A couple of weeks ago, Charlotte Halliday and her husband Darren, from Australia, were eagerly awaiting the arrival of their gorgeous first child.


All of the couple's previous scans had gone very well and their baby boy wasn’t showing any signs of complications.


“I had additional growth scans because I had a gastric sleeve which meant my baby was on the small side,” Charlotte explained.


Other than the fact that her baby boy was smaller than average, Charlotte's doctors did not see any other issues with the tot. 


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At 37 weeks, Charlotte was induced, and welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world: “He was placed on my chest, but he was facing away from me. I couldn’t see him properly, but everyone else could,” Charlotte told Kidspot


“The looks on their faces told me straight away that something was wrong,” she continued, explaining what happened next. 


The new mum explained that she was "completely shocked" when she saw her gorgeous baby, who was taken from her almost immediately for testing. 


Ultimately, Charlotte and Darren learned that their infant son, Charlie, had a cleft lip and palate - which a birth defect that arises in the early stages of pregnancy, where the foetus's mouth does not form correctly. 


The parents learned that their son would need a number of surgeries to reconstruct his mouth - which naturally upset them greatly. 


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Thankfully, cleft palate aside, baby Charlie was perfectly healthy, “I got used to the way he looked straight away, ” Charlotte said.


“To me he’s perfect, he’s just Charlie. My main worry was how other people were going to respond when they saw him. I was worried they were going to be negative, I was worried they were going to judge me and think I’d caused it somehow.”


Charlotte explained what her experience taught her, saying that “The one thing I’ve learnt from all this is that you should always expect the unexpected in pregnancy and in life."


“You can’t know for sure what your outcomes will be, but I’ve learnt to have a more open mind and accept things as they are.


“I wouldn’t change a thing now, he’s perfect.” - we could not agree more.