|You are perfect from what I see|
At birth seeing the child and her own pain, one never thinks that there could be an issue unless the doctors do the required check ups and inform. Many countries still do not screen the child for hidden disabilities and most times unseen disabilities like hearing loss go unnoticed till the child is about 1-2 years of age. Mild and moderate goes unnoticed even longer. The parents too grow with their baby and adjust to its need till a family member or an outsider points out a problem that has gone amiss.
From my own experience I missed out many months too as I was so overtly overwhelmed with having a perfectly looking baby girl after the birth of two of her cousins who had other disabilities. So when my family member pointed out, I dismissed it. You never think that the child who is growing with you is facing an issue. Both adjust to the new life that comes with the birth of a baby.
The moment the mother realizes that there is a problem and it needs diagnosis, most times they wish it to go away or just stay in denial. Even going to a specialist takes strength and acceptance. It’s of course unnerving! Very difficult as it’s a path few are able to easily accept and walk on. There is no defined path as each child is born differently lived in different circumstances and environment.
|Accepting you with all that I see and all that I have|
I have had many conversations with mothers over the years very closely. As I heard them, a lot was there that was left unsaid. Their hesitation and anxiety was always understandable and I did say to them that it’s okay to acknowledge that “this is difficult and maybe it was better they did not have that baby”. I have seen a kind of sigh of relief in them as these are feelings society would shun this thought and judge them as bad mothers. Each mother goes through this phase as she knows she is now bound by many changes that come with a disabled child. It’s scary and daunting. Her world shall not be the same and doesn’t know yet what her “new normal” shall be. No one openly accepts this but when I acknowledge that I did go through this and many other mothers did too...most of them feel relieved and accepted. They bury these feelings due to fears of judgment and also are unsure about feeling that way. “How can you wish you didn’t have that child! It’s inhuman and unthinkable!” So instead they bury these feeling deep inside and hurt with guilt between the various other emotions.
Accepting every feeling coming in is I think the first step towards acceptance of the situation. To let her know that it’s okay to feel this way...is the biggest strength and power one can empower her with. The guilt is lesser and she starts to empathize with herself and the baby. It’s the fault of neither. So a new and stronger bond is formed of love, compassion and empathy. She learns to accept the situation and the baby and it’s easier then to take the next step. She accepts that there is something amiss and she needs to move forward and get a diagnosis and support that comes with a child with disabilities. Once she accepts this...it’s easier to get her involved and guide her to a space where she can work closely with her very “special” baby. But yes...despite this we can still expect varied emotions and it’s a seesaw kind of situation where she would require someone to be a pivot and see her through this phase. I truly believe “acceptance is empowerment” and it’s the first step towards supporting a family towards the world of special needs.