I wrote this post under a different title Learning to find joy in Ezra’s development. I wrote it from a different perspective and I wrote it in a different tone. However, the place I was writing it from was a place of fear. Fear of offending someone. I didn’t write it from the heart, because I didn’t feel my feelings were truly valid. This time I am writing from my heart.
If you are new here you may not know I have four children, four boys. Four wonderful, courageous, amazing little boys. My three eldest boys all have some form of additional needs. My eldest Oliver, has anxiety and some sensory issues. My second son Zachary, is on the Austistic spectrum and also has sensory issues. My third son, Darwin, has bi lateral glue ear, speech delay, behavioural issues and he has sensory issues too.
My fourth son Ezra who is 15 months old has no additional needs, I wanted to write a little about what that is like. Specifically after having children with additional needs. I originally tried to write this without focusing on the other boys struggles, but it really didn’t work.
I am aware that I am more than lucky to have four healthy boys. I feel this truth even more as I have had four early miscarriages. I do not want anyone to think I take this fact for granted, but at the same time I am learning that does not invalidate the more difficult feelings I have or have had.
Having a child with any form of additional needs means you feel like you are constantly holding your breath. Almost afraid to exhale. When you become a Mother it’s a whole new identity and your children become your life. Every Mother worries about their children, it’s natural, but when you have children with additional needs it’s goes to a whole level you didn’t think possible.
Your life revolves around getting the right therapies, the people, the right resources, the right diagnosis. You are on high alert at all times, looking out for that moment when one of the multitudes of plates you are spinning comes crashing down. You are on high alert waiting to have to jump into action.
My boys needs are relatively simple compared to many others, but the the struggles are still there. You spend your time filling out forms and ticking boxes. You spend time wondering if and when your child will reach that sought after milestone. You spend your time actively trying to teach your child skills that most children seem to develop naturally and relatively independently.
You spend your time, wondering if it was something you did. Even when all the specialists and your friends say and family tell you it wasn’t. You find reasons, pregnancy complications, difficult birth, your diet etc. Is it because you never used flash cards? They weren’t sleep trained? Different people have different reasons but it’s the same concept. Looking for blame, looking for an answer.
Now after having the three other boys I know that these things are not true. I have the hard evidence in front of me. Ezra. He is 15 months old and I s developing well perfectly average, even though; I was hospitalised and needed two blood transfusions during his pregnancy. I had an emergency c section, we were separated for just short of a week 10 days after he was born when his lung collapsed. He hasn’t been to a playgroup in almost a year and yet…
He is pretty much a textbook baby, He can point, he plays with toys (I can’t explain how strange this seems as Zachary and Darwin both had to be taught this skill). He loves books, shape sorters and if you give him a dolly he will rock it, give it a dummy and/or bottle and say “awww”. It literally blows my mind. I sometimes
secretly think he is a genius.
We have no appointments, no reviews, no concerns and it feels wonderful although a little alien. I feel like I can just enjoy his toddlerhood without that voice in the back of my head. I can lay with him on my chest and hold him, really hold him and my biggest worry is will I wake him if I move. I was sat with my friend Kelly having lunch the other day, She has two boys both with additional needs and we were talking how amazing it was just watching Ezra, just getting on with it.
Having Ezra has made me realise what a mental strain I went through with the others and how it could become all consuming. I have also realised that I need to just be in the moment, enjoying the now with him. I feel like I have been given back a part of Motherhood that had been stripped previously. The ability to just experience joy without any real fear, worry or anxiety. As the boys are getting older and we know what to expect and the best ways to deal with situations I feel I am being given it back in all areas of my Motherhood and I am finally learning how to exhale.
Much love and many thanks
♥ Can you relate to what I am saying in this post? If you don’t be have a child wth additional needs does this post shed a little light? I hope it inspires you to really take the time and to really enjoy your children regardless of any additional needs or not.