Monday 4 July 2011

20 week scan

I get a fair amount of hits to this blog from expectant mums and dads who Google '20 week scan' + whatever is bothering them...unsurprising, given the name of the blog, it's longevity and subject matter. However, there's so many other terms which go on the end of the '20 week scan' prefix and it's amazing to see the types of keyword people use (I can see this stuff in Google analytics). What's more surprising is the amount of spelling mistakes but that's another story.

Anyway, the last month has delivered me hits for everything from 'piers morgan cleft lip' and 'girlfriend with a cleft lip' to 'professor haers' and 'cleft lip blog' and it dawned on me, whilst viewing a set of sterile figures on a screen, that each search is by a human with a problem, a worry or in need of help. The internet is obviously a fantastic resource yet it often proves to be a very unhuman place for those most in need. I remember when we had Jake's cleft lip and possible cleft palate diagnosed, we headed straight for Google (against the nurse's better judgement) and did our own research...I forget what search terms we'd have used but I'm sure someone else analysed the terms we used in the same clinical fashion that I do for those typed in by others. But I remember what we went through, the worry, the questions, the sadness that our experience would be different from that of others and how it totally changed our world for a time. I remember my dad always saying that all would be fine and after a while the worry and concern would be a thing of the past and of course it is, but I'd never belittle it...I'll always remember how we felt and I hope that when people find this blog, they'll see that I can 100% empathise with how they're feeling right now, before their journey starts but also that, having come out the other side, things will get easier and the memory turns into well, just a memory albeit no less significant.

As Jake hurtles towards his third birthday (which actually makes this blog three years old - and still going!), we barely notice his lip, well we can tell there's been some history there, but it's just a part of his face; similarly we don't remark about how perfect his ears are as they're just his ears...I'm not really sure what I'm saying as there's two parts, 1. objectively looking at him (and you have really do it in the mirror so you can see him from a different angle), I can't see anything wrong, he's a healthy, handsome and happy little boy with a small scar on his lip but 2. kids can be cruel and soon enough he'll have to fight his corner when the playground bully decides it's Jake's turn for some abuse. The stats on self image and kids born with clefts are pretty good and I think it's because they're in the system (in the UK at least) from day one, so they will be assessed throughout their childhood, and part of that assessment is how they seem themselves and how to deal with anyone ignorant enough to pick on them. Jake will be teased just like others will be teased and he'll be teased about stuff other than the scar on his lip in all liklihood...and as his dad I'd be just as angry and upset for him, if he were teased about his hair or anything else, it's just that I don't want anyone to be nasty to him about anything, ever for the rest of his life because I love him, not because he was born with a cleft.

Anyway, this is all a bit rambling but if you've got to the bottom of it having searched for '20 week scan...+ whatever's on your mind, you should know that whilst things seem impossible to deal with right now, as time goes by and you go through some tough situations and emotions, there is another side to it which allows you to also enjoy the present whilst knowing the future will take care of itself.

1 comment:

Cleft lip and palate surgery said...

Hope Jake grows to be the healthy, handsome and happy little boy he already is. All the best.