This week baby brother brought a beautiful baby girl into the world. While my health has not been good enough to make the drive to visit them yet I am working to be able to soon!
This got me thinking about my kids, their births and allowed me to remember the joy bringing each of my boys into the world. The overwhelming gift of love they gave me. Then I think back to my last child, Zach. Even when in the hospital with Zach I knew something was different about him. He didn’t search for me when I laid him down. He would squirm when I held him, the sound of my voice didn’t cause him to turn his head. I won’t even go into nursing… It was as if he was only happy when he was alone. This continued as he grew, he only cried when he was hungry or uncomfortable. He never cried to be held or rocked to sleep. He was only happy when he was alone or in his swing.
Doctor after doctor told me nothing was wrong. He was my 4th baby,I knew differently. I kept telling them and yet they still didn’t believe me. It was frustrating, eventually, I just believed them. I didn’t want anything to be wrong, so I listened when they told me “Every baby is different”. Now, looking back 14 years late I wish I had realized doctors make mistakes. They didn’t know my kid as well as I do. I wish I had fought more, started getting him help earlier and maybe today he would be able to do more.
We didn’t get an autism diagnosis until he was 4. That is 4 lost years I could have gotten him services. Things to help him cope better in our world and maybe help me learn to better parent him. 4 lost years because they messed up and I didn’t push hard enough. Too many days I beat myself up for this. Too many times I took the blame before realizing blame wasn’t necessary. Zach is amazing, he is funny and sweet and thinks burps are the most hilarious thing on the planet. He is strong and kind and so empathic. He knows when people are sad and tries to do the things that make him happy for them. He realized when people are angry and tried to tell them to shut up, okay maybe not the best example but he gets it, hehe.
I hope that there is nothing wrong with my baby niece. I do want to tell her parents (and any other parents who might read this) this; trust your instincts.
If you think something is wrong don’t give up until you feel like it is better. Fight that fight even when you think you are crazy, even when at every turn they say you are wrong. Your child is worth that fight. Spend every penny, every moment and do everything you can to make it, and him or her, better. No one will ever know that baby better than you. You are not insane, fight the fight, they are worth it.
My son has autism, some days autism has him, other days it doesn’t seem like such an obstacle. He is different than I expected, but he isn’t broken, he is so much more than just autistic. He is that grumpy teen who doesn’t want to do his chores. He is that sweet kid who comes up and fake burps to make you giggle because you are sad. He is that smelly boy who refuses to take a shower. The boy who marches into my room each morning to grab his iPad and then plops on my bed turning it up way too loud (because he is still wearing his noise canceling headphones) until I pull a pillow over my head. He is the pickiest of picky eaters, the happiest passenger and the most frustrating of shoe losers. He is uniquely Zach.
No matter what the future brings I have never once regretted being his mom. I just regret not fighting harder when I felt something was different enough that we needed help.
This week’s Comic –