandparents instead of an empty apartment. I was anxious to tell Curtis the news that night and it was his reply that I needed to hear.
He was still excited for his son no matter what. With many, many other reassurances from family and friends my feelings about the situation had changed 100% by the next day. As I realized how everything fell into place for us to receive this news and with my faith in God I knew that’s who our son was supposed to be and that we were his lucky parents.
Of course when we first laid eyes on our little Hudson the evening of January 16th 2012 perfect was all we could think of. He was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate and we instantly fell in love with that sweet face and his smiles. We were lucky indeed. But to say it was smooth sailing from there would have been a lie. We struggled with his feedings, weight gain, appointments, costs and fees, and the all amazing NAM. He had his first surgery for his lip and nose repair when he was 4 1/2 months old which he amazed us with. But nothing has slowed that smile down! He has been a strength to his own parents! He continues to amaze us with everything he has overcome. Although we still have another surgery in the near future to repair his palate and a long road ahead of us we are thankful for our healthy little boy and still count our many blessing. I know we would not have made it this far without the support of our friends and family and Hudson’s amazing Cleft Team. He is truly built to handle what life has given him.
You can continue to follow Hudson’s story on our blog ckhofmann.blogspot.com.