Becoming a mom (whether the first time or the tenth) is such an overwhelming thing. You are equally happy and terrified. You know everything could be absolutely incredible, but things could also go incredibly wrong. Then there are all the hormones that go along with having a baby. I remember dreaming and thinking of each of my kids when I was pregnant with them. I knew that things could go wrong, but I never really imagined that they could. The day Sutton was given her official diagnosis will forever be a day that I will never forget. I know that is true for most people – whether it be Down’s Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, or the many other diagnoses that you could get. But I want to tell you something.
I see you.
I see the fear is lurking around every thought in your brain. The guilt of even thinking of these fears. The unknown of what this means for your baby, your family, and yourself. I see the jealousy and bitterness for people who are having ‘normal’ or ‘typical’ children while you are dealing with your circumstances that are much different. I see how you are mourning the normal life that you thought they were going to have. The school experiences, life experiences, husband, kids, and the future you dreamed up for them. I see how you wonder what their future is going to look like. If life is going to get any easier for them and what you can do to fulfill that. You are not a bad person for having any or all of these feelings. When our kids are diagnosed with something, it is HARD. There are so many feelings that come along with it, and I encourage you to feel them all. Because once you feel them and know they are there, you can face them and deal with them. Ugly cry and then move on. I can’t tell you how much better you will feel.
Being different can be scary. The best news? Different is still beautiful, fulfilling, and unique. I heard someone say that people try all their lives to stand out and be remembered, but your child was born to stand out. It is going to be harder at times and that is going to be tough. I can guarantee you though that it will be worth it. Helping your child through it will be the most rewarding thing that you will ever do.
But most of all?
I want you to know that you are not alone. Having a baby is a life changing experience. Having a baby with different needs than an ‘average’ baby is hard. But you? You are a Rockstar. You have this!! Don’t worry about the future. Don’t stress it because it may not look like it, but it will be okay. Every day that passes, you get stronger and you get braver. Your child is watching you and is in awe of you. You are their best friend and their best advocate.