Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mommy's Miracles: Acceptance

Mommy's Miracles: Acceptance: I've come to realize that there are stages of acceptance just like grief. My first run-in with acceptance happened when the girls were...


I've come to realize that there are stages of acceptance just like grief.

My first run-in with acceptance happened when the girls were 18 months old.  It was during the week that my little CEO regressed.  I remember the horror of the first time she smacked herself across the face and the instant denial that anything was wrong.  I ran around to different doctors asking their opinion but really not understanding their responses until one doctor used the word Autism.  I had never met anyone with Autism.  What did that mean?  Was she mentally retarded?  Is it a seizure disorder?

I had no answers.  I called MOST-Mothers of SuperTwins-they had helped me with all aspects of my triplet pregnancy and life so far.  They would have the answers.  I don't even remember my questions because there were so many but I remember one answer so clearly...

"Just when you have your footing, you'll see something that will concern you and your comfort will disappear.  You can go years on a great path and for some unknown reason something will change and you will fight to get your child back.   My biggest piece of advice is to enjoy every moment that you can and cry when you have to...ask for help, you'll need it."


"Come on, Baby Girl.  Say my name.  Ma-Ma.  Ma. Ma.  You can do it.  Please."

I grab your hand as you are about to punch yourself in the face.  I wrestle with you on the floor so that you don't hurt yourself.  I watch your eyes glaze over as you realize that I am going to overpower you.  I see your survival instinct kick in and I prepare for the hit.  You smash your head back into my chest.  I feel my strength leave me.  My heart feels like it's missing some beats.  I vomit on the floor next to us and wrap my body around you.  I begin to rock as violently as you like it except that I am protecting your head from hitting the wall.  I'm protecting your arms with mine.  I take each hit that you want for yourself.  I feel you calming.  My shirt is wet from sweat and tears.  You fall asleep in my arms and I slowly stand and place you in your crib.  I'm exhausted.  I turn and see two little faces staring at me.  The Baby is silently crying and the Bugabuga is looking past me to her sleeping sister. It's time to focus on them.  You'll sleep for an hour.  I can do this.

As the days passed, I felt a disconnection to the violence that was surrounding you.  You were completely silent at this point.  Every morning I woke up with you with the memory of your voice in my head.  Every morning I was determined that this was the day.  This was the day that I heard my baby speak again.  Every night I cried myself to sleep knowing that I failed you.  I couldn't find you in your head.

The therapists calmly checked on me and whether I was at breaking point.  I kept a positive outlook but one day they offered respite and they offered to have a therapist show my how to hold you so that I wouldn't get hurt anymore.  I wonder what they saw.

My denial was powerful but my acceptance in you as a person never wavered.  If this was the limit of your capabilities then I determined to change the world to accept you.  I accepted that things were going to different-not harder-just different.

I learned sign language.  When the therapist told me that I had to find a new way to communicate with you I recoiled.  I heard your voice every night in my dreams.  I knew it was there but it had been months since we had spoken.  I signed, "More?" and pointed to the bottle and you nodded.  You signed, "More."  I cried for hours.  We were communicating.

Months of intensive therapy and you started saying some words as well as signing.  I was over the moon.  You were coming back.

I began to accept that our home was always open to therapists.  I accepted that I couldn't randomly grab you to tickle and cuddle with you on the couch.  You were busy working at therapy.

There were days that were good and there were the other days that almost broke me.  There were days that I wanted to send everyone away and just accept you as you were and screw the world.  Then I would remember that I was 30 years older than you.  One day you will be without me and you need to have the skills to survive.

I started teaching you how to use the microwave at 2 years old.  You would make popcorn for the therapists as I stood behind you.  Everyone was impressed.  I'm still impressed.

At 3 years old, you had enough words that we started weening ourselves off of sign.  I went back to work and Daddy took over the day-to-day toil that broke me.  By this time, your sisters and brother were all diagnosed with Autism.

I accepted that it was my fault somehow.  I'll never know what caused the genetic mutation but I carried you.  I know it was my job to protect you.

At 4 years old, you regressed.  I was given statistics about regressions and what it meant for our future.  We used a mixture of sign and the words your retained.  I accepted that this was our path.

I began practicing sign alone so that I never forgot it.  You found me one day in the kitchen practicing and you began signing happily with me.  You had a huge smile.  You are bilingual.  We increased the intensity of your speech therapy.  You needed to speak in sentences.

One day you got it.  You were grabbing words and stringing them together.  Your progress took off.  You were able to be placed in an integrated setting with your sisters.

We were so proud.  We watched you blossom through Kindergarten.  So much so that we took a leap of faith and placed you and your sisters in Catholic school for 1st grade.

Socially, you are doing an amazing job.  I cannot begin to verbalize my happiness that you have friends.  I see your troubled expression when we talk about class work.  I see how you sit there for hours and it's not sinking in.  I know we have to find another way to reach you.

I accept that you are an amazing child.  I believed that being book smart was the mark of a successful person.  And then I met you and I know that the empathy that you feel for people is what will make you successful.

I hope and pray with every fiber of my being that you will retain your language and continue to grow and learn.  I accept that you may not.  I choose to sign "I love you" every night.  I welcome your sign back.  We always follow it with "Love you" verbally but I know that the sign is our special connection.

I accept that I will always push you harder and fight for you until my dying breath.