Parents in the US and Europe as well as other advanced areas have the right and means to terminate a pregnancy upon the advice of their doctors whenever there is something wrong with the baby, such as if the child has deformities detected in the womb or if there are numerous babies in a multiple pregnancy that it would be more viable to keep just two or three.
But there are parents who think this is not morally right because even if the kids have deformities or are part of a risky multiple pregnancy, these are still lives given by God and must be considered a blessing.
That’s what parents Sara Heller and Chris thought when they were first told by doctors during the 24-week ultrasound that their baby has a cleft palate. They could still terminate the pregnancy as per the doctor’s advice but they chose to keep the baby.
Indeed, Brody was born with a cleft palate but Sara and Chris loved him wholeheartedly. He was their son – despite the cleft palate – and they were proud of him. Just like many parents, they also posted numerous photos of Brody on social media; although the pictures were met sometimes with cruelty while other netizens were curious as to what happened to his face.
According to Sara, there’s nothing to be ashamed of if your baby is not as perfect as other babies. She hopes to raise awareness of Brody’s condition.
It is OK to be proud of your baby no matter the circumstances. We wanted to change what ultrasound/newborn/first year pictures on our Facebook/Instagram accounts looked like. We wanted to spread awareness of cleft lips and palates.
She admitted that there were people who made hurtful comments on Brody but she decided to dwell on the positive, educating these hateful people instead.
I decided to educate rather than create a confrontation because that is what I want Brody to do in the future. I will want him to educate, to be an advocate for younger cleft kids who don’t have their own voice yet.
But not everyone was cruel. The family was dining at a restaurant one day when the waiter handed them a note from an anonymous diner. Folded inside the letter was a check for $1,000 plus a note that read, “For the beautiful baby.”
The couple was thankful for the anonymous person who saw the beauty in Brody. They used the money to fund his medical needs to help repair his lip. Other people also pitched in to help.
This experience has shown us just how strong the cleft community is. We’ve been contacted by people all over the country. they are praying for us and asking us to reach out if we need anything.
The surgery has been successful! Way to go, Brody!