On the day you see that second line on that stick, everything changes. You make sure you do everything right.
You eat better (no, I will not count the jalapeño cheeseburgers from Five Guys).
You do some prego yoga.
You drink gallons and gallons of water even though you already have to pee 18 times before noon.
You waddle through 6 weeks of natural childbirth classes.
Then you go through 40 hours of labor.
Add to that the pain of nursing, the sleepless hours, the sleep training, the teaching, the coloring, the writing, the practicing, the…you get the drift.
You think everything is honky dory and as long as you try your best and do everything right, you’re golden.
Then one day you notice a stutter. You talk to the teachers, they tell you it’s cool. Until 8 months later, it no longer is. So you set up an appointment with a speech pathologist and during that appointment your child speaks in perfect English.
Until at the end, you mention the slight lisp when she says her S’s and the fact that she can’t roll her R’s. You learn that those are sounds that don’t have to sound perfect til 6 or 7. But the sweet speech pathologist notices that the jaw moves a certain way. Out of alignment when she talks. And you noticed it earlier that week too. How could you have missed it for so long? While brushing her teeth. You thought she’d been playing. Making funny faces like she always does. Jaw to the side.
So appointments are made and weekly speech therapy is set up because the jaw has to be retrained. And you have to take time every day (twice a day) to practice with your girl. There are strict instructions to not over correct so as not to have it turn into a psychological issue. Some days your girl tells you it’s hard. And some days, especially when you are “manipulating the jaw” it’s hard on you.
And then one day during speech therapy you hear that there might be more issues. Tongue thrusting is thrown out. You want to just hug your baby girl because you think of all of the hours that it’s going to take to “fix” this. All of the work it’s going to take to make this better. And just the thought exhausts you mentally.
Then, as you walk past the physical therapy rooms at this fantastic hospital, your heart gets a little crushed at the thought of the little bodies that come in every day to do the work. Yes, you know it could be worse and you are thankful that your child is healthy. But as a mami, you are still pained. Because tomorrow you will have to push her even though you don’t want to.
You’ll have to help her do the work. On that day and on many more to come. Research on the diagnoses. Take notes. Your brain gets fuzzy because you have to attempt to work, to honor your commitments, while still trying to decipher what you read. Appointments to set, new doctors to look up. Pediatricians, dentists, orthodontists, etc.
And as she sleeps you shed some tears because we never want our babies to hurt. To not be okay. Though some of those tears are also in gratitude for all that she is. All that remains and all that is well with her. For her perfection in my eyes in spite of the setbacks.
But, there are tears nonetheless and a certain pain that’s hard to put into words. So here I am, pouring my heart out about it…