Adjusting to bringing your newborn home is exhausting, but a newborn with special needs is even more difficult. The first few months we were just getting by. We were learning how to care for David, how to feed him and what his preferences were. I had at least two doctor appointments every week so that we could check his hearing, sight, weight gain, bone structure and on and on.
On a Monday morning when David was a few months old, I woke up, got out of bed and the weirdest thing happened. I felt like myself again. I can’t really explain it, except to say that for me, the clouds lifted. I don’t know if the shock wore off or the baby blues passed or what, but I felt like me again. God had been bringing me to a place of accepting the pain and letting it BE. In that place I was so surprised to find JOY! It still took a lot of courage to go to the grocery store and “face the world” but somehow I was back to myself. It was a relief to feel normal again.
David was getting into a routine and started sleeping through the night. He was smiley and grasping for toys. At three months, he had surgery to correct a malrotation of the intestine (the problem had caused projectile vomiting) and was a much happier boy after the procedure. We loved snuggling with our tiny guy and getting him to smile. We introduced him to rice cereal and baby food which he loved. We worked for hours each day teaching him to eat and drink by mouth.
I started a new job as a full inclusion specialist for the local school district. One morning I was standing in a kindergarten classroom reading a poem entitled “my ten fingers” and broke down crying. I was healing slowly but the pain was still fresh. Steve had Mondays off and would watch David and my sister Susan would watch him on Wednesdays. My days at home filled up with therapy, housekeeping, errands and I started making jewelry. It wan’t the life we had planned (cute house with a picket fence, two kids and a dog) but it was starting to feel like maybe this crazy thing could work after all. The next few months seemed like years. Steve and I quickly felt the need to add to our family. We had barely discussed it when we found out I was pregnant again. David was only 10 months old!