Native New Yorker, University of Virginia graduate, runner, and sometimes stand-up performer.
Johanna and Craig Morton were excited to welcome their little girl, Clara Ray, into the world. They had no idea they would be given devastating news regarding the unborn child’s condition.
Doctors told the parents the little girl would not survive because of a heart condition and other birth defects such as congenital heart disease (CHD) and heterotaxy syndrome. The Mortons were warned that Johanna would miscarry, and Clara Ray would be stillborn. If she miraculously survived birth, the baby would only live for a few months, but not long enough to see her first snowfall.
The parents braced themselves for bad news at every ultrasound. But finally, Clara Ray was born via C-section, miraculously surviving, even with such a slow heartbeat.
It was still an uphill battle for the family, as the baby required operations and multiple procedures to keep her alive. But at 5 months old, her parents are celebrating a major milestone: Recently, the baby did what her doctors said would never happen.
Clara Ray saw her first snowfall over the holiday weekend. She couldn’t help but break into a huge smile at the sight!
“December 23rd 2015. I went in for an ultrasound and what we thought was going to be a day filled with happy tears and laughter, that day did not turn out as planned,” Johanna writes in a Facebook post.
I was 12 weeks gestation when we were told something was wrong with my baby’s heart. I was told she will not survive. “You will miscarry.” I left the office in tears and heart broken. My baby fought her way to 18 weeks as her heart beat slower and slower. With each new appointment seemed to come another diagnosis, another heartbreak and a waterfall of tears.
I was told “She’s going to be still born, Save yourself the pain.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if you come back next week, and have her still born.” There was little to no hope for my baby.