Monday, June 04, 2007

He's not Spina Bifida

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.


Amanda said...

What a great post.

One of my mother's friends has a granddaughter with Spina Bifida (she's the lady I wrote to about the "eviction papers" in my thank you note in the blog posts you read). She's a darling little girl, and what a pistol!

Also, I second you on the liking of the maternity clothes. I *loved* so many of mine, especially the cotton knits. I can't wear much knit-wise for pants except when I'm expecting, and then it's all good :)

Rural Felicity said...

Thanks, Amanda!

When G was born, I worried about him "fitting in" with his siblings. How silly was I?? LOL He is so in the fray it's not even funny.

With my first two pregnancies, I wore hand-me-downs, but with my last two, I bought me some clothes, and it was good. I loved the cute things I could wear, and I felt really cute. Darn belly doesn't look so "cute" anymore now that there's no baby in it. :)

Amanda said...

I hear you on the belly thing!

I've recently lost 40 lbs, and my tummy has mercifully shrunk quite a bit, but now it's starting to join "the girls" higher on my torso in their theme song of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. Gotta love it, LOL.

Penny L. Richards said...

Such perfect advice, and it works no matter what the diagnosis, really. You're still expecting a baby, and becoming the baby's mother, whatever the details. And it's all details, after that.

Rural Felicity said...

Hi, Penny! Thanks for stopping in. It is all details, isn't it?

oheidia said...

It's so important to say he is not his Spina Bifida. He is a perfect lillte boy and by the way he is borned with Spina Bifida! But, thats not who he is!

I am 38 year of age, Norwegian, a wife, a mother of two children borned in 1998 (Jenny) and 2000 (Leon). And by the way, i have Spina Bifida - but that's not the most important thing in my life.

And you are right, i have often felt labeld in life - and i don't like it! I live my life the best i can - and life is worth living! You are welcome to visit my blog at: I write my blog in Norwegian but i plan to write my blog also in english!