It Is What It Is

The prior link posting made me think further about some of the inappropriate comments and cruel things people say. Of the many, here is one that really gets to me. I hear a lot of well meaning encouragement that does anything but encourage. Currently, time is moving much faster than my baby is reaching her developmental milestones. She is developmentally delayed in a few areas.

It is OK. I know that my baby is moving at her own personal pace. It is true that some days I get discouraged. There are days that I am weary. But on most days, I am only grateful that my baby is here. She has fought too hard for so long to be dismissed if she doesn’t graduate from the special needs realm.

I grow tired of the people (non medical professionals) who feel it is encouraging to say “She will catch up.” or “Preemies catch up by two.” I want to scream back, “What if she doesn’t?”

Is it really so terrifying of a prospect?

Prior to finding myself in this predicament, I would have answered the question with a loud and resounding “Hell Yes!”. I used to think that if I found an abnormality with my baby that I would really question if I should carry on with the pregnancy. I didn’t think I could handle having a special needs child.

Not anymore.

It’s amazing what experience, education, socialization with similar moms, amazing medical professionals, and time to think will do to change ones perspective. In the nine months since my baby’s birth, I have changed my opinion to the contrary. I want my baby to reach her potential. However, it is not the end of the world if she doesn’t “catch up”. It is what it is. We will make the best of what unfolds before us. Quality of life is not based on an individual⁏s abilities.

It is true, our lives would be simpler if my baby currently did not have special needs. Our future may be simpler if she grew out of them. However, that fact does not change how much I love my baby and the person she is growing into. People who relay anecdotes about other babies who “catch up” or tell me about how my baby will be “normal” are only expressing how disconnected they truly are. It fails to achieve its intended result of providing hope or encouragement. Instead, it instills a sense of isolation from other moms. Tell me what you like about my baby and dote over my baby just as you would any other. Beyond all the appointments and challenges, we are merely another mother and child.

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About Rebecca Wood

In May 2012, my pregnancy ended three and a half months early due to severe early onset preeclampsia. This is my collection of thoughts and media. It is an attempt to document and discuss our experience of navigating the post NICU world. View all posts by Rebecca Wood

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