My Life : An Outpouring of Love

“I saw God today, and yesterday, and certainly the day before… He was there with the nurses and doctors who delivered our 2nd son, in my wife’s eyes when she held Robert for the first time, in our eldest sons playful laughter, in great-grams joy of holding yet another great grandson, in our family’s support and love and in an old friend that I was able to share some stories and laughs with. He’s here y’all, I swear! I saw God today.” – David Jeffcoat December 27, 2013


I love that even after being married for 5 years and together for almost 9 years I can still fall a little bit more in love with my husband.  He posted this to Facebook two days after we had our son Rob and my heart swelled as tears filled my eyes when I read it.  Since having Rob I’ve seen God working in small ways that have had great impact on us.  We were not expecting Rob to have a cleft lip, in fact because of my nephew’s cleft palate we had genetic screening and a level 2 ultrasound done to specifically check for a cleft.  They didn’t see it so it was a huge shock to hear on the operating table that our baby had a cleft.

We have struggled with how to tell people.  When people see him for the first time that don’t know do we say something or do we wait for them to ask?  When we posted the first photos on Facebook to share with everyone we wanted to just put it out there and keep a positive attitude.  I told David that I bet just like when we had our miscarriage when we told people we would start to hear stories from others that had gone through it.  I was right.  So many people have reached out, people who had a cleft or a family member who did.  They all have been so positive and reassuring for us.  It has truly been an outpouring of love and there are so many moments where I can say I saw God today.  The couple at church that stopped us after the service to tell us they just felt compelled to tell us their daughter had a cleft when she was born and everything would be okay, God was there.  The childhood friend of David’s that reached out to say she and Rob have more in common then just being awesome because she had a cleft as a baby and now you can barely tell, God was there.  The nurse at our pediatricians office who told us her youngest was born with a cleft and after surgery you can’t even tell.  All of those people were put into our paths for a reason, to help a set of scared parents know it will be alright and to answer our questions about surgery and recovery.

 They have all helped us and I’m so thankful for them.  Today I took a photo of Rob to put on Instagram and on a whim I searched for cleft in the hashtags and found #cleftcutie and #cleftstrong which led me to pages and pages of adorable babies all with clefts.  I had no idea that clefts were the most common birth defect with about 1 in 500 babies being born with one.  It all sounded so scary at the beginning but now it’s no big deal.  I’m proud to tag his photos with those hashtags and share my little guy with others.  I hope as we progress on this journey we can help other new parents see adorable photos of cleft babies and know that we are all #cleftstrong!

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    Miami newborn photographer

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    I'm Melissa! Luxury maternity and lifestyle newborn photographer in Charlottesville, sail boater, lover of Lilly Pulitzer, and obsessed with true crime and interior design. I'm so glad you found me!


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    Melissa Arlena is an award winning Richmond and Charlottesville photographer. She recently earned her Master Photographer Certification in the Maternity, Newborn & Family categories from the National Association of Professional Child Photographers. Melissa offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style.


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