|I am a Mom. I am wife. I am a Catholic.|
I was a big sister in a biggish family when I applied for my first real job at a day care center. I was confident. I may have been sixteen, but I was very comfortable doling out advice- especially to new parents. By the time I got pregnant myself, I had ten years of childcare experience under my belt, not including big sister and babysitting experience. I was pretty sure I could handle anything.
When Lily was born, I was in awe. She was amazing. I couldn't wrap my mind around it. She was so beautiful, so perfect, so incredible.
I knew I was going to be a good mom. I just knew it. So, when I started feeling depressed, it made me feel guilty. How could I, a good mom, have postpartum depression? In retrospect, it is easy to say that the guilt was silly. But at the time, it made sense. First kid, first blow.
Then I got pregnant again. This time, I knew. I would not stay awake all night to make sure she kept breathing, she would breathe. I would be alert to hints of depression. I was ready. I knew what I was doing. I was excited.
In fact, she did not breathe.
Sarah was diagnosed with Apert syndrome when I was about halfway through my pregnancy. Those early months were not going to be spent staring at a perfectly peaceful sleeping child in a bassinet. They were spent in a NICU, learning about monitors and signs and symptoms. It was a very difficult and very complicated beginning. I had to relearn how to be a parent.
By the time I got pregnant the third time I thought, nothing, nothing this child can do will throw me. I have got this parenting thing down. I am ready.
I am an idiot.
When my Rebecca was only a week old, she threw up blood. I nearly cried. It turned out to be a relatively uncomplicated (though painful) breastfeeding problem. The blood was mine, not hers. And it wasn't nearly as much as it looked like.
This blog is my story. This is my life. I'm winging it, like everyone else.
Becoming a mom changed more than how I view the world, it changed who I am in it. It changed not just my perception, but my participation.
I started this blog when I was pregnant with my second daughter. At the time, I did not know that she was going refocus my world. When I was plunged head first into the world of special needs parenting, it changed my world again.
I write through various lenses. Being a cradle Catholic is a lens. Being the daughter of an activist is a lens. Being a wife is a lens. Being a mother is a lens. Parenting a child with special needs is a lens.
I am humbled.
I am offering a kaleidoscope, not a telescope. Even when all the same pieces are there, one little pivot and everything looks different. I hope I can offer beauty, even where I cannot offer clarity.