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a year ago today 9th October 2018

I said this blog would be from the heart. One year ago today Hollie had stage 1 reconstruction. I have felt really emotional and if I’m honest the passed year has been a struggle with going back and forth from the London Royal Free Hospital. I remember this time last year so much.

I’m sat here so emotional tears running down my face because it was such an emotional journey. I remember being in hospital and feeling like we were on our own.We were not we had lots of support. For a while after I just felt so emotionally drained. I was not myself and it was tough for me. I never realised just ho much it would effect me. I just wanted to share with you that no matter how much you prepare yourself it’s hard,emotional and it’s ok to feel and ask for help. I’ve had a cry today because it all came back. All the memories and the photos.

Everyday I look at Hollie and I feel very lucky to have a brace beautiful daughter.

Reading services on our way to London.Evie Said cheer up Hollie were going on an adventure x
Hollie in recovery straight after surgery xx

Into the unknown

I want to start this with you are not alone in your microtia journey with your children. You are enough and you will be and are an awesome parent.

In my mind I’m thinking what do you mean no ear ? oh well she’s my baby she perfect the way she is. Then I thought was it my fault what did I do wrong? Do you know what I didn’t do anything wrong. I done everything expected in my pregnancy.
We don’t know the cause of microtia, my personal opinion is that it is hereditary. Why do I think this ? because both my girls have microtia and a few of my family members have what I call noddy ears which stick out and are big. I know thats not the right term or very politically correct but this blog is from the heart I will write it how I feel is appropriate.

Here we are thrown right into the deep end I have no clue what to expect or what to do. Can my baby hear me? Will she be ok in school? Will she be bullied? what will people think? These are just some of the questions I’m thinking.

Day 1 of being a mummy and I have just found out my baby has no right ear- how do I feel? I feel so scared, numb worried, anxious I should be enjoying my baby but I need to process this, how can I process it where do I go? who do I see ? My microtia mummy’s is this how you felt or feel ? if you did or do, do not be upset or ashamed it’s natural you are worrying for your baby.

The paediatrition comes in and says we need to do some tests on Hollie, they check her kidneys because sometimes microtia can effect the kidneys because they form at the same time as the ears. The tests come back normal but it hits home and I think that one ear, that isnt formed properly can effect so much. Did you know that the ears shape your face? they are inline with the jaw line. On Hollie’s microtia side her jawline is different to the left side.
The hospital explain that I need to take hollie for some hearing tests. I will be honest with you I have no clue what they are on about everything is a blur and quite honestly I don’t understand anything they are saying. Excuse the pun but it’s literally going in one ear and out the other.
I’m a sleep deprived new mum, and I’m like what is microtia? In 2007 we never had the microtia website and facebook was just taking off. I wish they gave me a pack or a leaflet about it but we had nothing and I just remember feeling alone and not knowing what to do. I was so lucky to have a beautiful baby girl but I was so scared and vulnerable and way out of my comfort zone. I look back now and it’s just a blur. after 2 nights were discharged and I remember thinking what’s next I just didn’t know what was going to happen.

If you are a parent with a child who has microtia look on the microtia website, microtia facebook page is awesome to. check out the National children’s deaf society they will give you advice. Never be afraid to ask questions.

I have added a photo of Hollie when she is a bit older to show you what I mean about the Jawline. Hollie is beautiful and I’m so proud of her.

tune in for the next blog coming home x

our pregnancy and labour

my pregnancy and birth x

We found out I was pregnant in April 2007. Wow what a surprise it was totally unexpected but definitely a wanted baby.
I remember the walk to the doctors and I bumped into my mum of all people. Our conversation went like this.
Mum ‘where are you going ?’
Me ‘ummmmm to the doctors I’ve got a sickness bug’
Mum ‘why is glyn with you?’
Me ‘got to go byee’
then my mum proceeds to shout it out ‘YOUR PREGNANT ARENT YOU ‘
well you know the monkey emoji with the hands on his head that was me thinking get me out of here.

I go to doctors and it is confirmed were expecting a gorgeous beautiful baby.
I phone my mum we get the family together and tell them. My mum was like told you so.

We got our scan through how exciting. I didn’t know how far along I would be so we were given an early scan. when I went down it was lovely seeing a little heart beat on the screen was just awesome the best feeling in the world and I got my due date 24/12/2007. I was like fresh start happy new year to us.

At my 20 week scan wowzers is all I can say I saw my beautiful baby girl. Everything was normal no mention of Microtia. She was healthy little baby. My pregnancy wasnt easy. I had awful morning sickness and I suffered with depression and was one day happy about being a mummy and the next I was anxious scared and worried. The thoughts of am I enough will I be any good, what if I let my daughter down.

Roll on 20 weeks and it’s the 24th December my due date. Woke up thinking is this the day ? I had to go to Asda to get the last of the xmas things and I’m having contractions in the middle of Asda. I’m like shit what do I do, luckily my mum was with me and we just paid and left. My mum doesn’t drive so I had to drive home while having the contractions. I went home and rested and then they stopped. Christmas was nice, quiet family time just waiting for our arrival. Friday 28th December I went to see the midwife and because I was over my due date she gave me a stretch and sweep for those who don’t know what it is, I will tell you, it is when the midwife goes internally and sweeps the membrane away to help the baby make an appearance.

