My daughter is three weeks old today. She’s been in the NICU since she was born. Being in the hospital so long my husband and I have learned a lot already. Today I’ve been thinking about the most important things we have learned.
1. Having A Child With Special Needs Makes You Thankful
Because my daughter has special needs she has to work harder to get each little bit of progress. My daughter works so hard for everything she does that we celebrate every full diaper and every finished bottle. we thank GOD for every little step we make forward.
2. Not Every Step Back Is a Lose
My daughter has made progress in great leaps and bounds. Sometimes we have to take a step back and rest a bit for her to make her next leap. It has taken me all of the last three weeks to realize that moving a tiny bit back isn’t a failure on anyone’s part. Sometimes she makes us stop and go back to tell us that something needs to change. Sometimes she just needs a rest and it’s her way of saying she just needs us to slow down. If I’m patient, we always get back on track making good progress.
3. A Baby With Special Needs Is Still Just a Baby
When she was first born I spent most of the first day wanting to be alone and just wanting everyone to go away. The days following I spent staring at numbers on monitors. I wanted her to come home so badly that I forgot to see my baby, I saw all the diagnosises keeping us there. it took me the first two weeks to stop staring at screens and just cuddle my sweet little baby.
4. I Am More Capable Then I Realize
I have always doubted myself, what I can do, my ability to make adult decisions, and my level of maturity. Having my daughter has taught me that I can do so much more then I thought I could. Especially on the days my husband was not here with me I was fully able to make decisions for my daughter’s care and health, to meet with doctors and nurses, and to tell the healthcare team what I felt like my daughter needed. I see that sometimes I need to put aside my fears and insecurities in order to do what is best for her. I also see that just because I am young does not mean I can’t do any given thing or don’t know enough. I may be young but I have more experience in my 21 years then most people get in 40 years. I’ve handled many difficult situations thrkugh the grace of GOD and I will be able to handle this one the same way.
When we were first told she would have down syndrome and a heart defect I mourned for the life I thought she was losing. Now I see that she isn’t losing anything, instead we are all gaining more then we could ever have hoped for.