Parenting is no easy task. Imagine the shock of finding out that the child you thought was fine during your entire pregnancy, would have to face challenging obstacles for the rest of their life. I found out I was pregnant back in 2009 at the age of 19 and I was of course nervous and happy all at the same time. I was currently enrolled in community college and working, as most teens were, going into adulthood.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was coming up on the final weeks of my pregnancy and I was so ready to drop the load and meet my little angel. A week before my due date is when the change happened. I went in for lack of fetal movement and was immediately rushed to have an emergency cesarean section (C-section). My daughter was delivered but the outcome was far less than what I was expecting. Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, the doctors told me that my baby girl had lost a lot of blood, that there was a significant amount of brain damage and that she would never walk, talk, hear, see, let alone even make it out of the hospital. Even with me going to my scheduled doctor appointments, taking my prenatal vitamins and cutting out on certain foods this was my reality. After seven long weeks of being in the NICU, she made it home.
Fast forward three years, if I had pulled the plug as some of the doctors tried to suggest, I would have missed out on this little fire cracker personality and her I want it my way or no way little attitude that most times bring me joy and a good laugh. Entering into Pre-K this year she has exceeded far past what the doctors told us to expect. Even though she still faces many challenges, she is expected to continue to grow with leaps and bound. It is tough parenting a child with special needs, with all the doctor appointments, surgeries, therapy visits and simply finding the best healthcare needs for your child’s situation. My advice to anyone facing similar challenges is;
- Patience, this is the number one thing to have in dealing with your child and the people surrounding your child.
- Going to church, keeping my faith in the Lord and knowing that he has the last say and all things are possible through Him
- Family and friends, (my mother is the best) having those people in your life to talk to, cry to or just give me a break, sometimes is all it takes for me to regroup and move forward.
These are the things that have helped me as I continue the journey of raising my angel. Although I still have trouble sometimes dealing with my personal “what ifs”, I would not exchange her for anything in the world. Jayli is nothing less than a joy and my special miracle.
Change For Jayli
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