Finding out I was pregnant was a little bit of a shock, all these questions were racing through my mind, how on earth could I look after a baby? How would my life be with a baby in tow? I work full time in a job I love, how will I fit that in? Can I deal with the whole nappy situation??
As the shock wore off and time went on, I was so excited! I found out I was having a little girl, I bought everything pink! I picked my pram and I loved it! My pregnancy didn’t go as planned though and I was very poorly, resulting in Elise in being born 7 weeks early, both of us in intensive care and with sepsis.
Fast forward and after a rocky start we both came home and we could put what had happened behind us.
Something isn’t right…
I knew as Elise was getting older that something wasn’t right, she wasn’t hitting her milestones, the smiles didn’t come for a long time, she didn’t seem to get stronger, she never sat up. Everyone thought I was just looking to much in to it and kept telling me she would play catch up. I knew this wasn’t the case, a mother always knows best doesn’t she!
I convinced the consultant to give her an MRI scan and after an agonising two week wait, my whole world fell apart. All I remember was the words brain damage and cerebral palsy, everything after that was a blur.
A whole new world
I felt like we had been picked up, taken away from everything I knew and thrown head first into a different world.
A world of appointments meeting physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapist, specialised equipment, charities and key workers. Everything seemed to keep moving and I was stuck in the middle of all this trying to make sense of it all, be a mother and deal with the overwhelming guilt, that this was my fault. Had I ruined my child’s life? What did I do wrong? Could I have done something different? These questions took over my life, I lost contact with people, I wasn’t sleeping, my relationship was falling apart, I was angry, I was scared and it kills me to say that I struggled to be a mother, I did my best but I was so consumed with the word why.
It just takes time
After a while I started to accept things and Elise was making progress, she started to sit up and her communication skills were developing, I thank her key worker at nursery for a lot of this, I feel she took on the role of the mother I struggled to be for a while.
I always hated the saying it just takes time, I’m not a patient person! Its true though, it does take time and that’s ok!
Take as long as you need, I had amazing friends and family who dragged me kicking and screaming through the worst times.
Dealing with the D word
In 2018 you would think that the world had accepted disability and everywhere was accessible.
While most people accept disability, sadly some people are still ignorant and rude. I struggle to understand this, I struggle to comprehend how people can be cruel and think it’s ok to stare. I don’t deal with this well, it’s been a struggle to get where we are but still if I’m having a bad day, all those feelings come rushing back of anger and guilt.
We have met so so many people who are like us and I cant’ tell you how much that has meant, to know that I’m not alone in this, to know that everything I have felt is normal.
Elise continues to make progress and amaze me everyday!
Finding out you child has a disability is crushing but you learn it isn’t the end of the world, its just different and with the right support, you can do it.
I’m Christie, I am 29 and freaking out about the next big birthday!! I live with my daughter Elise, my step daughter Lucy and partner David. I’m originally from Northumberland but have been living in Manchester for six years now. I love spending my time with my girls, eating cake is our favourite past time! I love catching up with friends when I get the chance to.
See more from Christie at Elise Smashed It.