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I want to explain this but I can't; baby's appearance permanently changed

(64 Posts)
HypnoticButton Sun 28-Feb-16 11:36:50

I apologise if this is not the correct place to post.

I know how I should be feeling and the things I should be saying but it's hard.

I posted a while back about an accident my baby had that was going to potentially permanently change her. At the time it was all a bit of a blur, hospital appointment and surgery. Plenty to focus on and occupy my mind and I didn't allow myself to get too sad.

Now this has all settled down and reality is setting in.

I want to make it clear I do not love my baby less, if anything I love her more. But.. She has gone from complete and utter perfection to slightly less so. I know that sounds awful.

I worry that I caused this by being so proud of her. Honestly it's hard to explain. DC1 was perfect to us but was definitely not a pretty baby, very [Word removed by MNHQ as it's disablist. OP has also requested removal] like!! He has grown into a gorgeous child though, so it's not like I'm blinded by my own children.

DC2 was born a complete beauty and has remained that way. Every aspect of her appearance, temperament was perfect. Ate well, slept well, so pleasant and easy going. Couldn't have been more different to dc1.

I'm rambling here..

The accident has resulted in my baby losing part of her finger. All bandages are off now and I have to face reality. It's really noticeable looking. I've newborn pictures of '10 perfect fingers, 10'perfect toes' but that's not how it is anymore.

I worry that people will look at my baby and feel sorry for her.

I worry that she will be teased at school.

I worry that she will struggle with confidence.

I'm determined to instil inner confidence in her and not allow her to be held back by this injury but at the back of my mind I worry.

This post makes no sense. The accident was caused by a door closing on her hand. It was so traumatic at the time; I've no right to feel traumatised as it wasn't me who was hurt sad

It's all very recent and early days, maybe I'll feel better in time?

I want someone to look at her finger and tell me honestly how they feel about it and how awful it looks? I don't think people will be honest with me in RL.

On the plus side, it doesn't seem to bother my dd at all. She continuing on as normal, I don't really think she notices.

BiscuitMillionaire Sun 28-Feb-16 11:44:15

You need to go to counselling to deal with this. flowers

Not to minimise your feelings, but this is a very slight disability compared with many people who go on to have perfectly 'normal' lives.

I think the trauma of the experience has hit you and you need real life help from a therapist/counsellor.

SugarDiabetes Sun 28-Feb-16 11:45:59

All of our babies are perfectly imperfect.
My DS has a proper good set of ears on him. DD has a huge chin.

My DF has a missing finger following an accident.

I have had a breast removed.

We are all (including your DD) no less, and no more, than we were.

Congratulations on having two healthy and happy DCs. smilestar

Noeuf Sun 28-Feb-16 11:47:54

Well not only is it a slight disfigurement but a permanent reminder of the accident? Maybe you feel guilty and need to work through this?
As she gets older I would think it will be one of those things people notice but don't really comment or pick up on. My ds has a scar from a fall on his face and I was really upset about it - now it's a childhood battle wound!

DaphneWhitethigh Sun 28-Feb-16 11:48:39

I agree, you need some kind of counselling to deal with these feelings because your reaction to such a minor imperfection is utterly disproportionate. I'm guessing that it may be a reaction to the trauma and guilt of seeing your baby in pain.

spanky2 Sun 28-Feb-16 11:51:03

You might have post traumatic stress disorder. I felt like an awful mother because ds1 has chicken pox scars on his cheek. His perfect skin was blemished forever. I didn't know at the time that I felt like this as I needed help to cope with my abusive childhood. I feel that your reaction to your dds looks is to do with you rather than her. It was an accident.

TeaOnEverest Sun 28-Feb-16 11:51:16

Wow, I really think Biscuit is right. I thought it was going to be a severe facial injury, but a bit of her finger? It's not a nice thing to happen, but it's not going to affect her life in any way.

It sounds like it's the incident itself you are having trouble coming to terms with. Is it perhaps guilt because you weren't there?

Honestly, my daughter has a physical difference that could potentially lead to serious health issues if not monitored, plus low self esteem, as it is noticeable and may affect the clothes etc she feels able to wear in the future. Though if I'm honest, she's as healthy as a horse, and we all forget about it most of the time. I certainly have never thought of her as less than perfect as a result

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Sun 28-Feb-16 11:51:39

I think when you see her damaged finger all your feelings of horror and trauma come to the surface. It reminds you of a horrible accident. I'm sure those feelings will fade quite quickly and it will just be part of her.
Be kind to yourself.

TwoMag314s Sun 28-Feb-16 11:52:43

That's so sad. I know somebody who lost half a finger and I don't think it has effected her confidence in the slightest. She is exactly herself. I can't imagine she'd be any different with an extra piece of finger!

HypnoticButton Sun 28-Feb-16 11:54:10

Yes I do feel guilty and that I shouldn't have these feelings because it isn't a significant enough injury.

phequer Sun 28-Feb-16 11:54:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BadDoGooder Sun 28-Feb-16 11:58:34

My brother shut his finger in the patio door when he was 3 or so.
He lost the top joint from his middle finger.
Hardly anyone ever noticed, and the kids who did certainly didn't take the piss, in fact all DBs friends thought it was great, in that way that kids are fascinated by that stuff.
He is now a fantastic guitar and piano player, so it clearly didn't affect him physically!

