From the moment that we plan to become pregnant & confirm that we are, we envision having the “Perfect Gerber Baby.” We all have the right to expect that. As our reality of having a child that is different sets in, it is a stunning blow to anything else that we can ever thought that we would have to rationalize.
Having been born the oldest of six children, in a very large, traditional Italian/Catholic family, having healthy children just was a given. After all my grandparents were immigrants that were all born healthy at home, with no such thing as prenatal care. My own mother was married at nineteen & had me at twenty, only gaining fourteen pounds, smoking cigarettes & drinking coffee throughout her pregnancy.
When I became pregnant with Rachel, my oldest, it happened, as I assumed it would, with no problems. For my second pregnancy, I planned it & took my prenatal vitamins before even getting pregnant. So for Nicholas to have been born with a heart defect, was the most shocking thing to ever happen to me. I will never forgot the pediatric cardiologist doing an Echo sonogram on him & casually saying “oh there it is, a VSD.” I let out a primal scream that still sends a shiver down my spine as I recall the moment, 22 years later.
So as the dream of having our sweet little baby grow up to go through all the stages of growth & development & to reach their optimal potential, begins to diminish, we as mothers, will always love our baby with all the strength that we have, while internally letting the our hopes & dreams for what should have been as what really is.
Remembering that the quality of life for our children is the upmost importance we are forced to refocus ourselves & lives in a different direction. It’s ok, we find our inner strength that we never knew we had & know that the term, “It Takes A Village” is so true.