"It Really Is So Rewarding": Texas Dad Shares What It's Like To Have A Cleft Baby And Gives Hope To Other Parents

Date October 19, 2018

Matt Martin, a dad from Dallas, Texas, was overjoyed when his wife Sara became pregnant. Their joy doubled when an ultrasound revealed they were about to have twins! The happy couple started to prepare for the babies’ arrival.

On April 3, 2018, Sara gave birth to two beautiful boys, Jack and Cam. But once Cam appeared, the medical team went silent. In his story, submitted on Love What Matters, Matt recalled:

As the doctor held him up, the room went silent. Something was different. The doctors were worried. My wife’s doctor leaned over to a nurse and asked her to call the NICU.

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A few moments later, Matt saw his son and realized what was wrong. The boy was born with double cleft lip and cleft palate. He was taken to the NICU to ensure he could eat.

Matt and Sara experienced an avalanche of emotions. They were overwhelmed with love for their babies, but at the same time, they feared for Cam's future, wondering if he will be OK.

Shortly after Sara and the babies were discharged, the couple had an appointment with a plastic surgeon. The surgeon outlined the procedures Cam would have to undergo to repair his lip and palate.

Cam already had his first surgery to fix his lip and soft palate. Before the surgery, his parents had a great deal of anxiety, but Cam proved to be a tough little guy! He handled the procedure well.

Matt concluded his story with an inspiring message to other parents of babies with facial differences:

I hope he’ll be a beacon of light to others, that their world isn’t over just because they’re a little different. Having a cleft baby is difficult at times and it’s terrifying to go into the unknown, but it really is so rewarding.

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What are a cleft lip and a cleft palate?

Clefts are splits in the lip, palate, or both that some babies are born with. According to Mayo Clinic, cleft lip and cleft palate are among the most common birth defects.

Cleft palate and cleft lip occur when facial structures of a fetus don’t fuse properly. But as the dad who shared his story about having a cleft baby rightly pointed out, it’s not the end of the world! These defects can be corrected with a series of surgeries in the first months and years of a child's life.

Having a baby with a facial difference may cause a shock at first, but at the end of the day, these babies bring as much happiness and love to their parents as any other babies do!

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