ACPA Family Services

Cleft-Craniofacial Community Stories

The McDade Family

When I first met my husband, Michael, he was in remission from cancer and recovering from a stroke, and I suffered from severe digestive problems. We made quite a pair dealing with each other’s health problems, but fell deeply in love.

After eight months of dating, we got engaged and were married soon after. During our first year of marriage, I had surgery and was told I might have difficulty becoming pregnant, and Michael suffered a seizure, a result of the stroke he had while he had cancer. We thought the black cloud may never drift away from over our heads, but somehow, we again pulled through the tough times together and with the support of our family.

Desperately wanting to start a family, we struggled to decide if we were a couple healthy and strong enough to bring a baby into the world. After consulting with our specialists, we became pregnant within months.

My pregnancy was not easy, but not terribly difficult either. I was coping not being able to take my medication during pregnancy and continued to work up until a month before I was due. We found out we were having a boy and we both were elated. We spent all our spare time decorating the baby’s room, going to the movies before “he” arrived, and took a vacation to Disneyland.

My mother and husband wanted to name the baby Logan Michael, in keeping with the Irish heritage of my husband’s family. I fell in love with the name.

Weeks before Logan was due, I had a dream that I saw him and that something was wrong with his face. I shared this dream with a co-worker and my family and was reassured that all expectant mothers have dreams like mine.

When my due date of Halloween came and went, I was scheduled for an induction. To our surprise, before my induction date, Logan wanted to arrive on his own, and we left for the hospital. After a few hours of labor, the doctors decided that Logan would have to be delivered by Cesarean. My husband was by my side, holding my hand, when the doctor delivered Logan. I heard her say there was a small problem. I looked at my husband and began shaking. Logan was born with an incomplete unilateral cleft lip. His spine also closed right before birth, leaving a small dimple in his back.

Logan was wrapped in a blanket and placed on my chest. I stopped shaking and thought how beautiful he was. The nurse said he was a special baby, and I agreed, saying he was special only because he was Logan, not because of his cleft lip or needs.

Back in our hospital room, while breast feeding Logan, I looked at my husband and decided that Logan couldn’t have been born to more loving, empathetic parents who have overcome physical challenges and continue to accept life’s challenges as they come.

Today, Logan is nearing two years old and is a happy, creative and intelligent toddler. He is all boy and enjoys his cars and trucks, his nephew Chase, and of course ice cream.

When I come home from work, finish dinner, and crawl into bed for (hopefully!) a full nights sleep, I roll over to find two Hot Wheels cars and a Teletubby doll underneath me in the covers, and that is when I am reminded what a blessing Logan is, and how thankful I am that he is my son and we are his parents.

Last Updated: Jul 24, 2006