Having a new baby is a very emotional experience. Having to also come to terms with your baby having microtia at this time can be quite difficult. This may be a challenging time for you, and you will probably feel a mixture of emotions. Parents of children with this condition often feel shock, denial, grief, self blame and even anger. It is ok to feel any or all of these emotions. Many parents of new babies with microtia have expressed feeling this way. It is also normal to grieve for the “perfect” baby you expected.
The purpose of this information is to let you know that you are not alone. As rare as microtia is here in Australia, there are other parents out there who also have children with microtia. Hopefully you will find this comforting. Thankfully, many of these parents are happy to share their experiences.
Spend a little time considering what you think will make you feel better. Are you looking for information and answers to your questions, do you need to express your emotions, do you want to talk to another parent of a child who has microtia, or do you just need some quiet time to reflect on everything?
Some suggestions from other parents –
• You need time to work through all the emotions you are feeling. Please know that there are other parents who have felt the very same way you are feeling and that understand the emotions you are feeling.
• Talk about your feelings, fears and concerns with your partner, a family member or close friend. It may help you feel better to talk about these things.
• Don’t blame yourself – there is nothing that you did or didn’t do that caused your child’s microtia.
• It is hard to not focus on the things that are different about your child, but try to concentrate on everything that is wonderful about your beautiful new baby.
• Learn as much as you can about microtia. It is amazing how much you will learn in a small amount of time.
• Become an advocate for your child. This means, educate yourself about this condition and speak up for whatever you feel is in your child’s best interests.
As your baby grows up and their personality develops, you will be so in awe of all that they do, say and achieve, that at times you will actually forget about microtia. In fact, everything will seem even more special because they have microtia.
I would encourage you to join the Australian Microtia & Atresia support group on Facebook and the Australian Microtia Support Group (Yahoo group). Here you can make contact with other Australian parents who are going through or have been through the things you will go through. They can provide you with a wealth of information and experience as well as always being there if you just need to chat.