Sunday, 24 April 2011

A few key points

The next big post I will write will be about what happened next and the path that lead us to the surgery in America. 
A few key points: once we get the ok from the tax office I will put up donations/fundraising account information up - with direct deposit and paypal options. We have an account set up, however it is just a regular bank account with no way of us giving receipts for tax purposes. If you are interested in donating anyway, message me for the details.
Once we have the account ready to go, our first fundraiser will be a chocolate drive, those interested in selling chocolates for us, please message me, or email me at
The next fundraiser organised is an auction dinner, if you are interested in donating to the auction please email my sister Jess as she is organizing it. Her email is Any donations to be auctioned will be extremely appreciated. We will be hosting this event in either september or october this year. I will update further when I know more details. 
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share this link with your friends, family and co-workers, the more support we have, the better. 
Those wishing to read more about microtia and atresia, here are some useful websites:
Amy and Jose

Pregnancy and Delivery

WARNING: this is a LONG post:
We found out that I was pregnant with Aaliyah in the emergency department. Basically that whole afternoon/evening I had been feeling nauseated and right lower quadrant pain, being a nurse I self diagnosed myself with appendicitis and Jose and Mum decided that a trip to the ED was in order, as it was a saturday night and my doctors office was closed. 
Long story short, they took blood, said that I was indeed pregnant but my hormone levels were extremely low indicating ectopic pregnancy or impending miscarriage. Not exactly how I pictured finding out we were having a baby. I even had a scan that showed nothing. I was sent home to rest and come back in a few days to recheck the levels etc.  
Needless to say, I didnt lose her. However the pregnancy wasnt without drama, I had more bleeds than I care to count and the morning sickness was never ending. I ended up 8kgs lighter full term than prepregnancy!!! oh and her due date.. christmas day!!! I had several scans throughout the pregnancy, everything came back beautifully. She was growing well and no abnormalities were detected, we were over the moon!
Fast forward to 19th December. I was woken in the night by pains, nothing too severe just annoying period like cramps, so first thing in the morning, we trapeze up the the hospital to see whats going on. Yes, you are in labor, come back when your contractions are 3-5 mins apart (at this stage they were10-20 mins apart). They said I would most likely have my baby that evening or the next morning at the latest! yes, this is it!!! our baby girl is coming!! we went home and everyone took turns babysitting me in between finishing up last minute christmas shopping!! Determined to get this labor over and done with I went walking with Jess and went on the wii fit. Finally sunday 20th at 11:00pm I had had enough!! my contractions weren’t getting any closer and I was getting tired so we heading back to the hospital. 
After waiting FOREVER to get my room and an epidural things were finally happening! I started to push, they showed me through the mirror, we all commented at how much hair she had. It was exciting! Then, there were a million people in the room, the color drained from my mums face and everything happened very quickly. I was so tired from being awake for 60 hours that I didnt really realise what was going on. I remember the nurse telling me she was going to give me a cut to help get the baby out. I remember being confused. Why didnt Jose get to cut the cord? why wasnt my baby crying? why were there so many people in the room? Why does jose look like he is about to pass out? why isnt my mum taking photos? That day will always be remembered as the best and the worst day of my life.
Aaliyah Emily Isabella came into the world at 12:50pm on Monday 21st December weighing 5p9 , not screaming and pink like I had envisioned but grey and silent. We only know the time because my mum had enough sense to look at the clock. Her apgar was a 1. She had passed her meconium and gone into distress. By the time she was born she wasnt breathing and barely had a pulse. They revived her, gave her to me for a 30 second cuddle and sent her straight to special care.
I sent Jose to follow her, whilst they stitched me up. I had 3rd degree tears, it took over 2 hours and over 200 stitches. I was also passing in and out of conciousness. When Jose came back from the nursery I was expecting to hear that all was well.
Jose put his hands into the isolette to touch her and to fix her beanie up as her ear was squished. He then went to do it to the otherside, but her ear wasnt squished, that was how her ear was.
He reported that they were worried about her ear, her kidneys and her ability to maintain her temperature. huh??? my baby was supposed to be perfect….
our hospital stay was an interesting one. Aaliyah spent just over 24hrs in special care. No one could explain to us what was wrong with her, only to expect multiple issues. We asked if she would get the newborn hearing screen but they would not do it, saying that it was obvious she had a deficit and would be referred straight to the audiologist. Still no one could give us a name for what was wrong. It was a frustrating time, I was still sick from the delivery and here we were about to take home a baby with a condition no one could explain to us

Microtia Surgery/Dr. Reinisch “Plastic Surgery: Before & After” Discovery Health (by aroljahns)
This is the surgeon that will be performing PART of Aaliyahs surgery

Just like Nemo

Many of you would have seen the popular childrens film, Finding Nemo. Its about a fish with a “lucky” fin. Well our little princess Aaliyah was born with a “lucky” ear. A congenital birth defect called Microtia with Atresia. Basically she has a little ear with the absence of an external canal. In order to “fix” her ear she will need an operation in Palo Alto, California, USA when she is approximately 3 years of age (she is now 15months). However, this surgery comes with a decent price tag currently $65,000 USD plus travel expenses. 
My aim with this blog is to bring awareness into Aaliyahs condition, to explain the surgery and how we came to the decision, how it all began and how we are going (fundraising opportunities, booking the surgery, hearing tests etc).
My next post will be a long one, explaining my pregnancy, Aaliyah’s delivery and those first few months. 
I will add videos of the surgery/surgeons as well as direct links and information regarding her condition. I just need to figure out how to work it all our.