They don’t tell you about the grief that you experience after you have a baby with special needs.
We read all the parenting books, went to all the baby classes, and “baby proofed” the house. We had checklists and To Do lists. All our baby clothes were washed, diapers lined up on the changing table, and little pink socks tucked neatly in the dresser.
And then Callie was born….and nothing that we had read, experienced in those classes, or prepared for made a difference.
When they tell you your baby girl would have to be transported via helicopter to have open heart surgery….that wasn’t in the books.
When the doctor holds your hand and tells you to expect the worst….that definitely wasn’t covered in childbirthing class.
When you see your normally strong husband crumble…I didn’t see a chapter on that.
When you spend the first three months of your baby’s life in the NICU….no book prepares you for that.
Nothing prepares you to make the decision to amputate your baby girl’s leg. Nothing.
Nothing prepared us for the wall of grief that hit us as we mourned the life we “should have” had……
Nothing prepared us for learning the new “normal” for us.
Nothing prepared us for the realization that our pace would be slower and different than others.
Nothing prepared us for our milestones being different…..but none the less triumphant.
Nothing prepared us for the excitement of being off all of her medications.
Nothing prepared us for the way our hearts would explode when she took her first step in her prosthetic.
Nothing prepared us for the way we would tear up when she rode her horses.
Nothing prepared us for when she got up and walked 24 hours after her second open heart surgery.
Nothing prepared us for her beautiful, kind, smart, and funny little soul.
Nothing prepared us for the amount of love, joy, happiness, amazement, and laughter this little Bear brings to our life.
“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations…..”