Sunday, August 19, 2012

Full House

August 4th, 2012 marks the day that our family changed forever - as we were blessed to welcome our little boy into the world. At 5:15 a.m. William Robert Leschisin joined our family, weighing in at 8 lbs. 2 oz. and 19 inches long. We are officially a full house; 2 boys, 2 girls, 2 dogs, 1 cat and a fish.

We feel so blessed to be given this new little bundle of joy and more importantly the chance to really enjoy a new baby. Although my labor and delivery was similar to Ella's, the overall experience has been very different.

I didn't realize just how different the experiences could be until the moment they laid him on my chest. Everyone tells you about the immediate connection you have and how you're overcome with sheer joy and sadly we didn't have that with Ella.

Looking back I think we were just so scared - about becoming parents, an unplanned pregnancy, a baby with special circumstances, etc - that we weren't able to focus on the beauty of childbirth. They whisked her away to the NICU so fast that we barely had time to even hold her!

With Will there were no worries. For the most part, I didn't have a pregnancy filled with 3D ultrasounds and stress tests. I didn't spend 9 months wondering what people would think of my baby and the number of surgeries he'd require.

When they laid him on my chest - I was proud. Proud of myself, proud of our new little man and more importantly proud of the family we had built. I was overcome with emotion. We were lucky enough to get to just lay there with him. No doctors rushing in and out, no whisking away our baby - just us bonding with our little boy and no thoughts of anything else.

To no fault of her own, Ella was a very challenging baby - the cards were stacked against her. She was colicky and her cleft caused her to take in even more air. She cried for 6 straight hours every day. We had a million doctors appointments. I was doing it alone (Joe started a new job 6 days before she was born). We said numerous times that we weren't sure if we'd be able to handle having more kids. Everyone reassured us that things would be just fine and that children typically are very different from one another and that the second one could be our "easy one."

Even though Joe & I were convinced we weren't capable of producing a calm and quiet child - it turns out, so far those people were right. Will has been amazing. He rarely cries, eats well, sleeps well - the model of a perfect baby. Don't get me wrong, I'm appreciative (that's an understatement) but I also feel like I'm somehow cheating on Ella.

At the time I thought maybe our experience with Ella was normal (I had just pushed out a watermelon with no drugs) but, now that I have something to compare it to, I feel like both Ella and I were cheated. I love her just the same and have even more respect for all the things she has gone through but I wish that we had that immediate, worry-free time with her. I wish that my maternity leave could have been anything but painful for both of us.
Speaking of Ella, she couldn't be more proud of her baby brother. We have been pleasantly surprised by her reaction to him! She wants to hold him all the time and help in anyway that she can. Last week she wanted to take him to Show & Tell at daycare, so despite all the germs we obliged. She was so proud and beaming with joy, which made it all worth it for us!


  1. We are in the same situation you are. I was born with cleft lip and palate and so was our 7 year old that is experiencing much more complications that I ever had. But we decided to try and have another despite what we were facing and we were blessed w another baby girl who as your second one was blessed and not given the cleft at all. My 7 year old has came so far but I know the frustrations and all you have experienced and just the hurt of having to watch your baby girl go thru so much. Feel free to email me anytime at and we can talk. Where are you from?

  2. I have three children; Alaina 5 years old, Gavin 18 months old, and Melani 6 months old. The oldest of the two were born with Cleft Lip and Palate. I didn't plan on having any more children after the first 2. I didn't know if I could take the chance of having another child born with a life altering disability. I didn't want another child who would have to go through so much pain, so many surgeries. Only three months after my son was born, I became pregnant! Not only was I in shock, but I was anxiously waiting the day of the 3d ultrasound to see if in fact, my child would be born with a cleft. Just as I had been when my first daughter was born with a surprise cleft, I was shocked when they said my youngest was birth defect free!! She is now 6 months old and is sitting up by herself, crawling, and saying "mama". She only cries if shes hungry, and she surely IS my "easy" happy baby :) My oldest has been complication free for years now, and is starting school next week! My son is still experiencing a lot of issues due to his cleft, even though his surgeries are complete. It surely is a daily struggle, but you must keep faith that everything happens for a reason and all will be okay! My cleft affected children, Gavin & Alaina, have made me a million times stronger in every way possible. Looking back to when Alaina was born (5 years ago), I remember feeling as if I couldn't possibly make it through these tough times. Then My son was born, and I thought "Oh boy, here we go again with all the drs appts, etc...". But somehow with the birth of Melani, she has helped me put it all into perspective. God will never give us more than we can handle. If you ever want to talk, please e-mail me!

  3. Hi there, congratulations on your gorgeous little man and your "full house".

    I have 2 children, a boy (almost 5), and a girl (almost 2). My son was born with a complete bilateral cleft lip and palate. His pregnancy, birth, and everything thereafter has been full on, to say the least. My daughter was born without a cleft and i never thought raising a child would be so "easy" but she has been a dream baby and she is now almost 2.

    But my son is so precious to me, I wouldn't change a thing. His cleft makes him even more special <3