Of I go home and 24 hours later I am in labour and it hurts. We call the maternity ward they tell us to come in. My brother picks us up and we rush to get out the door. We get to maternity and Glyn my awesome partner who I’m still with 12 years later has decided he forgot his tobacco and left it in the flat – what a Plonker the only thing he needed to remember – the rest was packed by my fair hands. – mental note taken next time I will bring spare tobacco. It 10.30 PM in southmead and the area has no shops unless you walk about 30 minutes. I said Glyn go get tobacco because you need it and I will be ok here for an hour. He leaves to get tobacco and I’m on my own. While Glyn is on his jollys I’m having internal examination and find out I’m 2 cm dilated and my Waters have part broken – who knew about having two separate set of waters I did wonder why my clothes were a bit damp. They proceed to break my water with what I call a knitting needle – of course that’s not what it’s called. It feels so weird when your waters break a pop and a gush of water later.

I’m now thinking yay my Waters have broken so it wont be long now little did I know. suddenly I realise where’s Glyn ? he should be here by now it’s been almost 2 hours and its 1am. I try calling his mobile which he has left in the hospital. 2 hrs 30 minutes and glyn has finally got back to the hospital, he couldn’t find a shop after walking around Southmead for nearly 2hrs, so he ended up getting a taxi to stop and he literally refused to move until the taxi listened to him. Fairplay to the taxi driver he took him and dropped him back to the hospital.

When Glyn arrives at the hospital my contractions are coming thick and fast I’m on the dreaded drip to help them along because Hollie has pooped meconiun and eaten it. whenever I contract her heart rate goes down. I have asked for my mum to come down and now were all waiting to see what happens. after a while at 4am I get my epidural and the doctor decides Hollie’s way to stressed so we are going down for an emergency cesarean section.

I say bye to mum, Glyn gets gowned up and I’m way to out if it not really understanding what’s happening. I just hope my baby is ok. We go to theatre they prep me and glyn can see the whole operation which is reflected in the light above us.

At 5.36 am Hollie May Patricia Lynn Williams is born into the world on the 30/12/2007 how lucky were we. Hollie is examined and then a nurse says oooooh shes born without an ear, did you know ?

What Is microtia?

Microtia is a congenital deformity where the pinna (external ear) is underdeveloped. A completely undeveloped pinna is referred to as anotia. Anotia (“no ear”) describes a rare congenital deformity that involves the complete absence of the pinna, the outer projected portion of the ear, and narrowing or absence of the ear canal. Hollie has Microtia Atresia   Atresia is a condition in which an orifice or passage in the body is (usually abnormally) closed or absent  Because microtia and anotia have the same origin, it can be referred to as microtia-anotia. Microtia can be unilateral (one side only) or bilateral (affecting both sides). Hollie and Evie have unilateral.

Microtia occurs in 1 out of about 8,000–10,000 births. In unilateral microtia, the right ear is most commonly affected. It may occur as a complication of taking Accutane (isotretinoin) during pregnancy. This is a tablet for Acne – I have never taken this drug we believe that the girls is hereditary. There are four grades of microtia:

  • Grade I: A less than complete development of the external ear with identifiable structures and a small but present external ear canal Evie has Grade 1
  • Grade II: A partially developed ear (usually the top portion is underdeveloped) with a closed stenotic external ear canal producing a conductive hearing loss.
  • Grade III: Absence of the external ear with a small peanut-like vestige structure and an absence of the external ear canal and ear drum. Grade III microtia is the most common form of microtia. Hollie has Grade 3
  • Grade IV: Absence of the total ear or anotiae

I have uploaded two pictures of the girls, Hollie when she was about 8 years and Evie as a baby. As you can see Evie has one ear bigger than the other and she has a noddy ear (I know its not called a noddy ear but that’s how I describe it) I still laugh about because I think its cute. My family mean the absolute world to me and I am so so proud of my girls. They are courageous and just awesome.

All About us my family

Hello everyone my name is Tanya and I live with my partner Glyn and two wonderful girls Hollie 11 and Evie 6 and Dotty the cat. I am a Nursery Nurse and Glyn is a warehouse manager. We are just an ordinary 2.4 children family.

In 2007 Hollie was born without an ear on her right side and in 2013 Evie was born with one ear bigger than the other. Both girls can only hear through bone conduction on their right side. Did you know 1 in 8000-10000 Children are born with Microtia and I have two girls born with it, Crazy right my girls are so special.

This blog will come straight from the heart because I want to share with you all about our journey straight from birth. There will be laughs and tears along the way. I want to raise awareness of Microtia and speech and language problems that arise from children who cannot hear. If you know me, you know that my grammar, spelling isn’t that great and that im 100% honest with everyone. I am not politically correct and I say it how it is. If you have any questions please ask them and I will do my best to answer them for you.

In the mean time please enjoy our story and share it with as many people as possible. I will be sharing our journey from Hollies birth right until now.

our family we love Bristol City xx