Charlotte Halliday, 23, had the perfect pregnancy. A 3D ultrasound even confirmed that her baby boy was the textbook version of a healthy and normally developing baby.
Halliday gave birth to her son at Sunshine Coast University Hospital in Queensland, Australia. His name is Charlie, and he was born on April 18.
Charlie was immediately placed on Halliday’s chest. His face was turned in the opposite direction from her, so she had not yet met her baby face-to-face.
Seconds after he was born, the mood in the room changed. There was an eerie silence.
She did not have to see her newborn’s face to know that something was wrong. Halliday said that she could see the look on the nurses’ faces.
Charlie was assessed, and his parents were then given the news. Charlie had a severe cleft lip and palate.
The cleft lip and cleft palate presented several significant health issues. Halliday created a public Facebook page called Charlie’s Journey to share her son’s experiences and “firsts,” including his first surgery.
She wrote on the page, “So since Charlie’s had surgery we have had a first!!! He sneezed and snot came out of his nose!!”
There were many positive health benefits of surgery for Charlie. Yet, it was not easy to know that her sweet baby boy would look different.
Halliday told Daily Mail Australia, “Hundreds of mums told me I would miss his cleft and they were right. I had to do it for him though, he had to go through it and it has absolutely been for the best.”
Halliday expected a perfectly healthy newborn right after birth. Even though her newborn had a facial deformity, she fell in love with him for who he was at birth and loved him enough to make sure he got the best care for his health.