Thursday, February 9, 2012

Perfection

I used to think that children with disabilities were born to extraordinary women.  I thought that these women were so amazing that they were given the most special children to care for.  I also knew that I certainly was not one of those women.  If I were to be given a child that special, certainly I would crumble under the weight of that stress.
From the moment I found out that I was pregnant with Olive, I knew that something was “off” but never knew what it was.  It wasn’t the pregnancy itself, which was actually pretty great as far as pregnancies go. I pushed and pushed my doctors until they gave in to more testing.  Before we left that day I asked Sean “What do we do if we find out something is wrong?” he told me that those were the moments that define people lives. “We can’t decide that now, because we aren’t there now. We may have some hard choices.”  We had a big hug and then headed to Portland to the Big Hospital.
At that appointment we were told that Olive had a Single Umbilical Artery (SUA), it had the potential to be a problem but we would monitor closely and once she was born there would be nothing more to worry about. Phew!  I was officially “high risk” at that point and had a monthly date with the high risk clinic; we had a couple bumps but mostly the road was smooth sailing.
When Olive was born and we learned about her eyes, I was scared. I didn’t think I could handle a baby that was anything other than “perfect.” I am ashamed to say that I spent much of her first few weeks disappointed in what I had been given.  A lot has changed since then.  Before I was ever pregnant, if I had been given a choice: you can have no baby, or you can have a baby with a defect, I would honestly have chosen: No Baby. Remember, I was not one of those women. I was also not given a choice.  If I was asked today if I would change a single thing about her, I wouldn’t. I would not want her any other way. I would choose her just the way she is.
Those women, the ones that are so extraordinary… I’ve learned that they aren’t given special children because they are extraordinary, their children made them extraordinary. No, I don’t think that I am extraordinary, but I do think that Olive has made me a better person and a better mother. I finally understand why I had never ever heard a single complaint from a mother of a child with special needs.  I can almost guarantee you that those mothers wouldn’t change a single thing about their children. I think we would remove the hardships that they may face and we would erase any pain that may result, but nothing about them would change.
Sean is taking Olive back to the Big Hospital today for her check up (I couldn’t get off work). In the last few weeks her vision seems to have taken a huge downward turn.  I am actually not really concerned about it, we will take whatever we have and we will deal and move forward.  She started work last week with Early Intervention to help her catch up and keep up developmentally.  I wish you all could see her and snuggle her and love on her. I wish that you all could feel how special she makes me feel… I have been trusted with the most amazing of all gifts.

10 comments:

Me said...

A very touching post. Olive sounds incredible -- and so do you.

Karen said...

Lindsey,

What an insightful posting. You have become a very wise mother and I hope you know we wouldn't change a thing about baby Olive. We're so glad she chose YOU as her Mommy. Tell her to save some of those snuggles for Grammy and Papa...we'll be there soon! XO

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said...

We love you all very much...have a great weekend and enjoy your snuggles with baby Oliver

Karen said...

Oppps Baby Olive (not her secret twin btother Oliver)

Lyndsay said...

This is beautiful Lindsey!
You ARE extraordinary and little Olive (and Natalee) are lucky to have you.
xo

Olive said...

Oh Lindsey, your post was special, I have tears again.
We all love Olive's special snuggles, both of the girls are so special in there own way...
How many time times can you say special!
love you,

Karen said...

Love the cousins picture and counting the days until little Olive has her first birthday party!

Carly said...

YES this is SO true (and you know that I really know this!). You are amazing, girl!

thepicturelady said...

Thank you for your wisdom, your decision, and your perspective. Give Olive a snuggle from me. A NICU nurse told me when I was worrying about Molly's future (she'll never go to prom, get married, etc.)"You don't know if your oldest will have a bad case of acne and won't go to prom - don't define your daughter's future, let her define herself." Best advice ever.