Friday, May 23, 2008

Posted by Jen

Some Mothers Get Babies With Something More
Written by: Lori Borgman Columnist and Speaker

Expectant mothers waiting for a newborn's arrival say they don't care what sex the baby is. They just want to have ten fingers and ten toes.

Mothers lie.

Every mother wants so much more. She wants perfectly healthy baby with a round head, rosebud lips, button nose, beautiful eyes and satin skin. She wants a baby so gorgeous that people will pity the Gerber baby for being flat-out ugly. She wants a baby that will roll over, sit up and take those first steps right on schedule (according to the baby development chart on page 57, column two). Every mother wants a baby that can see, hear, run, jump and fire neurons by the billions. She wants a kid that can smack the ball out of the park and do toe points that are the envy of the entire ballet class. Call it greed if you want, but a mother wants what a mother wants.

Some mothers get babies with something more. Maybe you're one who got a baby with a condition you couldn't pronounce, a spine that didn't fuse, a missing chromosome or a palate that didn't close. The doctor's words took your breath away. It was just like the time at recess in the fourth grade when you didn't see the kick ball coming, and it knocked the wind right out of you.
Some of you left the hospital with a healthy bundle, then, months, even years later, took him in for a routine visit, or scheduled him for a checkup, and crashed head first into a brick wall as you bore the brunt of devastating news. It didn't seem possible. That didn't run in your family. Could this really be happening in your lifetime?

There's no such thing as a perfect body. Everybody will bear something at some time or another. maybe the affliction will be apparent to curious eyes, or maybe it will be unseen, quietly treated with trips to the doctor, therapy or surgery. Mothers of children with disabilities live the limitations with them.

Frankly, I don't know how you do it. Sometimes you mothers scare me. How you lift that kid in and out of the wheelchair twenty times a day. How you monitor tests, track medications, and serve as the gatekeeper to a hundred specialists yammering in your ear.
I wonder how you endure the clich├ęs and the platitudes, the well-intentioned souls explaining how God is at work when you've occasionally questioned if God is on strike. I even wonder how you endure schmaltzy columns like this one-saluting you, painting you as hero and saint, when you know you're ordinary. You snap, you bark, you bite. You didn't volunteer for this, you didn't jump up and down in the motherhood line yelling, "Choose me, God. Choose me? I've got what it takes."

You're a woman who doesn't have time to step back and put things in perspective, so let me do it for you.

From where I sit, you're way ahead of the pack. You've developed the strength of the draft horse while holding onto the delicacy of a daffodil. You have a heart that melts like chocolate in a glove box in July, counter-balanced against the stubbornness of an Ozark mule.
You are the mother, advocate and protector of a child with a disability. You're a neighbor, a friend, a woman I pass at church and my sister-in-law.

You're a wonder.

Yep. That's about it. I think the person who wrote this gets it. Someone else told me yesterday that they're amazed by me. And they have a child with a "problem". I walked through this journey knowing that this family had done it, done it well, and put their son first. That's all I tried to do. Do the best, put Joshua first, and stumble through the rest of the day.

I'm still stumbling through the day. But I think that's a human feeling. Not just a mum-to-a-special-baby feeling.


Had a rough night. Wasn't feeling great, and Oceana woke up early - like 5:00am or something insane like that. On Saturday morning no less. I got grumpy because she pulled her usual routine. The usual routine is a) tears b) screams c)reaching down my shirt to find her long-ago-friends and *pinching* d) kicking me e) doing her best to push me out of the bed. Do you see why I don't do well when she's in our bed? This is NORMAL. Argh! So around 6 I got up, yelled at her a bit (coz I was sick and grumpy), turned on the TV, got her weetbix and went back to sleep on the couch. (Found those weetbix crumbled across the floor, but oh well.... I got more sleep). And then the internet wasn't working when I got up. Horror of horrors. If only I knew that you have to push the "wireless" button to pick up the wireless. Argh. 20 minutes and 4x of resetting the modem to realize Matt just had to press a button the laptop. AAAAAAAAAAAAk! But it's all better now because I ate a brownie for breakfast. Shut up. I know. The 7-stickies. Shut up.


