My journey into motherhood and mothering a special needs child.
I woke up this morning and my son is now 6 years old! My first born now needs two hands to count his age! And he can talk and tell us what he wants, he understands what today is, and is excited.
You’re thinking, of course he can, he’s six! But this is a huge milestone for us, and we fought for it and worked hard to get here. And in addition to our hard work, we were fortunate that our son's form of autism allowed us to get here.
Autism is a neurological disorder. No two autistic children or adults are the same. Other families will never experience the joy I’m feeling right now because my son just drew me an invitation for his birthday party and told me what it was. He’s elated and wants cake for breakfast. We’ve settled on waffles instead!
Like all goods stories, this one will not be told in order. I’ve made a vow to myself to tell a bit of my story everyday until the end of May. My birthday happens to be 7 days after his, so I’m doing this as a way to honour myself and the difficult journey I’ve been on. In many ways this has also been Happily Ever After Maternity’s journey, because the hardest part of the journey with my son’s health started to unfold as I made the commitment to start this business.
Here’s his birth story. It’s long and detailed, and will take three blog posts to share. Here is part one.
On Tuesday, April 29th 2014 I was 37 weeks pregnant. I’d had an appointment with my OB the day before, I’d been losing parts of my mucus plug, but he said losing your mucus plug was not indicative of labour, it could regenerate. Baby beans’ head was deeply engaged in my pelvis, so he warned that camping would be normal ow that his head was so low and in position.
I went to aquafit a few times a week, and today I couldn’t go because we were a single vehicle household and my husband had missed his ride to work so had to take the car. That was ok by me because I was tired this morning. I took a 3 hour nap after breakfast! (looking back, oh the good old days when you can nap!) When I woke from my nap I puttered. I put all the linens we’d received at our baby shower two days before in a laundry basket to wash. I started googling hospital bags, because my hospital or OB didn’t issue a list for us, I started making a list of all the things I was missing, and packing the things I had. I had a cute blue vintage suitcase that belonged to my grandmother. I packed all his things in this blue suit case and felt like she would be there with me.
It was around 2, my husband was at work and I decided to start painting the nursery, I was nesting and tired of waiting! I had to wear my husbands work clothes and a leather belt to keep the pants up, I didn’t have any maternity clothing I was willing to sacrifice to paint. Just an FYI, that’s why I carry broken in maternity pieces, so if you have a dirty job to do, you can be comfortable doing it! The belt was restricting but it was the only way I could keep the pants up.
Our house is 1.5 stories so the ceilings on the second floor are slopped. In order to access the walls I had to push all the furniture into the center of the room. I had to bend to do this and push weight. I Did all the cutting in, but I was tired so I had to sit and take a break before I could start rolling. When I was stanging up from the couch I felt a pop and my lower back started to hurt, and I had some intense cramps really low in my abdomen. And at the time, I thought I peed myself a little bit. I’d heard peeing yourself was common in late pregnancy, the sudden pain felt like a reasonable time to lose some bladder control. I immediately got scared. Had the belt just squeezed his little head? M rational brain now knows that’s impossible because he was completely surrounded by the cradle of my pelvis. I sent my husband a text t let him know I had just hurt myself and stopped what I was doing. It was 3:30, my husband would be home within the hour. I was scared and felt guilty. What had I done? I should have just waited for him to come home!
Our house was in complete reno mode when I was pregnant.
We wanted it finished before he arrived.
I sat on the edge of the couch with my hand on my belly trying to feel my insides to make sure I was alright. I was a bit tired, but overall I felt fine. I’d pulled a muscle in my glutes earlier in the pregnancy while working out at the gym, and it had taken a really long time to heal, maybe that’s what I had irritated again? I got into comfy clothes, turned on the tv and tried not to worry.
The hospital called just then to book a biophysical ultrasound the following Monday, the same day as my next OB appointment. My husband got home and finished all the paining. I don’t remember if the pain stopped or if I just got accustomed to it, but it didn’t seem like a big deal anymore. I must have been feeling pretty good because we had sex, in the only position that worked when I had a belly this big! There was a bit of fluid after, pretty normal for unprotected sex,, so I had a facecloth between my legs for our supper of Beef stirfry. My cramps started to get worse during supper. They were all in my lower back and pelvis. It was a constant throb, like period cramps on steroids but localized to my lower back and deep really low front pelvis.
My son was born 4 days after the picture on the right was taken. Because he surprised us early and i never really "popped" I never got a maternity photoshoot., which I regret to this day.
I tried to use the stopwatch on my phone to time the pain, without my husband knowing because I didn't want him to panic. What if these were contractions? They couldn’t be I was only 37 weeks pregnant with my first baby! I should have weeks more to go! But the stopwatch didn’t work because what was I timing/ There were moments when the cramps were more intense than others, but the cramping was always there. So I tried to time the intense cramps, but my numbers were all over the place. This was not what the prenatal classes had taught me. This was not what I had read online. Therefore, this couldn’t be labour. Something must be wrong.
To be continued tomorrow.....
Please note, I'm writing these and publishing them on the same day. They are raw unedited posts so they won't be polished and there may be grammatical errors.