On July 15th, 2008 we had Ella's first ultrasound where we learned that she would be born with a cleft lip and palate. That was almost 4 years ago and even though the 2010 Census showed that almost 235,000 people live in Madison Wisconsin - we have yet to meet another parent or cleft kid in the area. I can't count how many times we have felt like the first people to have a child born with a cleft lip and palate.
Tonight that all changed. Holy Hannah - there are other people born with cleft lip and palate! A while back I was fortunate enough to connect via Cleft Awareness with another mom (Nicole) here in Madison who's first born son, now almost 9 years old, was also born with a cleft lip and palate. I was super pumped and hoped to line up a time that we would be able to meet in person.
It just so happens that not only does Nicole have a cleft child, but she is also a rockstar photographer. So when she contacted me earlier this week to see if we would be interested in having Ella's photos taken - we jumped at the chance. Not only am I crazy about photos, but I love her work and I was really excited to meet her.
She is one of those people that you feel like you know, yet you have never met. I could tell that I would like her just from following her on social media. Making new friends since having Ella has been a bit challenging. Don't get me wrong - we have lots of great friends that we love dearly, but it would be nice to have more friends who are able to relate to having children. Most parents we know - through daycare, swim lessons, dance class, work, etc. - typically have different interests and parenting styles than we do making it hard.
Even though tonight's photo session was rather impromptu the meeting was very natural and I felt like we hit it off right away. She is super chill and her boys (she has 3) were awesome! Ella was kind of a mess and refused to let me fix her hair, but the photos turned out great. Thank you Nicole Hansen Photography and hope to connect again soon!