After a long, stressful and difficult labour nothing can prepare you to what to expect next. With emotions already heightened and myself still being worked on in theatre, you wait to hear for that one sound – the first cry to ensure you that your baby is safe and in this world. The one thing you don’t expect to hear from a nurse is, “Did you know that there is something wrong with her?” My heart sunk, I had yet to see my baby but hearing those words my heart just sank, and my mind going at a million miles an hour to think what’s wrong, what’s happened, did I do something….
It wasn’t until I was wheeled into recovery, with our daughter Jenna on my chest where I came to realise that the ‘issue’ was that her right ear was a little different. None of the midwives or nurses could tell us anything about her condition or what would happen next. All I could do was cry and think was this my fault?
It wasn’t until the day we were being discharged where someone from the ENT department came to see Jenna. As soon as she spotted her right ear she instantly reassured us with terminology of the condition and what the next steps were. After a 15 minute chat, the ENT Technician told us that she had an appointment booked with audiology two days later, she had already been assigned an ENT doctor, and that the hearing impaired team at SEN Support Services Oxford had been notified.
We had a visit from our SEN support after we got home and was told about Microtia UK, and that we could have a look at their website and Facebook pages. There were other people out there that have experiences and are going through the processes, and gave us additional support and advice, which helped us realise that her microtia isn’t an issue, but an opportunity to show that while there maybe some challenges, stigma or even questions, that we know what to expect as well as being super informative.
The hardest challenge for us was to explain the condition to family, especially the younger ones, who were more straight to the point when noticing it, and for them to not feel embarrassed to ask anything, or even forgetting that she can’t hear out of that side when talking to her.
Thanks to Microtia UK we are not alone and the wonderful support that they offer, we feel so much positivity for her future now.