  1. Chocolate for breakfast? You're my kind of girl. I'll be back to doing those sort of "get me through this moment" things when I am done nursing.

    I hope the rest of the day was/is brighter, and you feel better too.
    If not, there's always more chocolate.

    That article was amazing, and written with such pointedness.


  2. That was a really great article. You are a great mom Susie! You love your kids and put them first and that is what is important.

    By the way, I had chocolate chip cookies for breakfast yesterday :)

  3. I'm glad it blessed you Susie, I was hoping it would.

    Nothing wrong with chocolate for breakfast. I usually chase mine down with coke. *wink* And I have quite a few more stickies than you, so stress not.

  4. Thank you so much for posting the bit about mothers. I will be copying and pasting it to save and re-read any time I'm having an extra stressful day as a mommy.

    We adopted our son at birth. I had been to ever ultrasound the birthmother had during her pregnancy. Nothing was ever seen that was out of the ordinary other than too much amniotic fluid (now we know it's a red flag for what was about to come).

    When our little man was born, we noticed one of his hands was different. We didn't let our fear overshadow the joy of the moment, but soon when they couldn't run a tube down to suction him, they realized something was terribly wrong.

    He was rushed to a children's hospital (with us right behind him). He was diagnosed with VATER association. He had a radial club hand, vertebral anomalies, and an esophagus that was not attached to his tummy. We were terrified. This poor baby was fighting for his life. We already loved him so much and we were so scared we were going to lose him.

    His esophagus was repaired when he was 3-days-old. He'll probably have reflux for his entire life. He really has two club hands. One is missing the radius. And he has scoliosis. He was recently diagnosed with food and environmental allergies (PEANUT too).

    Today, he's happy and energetic. And such a good sport when he has to take NINE medications every day. And he endures therapy and numerous specialist visits on a regular basis.

    We never, ever stopped to think how our lives took a sudden and jarring different direction. And it upsets me when people "feel sorry" for us because our child has a disability and medical concerns.

    If we had known about the birth defect before our son was born, we would have adopted him just the same. We know we weren't given any more than we could handle. He is such a blessing.

    And it feels good that the author "gets" me. What a wonderful and beautifully written tribute to moms.

  5. That article was amazing. So down to earth...where we live. And I admit to yelling at my children when sleep was lost and I was at the end of my rope. It's haven't lost your love for's just been stretched a bit. And whatever makes you feel better, go for it! Bring on the chocolate! Just as a side note...God has been keeping me in the book of Job ever since the first diagnose of Joshua. Not pretty. But a bit of sunshine has shone through the dark clouds...Job 1:8 "Then the Lord said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job, that there is NONE LIKE HIM ON THE EARTH, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" This is what I feel God is saying about YOU! He KNEW he could trust you with this to bring honor and glory to HIS name and you have! May we all be encouraged in Him. We are hurting as much as you are and are praying daily for His grace to sustane us. Love you so much!

  6. Susie,
    Loved the Mom article. My daughter, now 20, was diagnosed at 4 with an auto-immune disease. At age 11, after her dad left because he just couldn't handle it, she had a huge flare on top of depression. She came close to dying. As a single mom with 3 other children, I remember very clearly bargaining all night with God, begging Him to let her stay. I finally came to the ultimate realization (TRUE realization, like you have) that God is in control and He would do what was best. She is still here and is doing well, 4.0 in college, boyfriend, etc. She will always struggle and her future is still precarious, but she lives her life daily. Being a Mom of a "special" child brings us closer to God, teaches us about unselfishness, and reminds us to treasure and be thankful for every day.

    I love you Susie.......God is with you.