A finalist in our Bonny Bairns competition is now recovering at home after surgery to repair his cleft lip and palate.
Four-month-old Stephen Finlay, who narrowly missed out on securing the title, had the operation at Yorkhill Children’s Hospital earlier this month.
Mum Laura Corbett (25) was told her her unborn child possibly had a cleft lip and palate at her 20-week scan.
Stephen is Laura’s fourth child – she already has five-year-old Nicole, four-year-old Amie and Leah who is one – but had never heard of the condition before.
She said: “During the scan they saw a shadow and said that it was possibly a cleft lip and palate.
“They then offered me a 4D scan so they could tell for sure. I’d never heard of it before and I Googled it when I got home and really scared myself.
“When I went for the 4D scan they had all the cleft team there and they explained everything to me.
“I was so worried, I couldn’t sleep. In fact I think that’s why he ended up being four weeks early because I was so stressed.
“I think I was more worried about not knowing what to expect.”
However, the reality of seeing her son for the first time when he was born on October 21 was nowhere near as frightening as Laura had feared.
She said: “It was hard for about 10 minutes, because I didn’t know how bad it was going to be – and his was really quite bad – but after that short time I forgot he even had it.”
When he first came home to Langlees where the family stay with Laura’s fiance, also Stephen Finlay (21), his oldest sister Nicole found his lip difficult to look at but she soon got used to the new addition.
Despite his problems, Stephen thrived, feeding from special ‘squeezy’ bottles to make it easier for him to take.
On February 1, he underwent an operation to repair his lip and part of his palate at Yorkhill.
Laura said: “It was really worrying having my baby going in for an operation. I was with him the whole time - it was a very long three hours!
“It has made a huge difference - he looks like a completely different baby.
“Seeing him for the first time when he came out of surgery though was heartbreaking.
“He was in high dependency and, when I went into see him, I saw a nurse holding a baby but walked past because I didn’t think it was Stephen because he looked so different.
‘‘It was hard because I could tell he was in pain but he has recovered so well.”
Stephen will undergo more surgery when he is around 11 months old to repair the rest of his palate, and will have a further operation when he is around eight when bone will be taken from his hip and put into his gum.