When little Bella was born, Eliza Bahneman and her husband’s lives changed forever.
It was a surprise that Bella arrived a few weeks early. When they saw her they were terrified of the life ahead…
When they found out Eliza was pregnant they were ecstatic! They tried for 9 months, and it finally happend. Eliza was getting anxious and nervous. It’s crazy how many emotions women feel when they plan to have children.
She had an easy pregnancy, and finally time came to go into labour. However, she went into labour 5 weeks early.
Little Bella weighted weighted about 5 and a half pounds. Upon her arrival, Eliza noticed a really small folded ear on her baby, but thought that nothing is wrong, since babies have been folded in the stomach for 9 months.
She was smiling and anxiously waiting to hold her baby, but realized that something was not right. She thought: ‘Why isn’t anyone congratulating me? Why is my husband so confused and scared? Why can’t my mom look at me? Why did my doctor step out? Why are all these other people coming into my room?’ My room was silent. No one said a word. The silence tore me apart, it broke me, shattered my heart. I broke down, shaking, scared, confused, and lost. Writing this moment breaks me. With a heavy heart, I revisit these memories and remember my daughter’s arrival was not celebrated.
Other specialists walked in and out writing down notes. ‘What is going on? What did I do wrong? Why are all these people invading our special moment?”
She finally got a good glimpse of Bella… she looked ‘different.’
She whispered in her ear that no matter what happens, she’ll be always there to protect her.
Her mom stayed back with her as she saw her husband and the baby leave the room. She thought: “Why us?”
Bella had to be examined closely with x-rays, exams and evaluations.
Bella’s syndrome was determined to be Treacher Collins, a rare genetic condition which affects the full development of the facial bones. This syndrome is present at birth and only 10% of the time can be detected via ultrasound.
Bella was born with hearing loss, microtia, small and recessed jaw, a small airway, and a hard cleft palate.
It was very tough to get accustomed to the new life with Bella. They went through all sorts of ups and downs, but Eliza reveals that she wouldn’t trade her little angel for anything in this world.
Bella is now 16 months old and has had three major inpatient surgeries and one outpatient surgery.
Most babies with Treacher Collins Syndrome have an average of 20 to 60 surgeries. Some have trachs to help them breathe but almost all of them have some sort of hearing loss.
Life can really kick us in the butt when we least expect it. It forces us to change, and almost always for the better. Eliza is so grateful to be able to provide LIFE to Bella, her little angel.
Eliza says: “Isabella has a huge support system, from friends, family, clients, and social media. With everyone on our journey, it has been easier to adjust to our normal.”
Thanks to Eliza Bahneman for this amazing and inspiring story! Please make sure to SHARE it with your Friends and Family on Facebook!