Most of the time, things go to plan during births. Especially if you are young and healthy, the risks of pregnancy and childbirth are much lower, so don’t panic and believe other mum’s horror stories. But what happens if it does? What’s next?
Managing as a young mum with a special needs baby- sometimes things go wrong
I got pregnant when I was 19 and had my daughter when I was 20. She’s gorgeous, literally. I know everyone says that about their little mini me, and I’m probably, almost definitely biased lol, but she really is. My pregnancy was really difficult. As a young person suffering from a mental illness and going through a really strained/broken relationship, pregnancy was a time in my life where I needed the most support, and didn’t always have it. I was referred to a few different services, and it was during my pregnancy that I came across Little Lullaby. They reached out to offer support, but when I was younger and faced difficult times, I tended to just isolate, which isn’t the best way to deal with things.
My daughter was born by emergency C-Section. It was completely rushed and I was tearful and the delivery was a mess (I’m not saying this to freak anyone out, like I said, the majority of times, things go smoothly and it’s a beautiful experience you will never forget). My daughter spent 6 weeks in intensive care and a special care baby unit. It was a hard experience, and my daughter was the only baby in the whole ward that wasn’t premature. I was surrounded by so many other mums, so many doctors, nurses and other professionals, and I still felt alone. No one was going through the same experience as us. It was a hard time, and honestly, sometimes it still is.
By the time we came home, we had been through so many ups and downs, but the doctors had told me it was likely that my little girl would be disabled. It was a hard pill to swallow, and I won’t even cover the literal mental breakdown I had on the stairs in the hospital that day. I don’t even remember how I made it home. My daughter got a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy at 6 months, it is caused by brain damage and is a physical disability that comes with a range of other related health issues, like having seizures and being developmentally delayed. I mean we got this now, I feel like a literal supermom, but back then, and even sometimes now, it does get a lot, and I’m not always the best talker, when it comes to opening up about my daughter or how I’m feeling.
When we got home, I tried to look for support groups for young mums or mums in general with a special needs baby. I couldn’t find anything. Even though my family were around, they didn’t know what I was going through and so it just made it more difficult for me to open up. That’s why I started blogging. It’s a platform for me to be as open as I ever will be, without judgement. It’s a chance for me to reach an audience of other mums that I couldn’t find locally. If I can help just one young mum, and let them know that they are not alone, or stand as a support for them, then I feel like I’ve fulfilled a good purpose.
During my pregnancy and in the earlier days of motherhood, I isolated. It wasn’t good for me or my baby, but I just felt alone with no one to turn to. Sometimes it’s harder to speak to people you know for fear of judgement, and hard to talk to professionals, because a lot of the time they are there to judge you. To comment on your fitness, or your mentality or anything else. So if ever anyone wants a free space to speak to another mum about absolutely anything, to rant, to cry, to chat absolute nonsense, to gossip or for advice, feel free to contact me. If you feel alone, or if need advice or if you’re a mum/dad of a special needs baby! I still haven’t got into contact with one two years later lol. I’m documenting my journey parenting my little girl, trying to be as open and honest as possible about our experiences, and the challenges, so hopefully you’ll see some more stuff from us soon!
Thanks for reading!
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