I think you need to speak to someone about your feelings, as this is a really minor thing. I once caught DS in the face with a piece of jewellery, it left a tiny scar that he will have all his life, but it's fine, no one is perfect and everyone has accidents.
I think you need to explore your feelings around the accident, and why you feel so guilty. flowers

CiderwithBuda Sun 28-Feb-16 11:58:45

I know someone who is missing the tip of a finger. I knew him as an adult for ages before I even noticed. I have no idea how it happened as it just never came up in conversation. He never mentioned it and neither did I nor anyone else who knew him And without being a complete bitch he wasn't overly popular with some people we knew so certain things were commented on negatively but the finger was never mentioned as I think a lot of people just never noticed it.

ShinyShinyShiny Sun 28-Feb-16 11:59:15

I completely understand how you feel. Yes, logically there are far worse things that could happen and people with far greater physical scars, but this isn't about logic. This is about your child and dealing with what happened.

DS lost his right eye to cancer when he was 8 months old. He's now 2 and his artificial eye is pretty good but straight after the operation it was terrible and I really struggled with how people reacted to his appearance. I still worry about school and bullying and how it might affect his confidence in the future. I know I should focus on the fact he is free of cancer but it's so hard.

Fugghetaboutit Sun 28-Feb-16 12:01:20

You are allowed to feel traumatised.

My son was such a beautiful baby (still is but is 3 now). He was born with weird toes, on one foot he's got 3 toes but two are joined up. The other has a toe without a nail that doesn't move.

I feel sad about it sometimes, not as much as when he was little as I worry about other kids being cruel and I worry about the day he notices he's different from other kids. Even though it's minor to what some go through, it's still there.

RedMapleLeaf Sun 28-Feb-16 12:01:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RJnomore1 Sun 28-Feb-16 12:02:00

Op if I remember rightly I have posted on a thread of yours before about this. You think you were at fault in some way for the accident don't you, and this is a perfectly natural reaction you are having.

I agree you need to speak to someone like a counsellor. Your beautiful girl will be fine. But all of us telling you that won't help you deal with it, you need to find a way to do that yourself.


If it reassures you, I read your post and didn't think for a second that you were being judgey.

You're right that it wasn't you who's been injured. But you're emphasising with your lovely daughter, how you might imagine she feels, or will feel when she's able to do so. You're not being horrible; you're looking out for her in advance.

And you're right that some people are going to give her a hard time for being "imperfect". Hopefully almost nobody, by the time she's in high school, dating, but realistically, there may well be a few. I'm sure that, by that time (well before then!) you'll have sorted out your own thoughts and feelings and will give your lovely little girl the strength and confidence to just let it all roll right past her.

I agree that counselling will help you work through this. In the meantime, flowers and flowers for you both.

Fugghetaboutit Sun 28-Feb-16 12:02:43

I read your other thread, I could feel your pain. Poor baby I'm sure she'll be fine x

HypnoticButton Sun 28-Feb-16 12:04:10

I think people are right, I do need to talk to someone about this. I know it's minor and that's what makes it hard. I get the impression, I have no right to feel the way I do and should focus on the positives and the fact I still have a lovely daughter. I do but I can't shake my other feelings.

I was right beside her when it happened, as was her dad.

Our son was the other side of the door and closed it over on his way past.

It was horrific.

I was so helped that day. I was suffering from an ill health matter and was vomiting so much I couldn't stand up. I couldn't comfort her or even go to the hospital with her that day.

Corygal1 Sun 28-Feb-16 12:04:48

I've got webbed feet, which people do comment on, no end. My mum dealt with it by shrieking with pride that it was a genetic miracle, and I have been proud of them ever since.

My Dad has misshapen fingers, and my GD also had missing bits of fingers. To be honest, no one notices. I mean really, no one notices.

Mind you, we were all told as kids that it was an achievement, not a lack, and that Dad and GF had them because they were brave explorer-types.

Of course you feel awful about it, you're her mum and it was a horrid accident. But overall, it's the way you treat it - she won't be traumatised at all if you breeze through it, and no one else will either know nor care.

StealthPolarBear Sun 28-Feb-16 12:09:01

You are traumatised and you're allowed to be.
feel free to post pictures but do you think anyone is going to say anything other than she's a beautiful girl with part of her finger missing? Because that will be the truth and all there will be to say.
ds fell when he was a baby and has a tiny scar on his lip, I get a small pang every time I look at it (not comparing the two, I do realise this is very very minor compared to yourdd ). Then I remember that life marks us all in one way or another, dh has a replaced front tooth, I have a huge scar on my knee, dd hs a chicken pox scar on her scalp. All very minor and I hope you don't think I'm comparing what has happened to your dd to them. But she will grow and she will change and she will continue to be her.

FoxesSitOnBoxes Sun 28-Feb-16 12:09:52

Sorry you're going through this OP. I'm sure these feelings will fade with time.... please could you ask for "cretin-like" to be removed from your post. A "cretin" was the name given to children with congenital hypothyroidism and it's a pretty nasty term to use in the way you used it. (I assume you didn't know)

HypnoticButton Sun 28-Feb-16 12:10:02

red our son was very squished up and wrinkled when born. He was beyond a miracle to us but was ' cute' rather than 'gorgeous'.

HPsauciness Sun 28-Feb-16 12:10:40

Op, I went through a similar thing when one of mine had an appearance altering issue- I felt I had 'ruined' this perfect baby and felt very very guilty.

Over time, these feelings fade, and the more your little one is just fine with her new set of fingers, the more you will be too.

That's not to say no-one will ever notice or comment on it, they may well, and you will, as her parent, have to think of how to support her, or good 'comebacks' or whatever. But the more you see her coping, and the more you support her to be the best she can be (with or without a finger, or any other appearance altering issue) then you will see this is not life-defining stuff and that she can be happy and have a great life, and this is just not as big as it feels now.

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