On August 21, 2012 my husband and I welcomed our third child to this world. Leonardo Emanuel Juarez who was born at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Fl. Born at 3:06 p.m., 21 in. long, he was a healthy 9 lbs & 6 oz big baby boy! Throughout my pregnancy I had pain on my left side near my ribs, none of the doctors could figure out what was exactly causing the pain, and they did two separate ultrasounds to find out that I actually broke a rib..ouch! Nothing could really be done for this, and they told me it would have to heal on its own. Otherwise, there were no issues out of the ordinary for this pregnancy. When it came to my due date, well that was passing on soon enough that I ended up being induced. The induction went well started at 6 a.m. & nine hours later he arrived. During the delivery, though it was definitely a process in which I felt like another rib broke and come to find out I ended up all said and done with two broken ribs. Well, he was obviously a little more difficult to deliver from the way he was trying to come out (his chin tucked to his chest, & the back part of his head first). This is not a normal way to deliver a baby, as we know it should be the top part of the baby’s head first. The doctor didn’t get why I would push & something was tugging him back…well, come to find out the cord was wrapped around his neck as well, which wasn’t the main problem. Once Leonardo was fully delivered they told me the way he came out was different for sure. Of course overjoyed that he arrived the first thing every mommy does is check her newborn out thoroughly! In which I did. I came to ask (about the same time as my husband did) to the nurses & doctor of why he was extremely “cone headed” in the back of his head and not on the top? The staff even said that they never have seen that before. Most of the time babies are cone headed on the top, (from the trauma going through the birth canal), but it goes down. So, they told us it should go down as well, that it must be the same although it was in the back, but they will keep an eye on it. So, once we were discharged to go home the first follow up appointment (a week later) with his pediatrician went well in the beginning…everything checked out normal with eating, weight, etc.. Once, the doctor started to check for the “softspot” or fontanel is where I got the news. The doctor immediately said he needs to have an x-ray within the next couple days. He started explaining to me that he’s not diagnosing him due to he cannot just say that what he thinks he has until he gets the proof first, but he wanted to tell me what he thought was going on. He told me that he could not feel an open spot to have that proper growth in his skull/brain and there was a ridge that was going front to back making the Dr. believe it to be that his sagittal suture had prematurely fused together. My heart sank. My eyes teared up, and even to this day reminiscing about that day, I get overwhelmed with emotions, still. So, after he had that x-ray completed, sure enough the doctor was indeed correct. Leonardo was diagnosed with Sagittal Craniosynostosis. We basically were torn by this news. It’s so upsetting & unfortunate that all I could do was cry & think why? He is so little and I have no control over this but to help do whatever I can for him and pray hard. After being told that some people are out there in the world living with this craniosynostosis, I asked, “Okay, well, how are these people doing now?” Of course, not too many people truly know of someone and not much extensive research has been done on the prognosis of these individuals out there. So, I began to find a neurosurgeon in Sarasota (nearest to our home) & once I spoke with him, I was then referred to All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete, Fl. Got an appointment scheduled with a craniofacial surgeon & a neurosurgeon and both said he needed the surgery called a craniotomy the full cranial cap (since he was 6 months older to have the less invasive one done). They informed us that it in Leo’s case will be up to an 8 hour surgery if all goes well. They told us to go home and think about things & let them know when ready (it was a hard decision to think to have this surgery done, especially to be feeling like I wanted to say no and be selfish because of what was going to be performed on my baby) to go ahead with the surgery. We went ahead and scheduled it, went in on October 3rd, 2013 at 5 a.m. and meet the huge team of doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologist that would be in the O.R. with him. We did our best to stay positive & happy so he wasn’t nervous or feeling anything from us. I do say one of the hardest things that day was handing him over to a nurse and giving him hugs & kisses knowing we had to part and not knowing for how long or what his new head shape will look like or would he look the same. Sounds crazy, but a million thoughts go through your head in a blur at once. He didn’t cry, but could see us after the double doors shut and still going down the hall through a small window until no longer. That’s when it hit all of us that this is it. Surgery started at 7 a.m. with pre-op for about an hour from 6 to 7. So, at every half hour to an hour they would call to the waiting area to inform us that he was doing well, and we got a final call that he was finished at about 12 p.m., but didn’t get to go back until after he was recovered some at 2 p.m. If anyone were to look at him now, they would have no idea what his journey up till now consists of. The dead giveaway is his scar. Now his hair is growing back fairly quick that people who don’t know us will not notice. This entire journey has been long & although we will continue with the eye exams & multiple appointments I feel more than blessed with all the outpouring of love and support from all of our friends and family & that we were able to be guided to these miracle, doctors and that God took care of my son. I am so thankful that we are in a position that we were able to have this done for him, because some people unfortunately are dealing with this same thing and cannot have it taken care of. Leonardo is a great gift from God! He’s a happy, energetic, & on the go little boy!!!