Baby girl sees snow for the first time, after doctors said she'd never make it

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"My husband and I smiled at each other as if to say, 'This moment will forever be remembered.'" (Johanna Morton | Babble)

This story originally appeared on Babble and is reprinted with permission.

It was the day before Christmas Eve last year when Johanna Morton went in for the ultrasound that would change everything. At 12 weeks pregnant, Johanna thought the appointment would be "filled with happy tears and laughter." Instead, a terrible reality set in when the doctors found heart problems in her baby girl, telling Johanna: "You will miscarry."

"I left the office in tears and heartbroken," Johanna wrote in a post on the Love What Matters Facebook page. But her little girl was a fighter from the very beginning, and her little heart continued to beat, however slowly.

The doctors told Johanna and her husband Craig, "She's going to be stillborn. Save yourself the pain." But Johanna says, "I never gave ending the pregnancy a second thought, no matter how many times we were offered."

The Morton's little girl continued to fight, bringing joy when they passed the 28-week mark. At that point, Johanna said, "If she were to be born alive, she would at least have a percent chance of surviving even if just a few hours."

Image source: Johanna Morton

Their baby girl battled throughout a long and scary pregnancy, until she was born via C-section on June 14th at 37 weeks. Johanna told Babble that her husband chose her name, Clara Ray.

"We went back and forth between Claire and Clara. Clara, meaning bright or clear, seemed to fit more because if she lived or not, she was and is the brightest light in our life. 'Ray' is in honor of Craig's father. He's a great man of God and we both look up to him. We wanted her to carry on a legacy."

Image source: Johanna Morton

At just six days old, Clara Ray was brought to Boston Children's Hospital for her first open heart surgery. And finally, on July 21st, Johanna and Craig were able to bring their little girl home. And although there have been multiple hospital stays and diagnoses since then, one bright moment stood out for the new parents.

Johanna shared the amazing and heartwarming photos of little Clara Ray's excitement witnessing her very first snowfall.

"Seeing her smile and stare at the snow with wonder, gave me so many mixed emotions," Johanna told Babble. "I watched as she smiled and all I could think was this was the very moment we were told we wouldn't see! ... Time stood still. As if for a moment she wasn't sick. As if we never have to worry and cry over the possibility of saying goodbye way too soon. My husband and I smiled at each other as if to say, 'This moment will forever be remembered.'"

In just a couple days, Johanna's post on the Love What Matters page received over 109k likes, 6k shares, and 4k comments of love and support for the Morton family.

The moment of joy helped Johanna and Craig forget, at least for a moment, about the growing list of Clara Ray's diagnoses, including heart block, multiple congenital heart defects (CHDs), and Heterotaxy syndrome.

Image source: Johanna Morton

They've been warned by doctors that Clara Ray's heart may not grow with her, so they're cherishing every moment with her.

"CHD will always have an impact on her life. There is no cure. We will always thank God for another second, minute, hour ... day with her!"

The Morton family has already received so much help from their family and friends, and they couldn't be more thankful. They continue to pray for Clara Ray and ask for the support of others with their Facebook community "Prayers for Clara Ray."

You have all of our support, Johanna, Craig, and brave little Clara Ray.

h/t: Daily Mail

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