The medical staff didn’t hesitate. The whole thing was trickier than their usual delivery, and throughout it all, the man prayed that both his wife and daughter survived.
The husband was still praying when he heard the tiny cry that became his ray of hope in those dark times. He looked up, raised his chin, and met his gaze with the prettiest baby he had ever seen. But when he moved in closer, he noticed something that made his jaw drop.
Fran and Leila had always wanted to have kids. After being a couple through grad school, the two of them decided to marry, thus beginning their life journey together.
Frank and Leila wanted to have a big family. This was always their dream. They tried to get pregnant as soon as they could, and it wouldn’t take long before receiving the news they expected to hear all their married life.
Wanting A Big Family
The two of them had always discussed having children. Even before they got married, they would share their dreams and thoughts on the matter, and they both were on the same page. They also both came from big families.
For Leila, having kids running all over her home and leaving chaos behind was a dream come true. She had no idea what her future would look like with her husband though.
Like a lot of other new parents, Frank and Leila took every safety measure during the nine months of pregnancy. They went to every parenthood seminar and took part in most pregnancy programs at their local hospital.
They went to all the appointments with the obstetrician and always checked in with the doctor whenever they thought something was off. But all these measures meant nothing when people have to deal with what they would have to go through.
Ready To Meet Them
Frank and Leila were the most excited parent. They couldn’t wait for the day of the delivery. They ran off to the local hospital as soon as Leila’s contractions began.
Like any other parents, they had hoped and expected that the delivery process would go smoothly. They thought they were prepared for every scenario possible. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Time To Push
Frank was along with his wife as the delivery began. Leila was squeezing his hand hard whenever the doctor told her to push. The couple had already been in the hospital room for more than five hours, with no end in sight. Was everything alright?
Frank knew things could go wrong and all these crazy scenarios ran wild through his mind. He tried his best to stay positive, bud deep down, he had a feeling something was terribly wrong.
Had had always been an optimistic person, but the tension inside the delivery was getting to him. It was enough to change all his principles.
The man didn’t want to think that things could go bad, but then out of nowhere, the doctor asked him to give the medical staff some space. The doctor also called for more nurses and asked for more equipment as well. What was going on?
“There has been a complication,” the doctor said suddenly. “We need to perform a C-section right away.” The worry and dread took over Frank instantly, reeling him against the wall. He couldn’t contain his tears.
“A C-section?” He heard Leila ask and saw her try to sit upright. She was starting to worry as well. But she was the strongest woman Frank knew. He had hope that everything would go well in the end.
The medical staff didn’t waste any more time. It had all been much more complicated than anticipated but it was finally over. Frank prayed all the way that his family would survive.
He was still lost in thoughts when he finally heard the squealing cry of the baby. This was a ray of hope that he prayed for the entire time they were stuck in that delivery room. But when he got closer to the child, he noticed something that made him step back.
Frank and Leila’s baby was fine and everything appeared to be going well. She cried her lungs out while the nurses inspected her tiny body. But there were two birthmarks on the sides of her mouth that made her look like she had a permanent smile.
Even though everyone in the delivery room was taken aback, they all got to work quickly. They took the newborn away, with Frank following the doctor as she explained to him what exactly was happening.
“Bilateral microstomia,” the doctor answered. “It is an ultra-rare condition that affects the function and aesthetics of the oral cavity.”
Frank sank to the patient’s seat with his head in his hands. He let out an exasperated sigh, “Leila will be heartbroken when she wakes up.” His wife’s response to the news would leave him stumped.
Frank and the doctor returned to Leila, who was just awakening in her room. They found her cradling the baby, a smile on her face as tears lined her cheeks.
“You’re so pretty,” she whispered to the baby before looking up at Frank. “Leila,” Frank’s voice had never been this broken. But his worry began dissipating as he got closer to his wife and child.
The baby in Leila’s cradle was the most beautiful thing Frank had ever seen. His eyes teared as he reached a finger down, and the baby lurched on, her smile still holding even though her eyes were closed.
The days that followed were difficult for Leila and Frank, given that they were treading a path very few parents ever walked. Could they find a way to help their daughter before it was too late?
Correcting The Condition
The doctor promised Leila and Frank that their baby, whom they’d named Emma, could receive a series of reconstructions to help correct her condition.
The young parents agreed. They loved their child very much and would do anything to see her live a normal life. But the journey would be the most challenging thing they ever embarked on.
Emma is still undergoing her surgeries. To create awareness, her parents shared her story on social media, creating a cult following for the baby.
They are thankful for all the love and support they receive daily. They hope that anybody in the same boat as them knows that they are not alone.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.