After giving birth to her baby, a mother could not figure out what was happening as the room fell into complete dead, anxious silence. She was beyond terrified at what words would break the quiet atmosphere.
In 2018, after 9 months of trying to conceive, 36-year-old Eliza Jamkochian Bahneman and her husband, 41-year-old Erik, were thrilled to find out they were having a baby!
Bahneman was beyond ecstatic, sharing her pregnancy journey with some of her friends and both her sister and sister-in-law. They were all simultaneously with children and had close due dates. The mom-to-be couldn’t wait for her miracle newborn to make its way into this beautiful world.
EARLY TO THE PARTY
The baby girl did, of course, eventually choose to leave the safe space of her mother’s womb, a month earlier than anticipated. In October 2018, Isabella, or “Bella,” was officially born.
This newborn was birthed at 5½ lb after a total of 12 hours of intensive labor. However, what was meant to be an exuberant moment quickly faded.
A TERRIFYING HUSH
Bahneman noticed a dark silence as whispers washed over the room, leaving her disconcerted. Looking back at the moment, she expressed:
“‘Why isn’t anyone congratulating me? Why is my husband so confused and scared? Why can’t my mom look at me?”
Bella was then taken to the NICU, and after many tests and evaluations, the newborn was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Treacher Collins. This causes the facial bones not to develop properly.
A TINY SOLDIER
Due to this, Isabella was born with many issues, such as loss of hearing and a small airway. So began the rocky road consisting of surgeries and having to rush to the hospital due to emergencies.
Bella had to attend many forms of therapy. This included music classes for her loss of hearing, speech as well as occupational therapy.
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Two years on and it appeared that Isabella was still growing strong. Nevertheless, this 2-year-old was now also facing adverse social reactions due to her condition, with people judging her based on how she looked. However, the mom said:
“We are all born with differences and some are more visible than others. The world would not be so colorful if everyone was the same.”
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The mother wants to keep raising awareness and educating the public on the Treacher Collins disorder. Overall, Bahneman wants to inspire others to be kind to those who have this condition. After all, this is all anyone should do when they meet someone unique yet beautiful.
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