I was a frustrated mum until I decided to do things differently. I’m writing this story with respect to the mother who wrote about her 7 years old son and the approach with which she is using to achieve success with him. Her story as well as the comments I read from some mothers prompted me to share.
Last year, I gave birth to a daughter. She was a prayer answered. I had prayed for a daughter and God granted me my request. Labour was long and difficult but baby finally came and she was perfect and fine as far as my tired eyes could see. But when baby was brought to me in post-delivery, the doctor explained the reality to me.
Baby had suffered a brachial plexus injury (erb’s palsy) during the birthing process. That’s literally saying she was paralyzed in the right arm. The doctor explained that the prognosis could be good if we started physical therapy early and referred us to a physiotherapist. Baby was only three days old when our physical therapy journey began. It was the worst process any mother could watch her child go through. I can’t count how many times I went in and out of depression. I cried in my private corners and cried openly. I think I survived those initial days because of my mother. She was my backbone. She attended every therapy session with me and sometimes when she noticed I couldn’t hold it any more, she’d ask me to go for a walk while she continues with the therapist.
My husband had to be away for a while but when he came back and saw the state I was in, he suggested we pay for private sessions where the therapist would come to the house for the therapy instead of going to the hospital. This helped and that was when I began to find myself.
It’s not been an easy journey. We’re not there yet but we’re far from where we used to be. We celebrate small victories like baby holding a toy or raising her hand above her shoulder. But I still worry (I’m a mother; it’s my second job). I worry that we’re not making progress as fast as I had expected, I worry about her reaching her normal developmental milestones, I worry about any permanent disability that may affect her as a female child in the perverse world we live in, I worry so much that I sometimes forget to be grateful for how far we’ve come. I worry and the worry makes me complain so much especially to the therapist. I worry and forget that we came from a place of complete paralysis to a place where baby can move her hands and hold her toys. I worry so much that I forget to speak positively to my baby’s situation. But after reading the post yesterday, I realized, I needed to speak to my daughter’s situation, to be more positive about her condition and be grateful for how far we both have come. I have been so negative that the therapist began to doubt her skills.
After reading the post yesterday, I called my daughter’s therapist and thanked her for the job she was doing with my daughter. And reassured her that we were confident in her work. And when I was renewing her payment today (coincidentally, the sessions we paid for expired yesterday), I didn’t feel so bad. I even told my mum I was sure this was going to be our last month of therapy.
So to all mums out there managing a child’s health condition; hang in there… celebrate the good days and do not let the bad days last too long. N.B When baby is completely fine (I don’t care how long it takes) I’d share our progress (pictures and videos) with MISM.