On the day that she was born...our world's collided. It was not an easy transition. It was like being thrown off a cliff, falling, falling, falling, and finally plunging into ice cold water, struggling to find the surface.....I could see it, but I couldn't get there...I couldn't breath, until finally I emerged through the surface and took a deep breath....my first breath into this new world that I had collided into.
No one dreams of living in this world. When we are pregnant we do not have dreams about having a child with special needs. We do not wish for a child that has any kind of difficulties. No one says, "Yes, I am hoping that this child that is in my womb will need to live with me for the rest of her life." This world is truly a world that no one wishes to become a part of. I believe that is why the transition into this world must be abrupt....with little or no time to think about it. One day you are in the "typical" world...and the next BOOM you enter this world of special needs parents...wandering around trying to find their way. I glance back at the "typical" world where the people seem so carefree, able to do things on a whim without the methodical planning of how it will affect their special needs child.
The most difficult part for me has been the sense of being alone...as if no one understands me anymore. It's true that I am the same person that I was before Emma was born, but I have been transformed and it is difficult for people in the "typical" world to understand some of my "special needs parenting world" ways. I am more fragile than I was before. I am more sensitive...especially when it comes to Emma. I see things in a completely different way now than I did before I became Emma's mom. I long to find the mom who I can connect with...who can understand my frustrations, my joys, my sorrows, and my fears. When I'm with a group of "typical" mom's and they are talking about when their children were babies...I like to add my own stories, but all of Emma's stories are hospital related....and they make the other mom's feel uncomfortable. Heaven forbid they must be a visitor to my world for a few moments.
I can look back and say that I am thankful to be in this new world. I cannot imagine NOT being Emma's mom. I am a better person for all that I have gone through with her. Life gets easier and easier as Emma gets older. I am able to breath much more freely. At times my head is dunked back into the ice cold water, but it is brief and I am able to see things even more clearly once I come up again.
Yes, it's a completely different world than it was before I had Emma (part of that is simply becoming a first time parent), but I wouldn't change it for a second.