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Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I find myself thinking about what it means to be a mother. For as long as I could remember I have always loved children and dreamt of being a mother to a whole brood of children. It wasn't an easy journey as I was diagnosed with severe PCOS at 20yrs old and was told that I probably would never have children and that fertility treatment wasn't guaranteed to work...my heart shattered into a million pieces when I was told that I was infertile..I thought my world had ended, that I no longer had a purpose, my dreams of a big family were no longer realistic and would only be a dream...
Thankfully I went on to prove the doctors wrong and with the help of fertility treatment I fell pregnant with my firstborn shortly after I got married. I remember looking at the pregnancy test stick and thinking "this cant be right, it must be dodgy" so I went out and bought 5 more...each one gave the same answer... I was going to be a mum...there is no words to describe the joy I felt..I was going to get my dream...
after a horrendous pregnancy, labour and birth I finally believed I was a mother when I held my firstborn in my arms...the love I felt for this tiny little human being was unlike anything I had ever felt...I threw myself into motherhood, relishing every moment with my son, and despite the horrible memories of the pregnancy and birth I decided I would love to try for another when Leo was 2yrs old... Back onto the fertility treatment we went and 6 mths later I found out I was going to be a mother again! Raising my boys has been an amazing journey and still is..I have learnt that being a mother is like no other feeling in the world, its a precious feeling, but its also the hardest but most rewarding job a woman can ever have. I treasure all my memories of my boys reaching their milestones, watching in amazement how their personalities are developing.
I thought that was it, no more children as I didn't think I could have any more fertility treatment and while I felt blessed to have 2 wonderful children, I also felt sad at not having the choice to have more children, to have the big family I have always wanted but felt guilty for feeling like this as there are so many couples who fail the treatment and are unable to have children at all. I threw myself into motherhood, relishing every moment with my boys when one day while at hospital to discuss about issues I was having with my PCOS I was asked if I would like another child..I was speechless as at this point I had accepted that my family was complete, the yearning was still there for another child but I had put it to the back of my mind but now it was pushing itself towards the front and I said "yes that I would have loved another one but didn't think I could" and the doctor said that I was still entitled to another 6mths worth of treatment and gave me a big bag of treatment to take home that day! 6mths later I found out I was to be a mum again..we were over the moon and started planning when to our shock the baby died..it just wasn't to be...I was heartbroken, more so that it took 6 mths of commitment to fertility treatment only to have it robbed from us, it was gut wrenching, I experienced a pain no mother should ever feel...I had one month treatment left and was told to take it and then carry on with my life...I did and fell pregnant with my rainbow baby Roo.
Motherhood with a special needs child is challenging and a blessing. You come to appreciate the small things that you never did with your other children as you know how hard it has been for your child to finally achieve that milestone which may be tiny or nothing in other parents eyes but in special needs parents its a huge thing and something to be celebrated. But there is also the challenging side where you are exhausted every day from the constant caring for your child, ensuring they get their medications, their therapies, going to the various appointments at different hospitals, having so much paperwork to sort out ...I never realised how much paperwork a mother needs to do for their special needs child. The constant battles we have to fight to be listened to, to get the right treatment, the right equipment can be very draining and takes it toll on you. The constant worry about your child's future. When they are undiagnosed like Roo its scary thinking about the future as no one knows what it holds and you are left with all the questions running through your mind - "will he be able to live independently, will he be able to communicate with others, will he get worse or better" and so much more...Recently we have had some difficult times with Roo and he is developing more health issues which are concerning and worrying...I never realised how hard it is being a mother to a special needs child is until Roo came along..I am realising how different motherhood has turned out to be compared to with my older children...but despite the differences I know one thing... my love for them is unconditional, I hug them every day, I tell them I love them every day and every night when they sleep I go up to each one and whisper into their ears " I love you" and kiss them gently on the forehead.