A smile as bright as the sun left everyone in awe of how naturally happy a newborn was. However, one mother felt that this smile signified something was not okay, fighting tooth and nail for her baby girl.
While we should always take medical professionals seriously, sometimes a mom's instinct knows something their expertise hasn't discovered yet.
However, doctors sometimes tend to brush over mothers' concerns because of parents' penchant for worrying too much about their children.
Photos of Emaline │Source: facebook.com/Williams Syndrome Smile
SOMETHING'S NOT RIGHT
"I'm surprised it didn't set off alarm bells in the doctor's mind. He thought I was being ridiculous."
Vanessa also discovered that her baby daughter's turned-in pinkie fingers could signal many types of syndromes.
Only after she and her daughter were discharged from the hospital and at a much later time did they discover that the mother's gut feeling was onto something.
Emaline, or "Emmy," was diagnosed with Williams syndrome (WS). This indicates a delay in growth before and after birth.
It also includes different levels of intellectual disability, shortness in height, and distinguishing facial features. The baby was also diagnosed with Coeliac disease, closely related to the syndrome.
READY TO FIGHT
Vanessa was shocked by this news and felt she wouldn't be able to withstand all the challenges ahead. However, she eventually gained the strength to carry on for her daughter. The mom expressed:
"I became willing to take this journey with Emmy and resolved that, whatever the future might hold, I would just love her–fiercely and without reservation."
Still, from meeting specialists to early intervention, this mother was overwhelmed -- although she said her husband helped her immensely as she could always lean on him for support.
TAKING IT ALL IN
Still not knowing what the future will bring, Emmy's mom has hopes that her daughter will one day get a job, go to college and get married.
For now, however, Vanessa said she enjoys the small moments such as dinners with the family, bundling up together on the couch in rainy weather, and laughing at Emmy's jokes.
A GORGEOUS GRIN
Now, as the mother says, rather than feeling anxiety when her daughter smiles, her heart warms. In Vanessa's own words:
"Her big, genuine smile no longer makes me uneasy. It's a gift that instantly lights up a room and makes others grin right back."
It's safe to say that whatever challenges this little girl may come across in her life, she will always have her parents' unconditional love and support.
Emmy's mom, like many other mothers, is an example of how much parents care and love their children, ready to take on anything to see them smile.
Sara Heller and her partner Chris Eidam went down a similar path when they discovered that their baby had a cleft lip and palate when she was 24 weeks pregnant.
The couple faced some hateful remarks after the baby was born. When Heller's son was three months, someone asked what was wrong with his face.
Instead of responding with confrontation, she has chosen to go down the educational road -- Heller made it her mission to raise awareness around cleft lips and palates.
Through their actions, these two pairs of loving parents are bound to raise their children into kind and strong adults -- something that we as a society desperately need.
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