In one of my groups, we had a new parent join, and another parent gave her the advice that this isn't spina bifida you are expecting, it's a baby. She told her to enjoy the pregnancy and focus on the fact she has a baby coming.
I remember receiving that advice myself not too long ago. Well, almost two years ago! At the time, I yelled at the monitor, "HOW???", but it was the best piece of advice I received. At first, I was consumed with finding out information, uncertainties, concerns, all that good stuff when you get a diagnosis such as it's "just spina bifida."
But then it shifted. I decided to enjoy the pregnancy, I decided to embrace the baby, and come what may. Sure, each doctor's appointment brought issues to the forefront, but I resolved to have my moment and move forward.
I did have a good pregnancy. I was pregnant in the summer, he wasn't due until the end of September, and I loved it. I loved the clothes I was able to wear (sooooooo cute), I loved that I wasn't itchy (winter pregnancy gave me dry skin), and despite being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I felt great.
When we were given the diagnosis that he had spina bifida at around 24-25 weeks, I hadn't felt him move much. He started going crazy then. At first, I was upset. It was bittersweet, but it eventually became reassuring.
When people would ask the normal pregnancy questions, it was difficult to not answer, "My baby has spina bifida." There was this sense of that was what he was, if that makes sense. He became different with that diagnosis, and I had to work past it. Even when he was a newborn, I still associated him with spina bifida. He's not spina bifida, though, he's a baby, a toddler, a person. I think he'll get this tag a lot as he gets older. He'll be "that kid with spina bifida", but to his mother, he'll be her son.