Monday, January 14, 2008

Pregnancy books

Recently as I was organizing my office, I put all of my pregnancy books (What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Your Pregnancy Day by Day, etc) in my closet and closed the door. I am trying to allow myself to feel what I feel and not suppress emotions, but instead honor them. When I looked at those books, I remembered back to my pregnancy…such a happy, joyful time filled with planning, dreaming, imagining…it makes me want to be pregnant again, once more in my lifetime, just to feel that way again. But no doubt about it, I would get angry whenever I’d see them in my office. This confused me, so I allowed myself to really sit and think about why I was getting angry when I saw them. The answer that came to me was this: I really believed, truly believed, that if I read those books and took all their advice and rested and pampered myself and went to all my prenatal visits and got the healthcare that was recommended that everything would be fine.

Perhaps on many levels, things are fine. T is healthy and is really happy now that he’s off the SCD & GFCF diets. Rob & I are still doing really well despite the statistics we hear about divorce rates among parents of children with autism. T is making good progress with going full time into Verbal Behavior therapy. We are blessed to see consistent progress, and to have so many wonderful, dedicated people working with him and loving him.

But on many other levels, things didn’t turn out fine. Despite pouring over those damn books and following every recommendation and rule and having a near perfect pregnancy, our son is autistic. He struggles to communicate and has odd behaviors that make people stare and some behaviors that alienate him (the eagle shriek, for one.) We have no idea whether he’ll ever to go a public school, go to college, live independently, have someone who will love him and have a family with him. I’ll never know for sure if the flu or RhoGam shots I had (both at my OB’s recommendation) had anything to do with creating a “toxic event” for him in utero. (I don’t blame myself for this, but it will always be an unanswered question for me.) Recent research points to genetic causes – changes in the DNA at chromosome 16 – but the genetic testing T had didn’t show any problems.

So I read the books, I followed the rules, and everything wasn’t fine. Despite it all, sometimes, unfair and bad things happen. It made me want to scream and rip the pages from those books and burn them so I never have to look at them again.

I don’t want this to sound like I don’t love T or think he’s wonderful. He IS wonderful, and I love him with every cell of my being. He is flesh of my flesh and I will do everything I can to be the best mommy he could possibly have. Absolutely and positively, without a doubt, he is a glorious child and an angel sent down to be with us. And we have been given the responsibility of raising this wonderful little boy, which we accept wholeheartedly.

I just don’t want to have to look at those damn books anymore. What’s done is done.


R said...

This post made me cry. You did nothing wrong and I am so glad you experienced a perfect pregnancy - and T is the most perfect T he could be.

And you are the most perfect Mommy you can be.

EA said...

No words. Just know I'm listening.