In my eyes, nothing.
In my eyes, he couldn’t be more perfect.
He is handsome. His eyes light up the room. His laugh is contagious. His sweet little voice melts me. His chubby feet are exactly like his father’s. He has his sister’s lips. He has little dimples in his hands. He has beautiful, long eyelashes. He has the cutest, chubbiest legs I’ve ever seen. His daddy, his two sisters, and I are absolutely, 100 percent in love with every perfect part of him, inside and out.
But if you asked a medical professional, they would tell you that my son was born with a birth defect called sagittal craniosynostosis.
What is craniosynostosis? Craniosynostosis is a birth defect in which one or more of the joints between the bones of an infant’s skull close too early. This defect happens before the infant’s brain fully forms, and causes an abnormally shaped skull. With craniosynostosis, the brain is unable to grow in its natural shape, and in some cases, is associated with an underlying brain abnormality. 1 in 2,500 babies are born with craniosynostosis. This birth defect requires surgery. My son had surgery at 3 months old with a three-day hospital stay. The absolute worst three days of my life. And now, he is doing helmet therapy ― he has to wear his helmet 23 hours a day for a minimum of three months.
When we brought our son’s head shape to our doctor’s attention at his two-month well check (you can read all about that here), I will never EVER forget what the doctor said. After taking a look at his head, she said, “Unfortunately, this is not normal. He will need surgery.” I have felt a thousand emotions through this whole process. I’ve felt at fault, I’ve felt sad and angry, I’ve felt guilty and depressed. My son isn’t normal? His head isn’t normal? This tiny, precious soul will have to undergo a surgery performed by a brain surgeon and plastic surgeon? What did he do to deserve this?
But the truth of the matter is, he did nothing. And he doesn’t deserve what he’s had to go through. No one does; kids who are diagnosed with cancer, kids who are sexually or physically abused, kids who are abandoned by their parents, kids who are born with deformities or mental disorders. No child (or human for that matter) asks for the hard stuff. But everyone goes through it. Everyone has something that is “different.” Because everyone is different... Different is normal. Everyone is normal.