A new label.. Microcephaly

After two ultra sounds of Chiara’s brain, the tests came back clear. Everything looked okay and we held onto hope that all this meant for Chiara was she had a small head. Full stop. And she would develop perfectly, just as her big sister has…

However because her head circumference was below the 3rd percentile, she was classified as having Microcephaly, simply translated as “Small Head”. Why are they banging on about this small head business, I thought to myself???? Can’t they see she is thriving? Even though deep down I did sense some alarm bells, on the surface I hoped and prayed it was just an over-analysing situation on part of the hospital…

“Natalie, I just want to let you know there is a government body called BETTER START, it’s funding towards children that may need additional assistance. Chiara fits into this category, just due to the simple fact she has a small head. It’s approx $12,000 that is used for therapies. Chiara may function perfectly, so Im just letting you know this is availbale to you down the track. We can look at the applications next time, you may want to look at their website in the meantime”.

I went home an goggled TWO things:

Microcephaly and Better Start

Both of which led me through a labyrinth of websites.. my head started to spin….

  • speech pathologists,
  • audiologists,
  • occupational therapists,
  • physiotherapists,
  • psychologists,
  • orthoptists,
  • teachers of the deaf,
  • optometrists and
  • others.
  • Signs and symptoms of microcephaly may include a smaller than normal head circumference that usually remains smaller than normal as the child grows, dwarfism or short stature, delayed motor and speech functions, mental retardation, seizures, facial distortions, balance and coordination problems, and other brain-related or neurological problems; although some with the disorder may develop normal intelligence.

Apart from trying to focus on the texts though all the tears, I couldn’t take it in fast enough. I was desperate to learn as much as possible, yet the more I read, the more I would feel sick.. to my very core. What was happening to Chiara…

And then the straw that broke the camels back – the hard hitting text that my eyes could not move past were…

“In general, life expectancy for individuals with microcephaly is reduced and the prognosis for normal brain function is poor”

I can’t even put into words the sadness that struck through my heart…

I prayed.

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