First time moms... — The Bump
Special Needs

First time moms...

When you first found out your baby was going to be a special needs child, were you angry when you saw people with healthy babies? I saw a woman with a baby about the same size as Reagan yesterday and my first reaction was to be angry that she had a healthy baby and my baby is going to be mentally delayed. Then I felt horrible because we are truely blessed to have Reagan and we love her so much. I felt like I wasn't satisfied with my baby and that's not true at all. Has anyone else gone through this? How did you cope with those spontaneous feelings of negativity?
I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 1Samuel 1:27 Image and video hosting by TinyPic Lilypie Third Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers Team Peeta Tag Pictures, Images and Photos

Re: First time moms...

  • We found out about Oliver when I was still pregnant with him...I hated every pregnant woman I knew that was carrying a healthy baby! After we had him and made it thru his first surgery I kind of "lost" all that bitterness towards moms of healthy little ones and realized that I was chosen to be his mom for a reason! I think it's a stage we all go thru - or maybe I was just told that so I didn't feel so bad about myself for feeling that way!
  • yes- i still feel this way (though we're only 4 weeks out). I get angry at all the healthy pregnant girls too (and having half your friends preggo doesnt help). Not that I would ever wish this on anyone else or that I would ever want a different baby. It's slowly been getting better though, as we deal with things. I suspect that it will continue to get better and better. I havent made the call yet, but was told that a lot of times it's helpful to talk to a counsler of some kind b/c in some ways you are mourning the loss of a "normal" child.
    Mommy to an amazing toddler who happens to have had a stroke, bleed, hydrocephalus and CP... and is kickin' it's butt :-)
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  • I went through this "anger" phase when I was pregnant with Ty.  Though we didn't know he had Down syndrome, we were told he had multiple medical issues (though he actually didn't!), and I definitely went through the whole grieving process.  Several of my friends were pregnant also, so I had a lot of jealousy toward their "normal" doctor's appointments.  However, once Ty was born, that all disappeared.  I think I had finally reached acceptance by the time he came along though, so the diagnosis of Ds was a lot easier to take.  I guess I get jealous that other people don't have as many follow up doctor's appointments, but that's it....it's more of an annoyance than anything though.  I honestly feel really blessed to have Ty, and I really look forward to what he's going to bring to our lives.  I think it's just an emotional process that you have to go through though, and everyone handles it differently.  Just try to see the accomplishments and strengths of your LO, and celebrate her for what she IS able to do.  I think those accomplishments are even more sweet when you know it's a challenge to achieve.  Hang in there!

  • Your feelings are totally normal and shared by many of us I am sure. I found out before my son was born about all of his medical issues, but I never thought he would have been in the hospital for 99 days. Whenever I hear of a colleague or friend who has a baby and they say, "mom and baby are both doing fine" I get a tinge of anger and jealousy. I never got to have a baby that was "doing fine" because my son needed immediate medical attention due to his heart defect. I also was and sometimes still get jealous when I see a perfectly healthy baby with no lines attached. I have come to terms with all of my son's medical needs and we are just so happy he is home with us. But, of course I would have rather had my son not have to go through all that he has in his short little life already. 

    To answer your question, I don't think the spontaneous feelings of anger or jealousy ever completely go away. Yes, it gets better and you accept your baby for who they are...but I think it is only natural to want everything for your child. If the feelings get worse or you find yourself dwelling on it...then it is time to go to a therapist or seek some sort of support.  

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  • Absolutely.  And I still have those feelings from time to time.  We've had DD's diagnosis for almost a year and a half now (she was dx'ed at 4 weeks) and for the first year or so I really had a hard time being around typical kids who were right about her age.  I even found myself being annoyed by news stories about super-large families like the Duggars where everyone was healthy - the little voice in my head said "How greedy, and how do you get to have so many healthy typical kids and I can't even have one??"

    And then, of course, I always felt the guilt afterwards too - I shouldn't resent people who don't have a child like mine, because I love my child and should be thrilled that I have her, right?  Then one day I decided to give myself a break.  I love my girl, she's wonderful, she makes me happy, but I'm also sad for her and this isn't the life I would have chosen for her or for us.  It's OK to be angry that things didn't happen the way I imagined they would.

    The good news is that as I got to know DD and she started showing her beautiful personality and wrapping us around her finger, my anger at everyone else started fading.  Now I look at other people's kids and I sometimes have what I think are pretty typical parental thoughts - eg, "Wow, DD is so much cuter than that kid!" or "DD would NEVER be that badly behaved" or "That kid's cute, but DD has more personality" etc.  Maybe obnoxious, and I certainly remind myself that I'm just being a proud parent and that other kid is perfectly cute/well-behaved/personable, but it feels much much better to be proud of DD!  I think comparing your child to everyone else's is totally normal, and once you get past the diagnosis you'll find yourself doing it just like any other parent.  :)

  • I don't know what challenges your son has, but I have a friend with a son with DS who is 4 months old.  She did not know and it was a shock.  She is going through  the process of grieving "the dream".  She suggested a book that another friend of ours with a child with DS gave her called "Gifts" by Kathryn Lynard Soper.  It is specific to DS, but it is stories about other mothers.  I think it helped her feel less alone. 
  • Yes.  My son (Ds) was diagnosed at birth.  I was, and still am, jealous of all the parents who just got to take their babies home...no follow ups, no therapists, so specialists.  It still hurts (almost 8 months later) to see my little man next to his peers.  He can't do all the things they can, and that is hard for me.  It is such a strange and frustrating feeling.....I want and love him so much, but there is always this "monkey on my back" (lame expression I konw) that doesn't allow me to just be "ok."  I'm not sure when it will go away, or of it will ever go away.  I work with a couple of moms w/ special needs kids (one in high school, and one adult) and from speaking with them, I get the impression that it never goes away.  Doesn't sound too promising for us parents of special needs kids, but maybe that's our way of being sure we never get out of touch w/ what our children need, and allows us to be constant advocates for them.....who knows, I guess I woke up on the "glass half full" side of the bed today!

  • image KMom14:

    I went through this "anger" phase when I was pregnant with Ty.  Though we didn't know he had Down syndrome, we were told he had multiple medical issues (though he actually didn't!), and I definitely went through the whole grieving process.  Several of my friends were pregnant also, so I had a lot of jealousy toward their "normal" doctor's appointments.  However, once Ty was born, that all disappeared.  I think I had finally reached acceptance by the time he came along though, so the diagnosis of Ds was a lot easier to take.  I guess I get jealous that other people don't have as many follow up doctor's appointments, but that's it....it's more of an annoyance than anything though.  I honestly feel really blessed to have Ty, and I really look forward to what he's going to bring to our lives.  I think it's just an emotional process that you have to go through though, and everyone handles it differently.  Just try to see the accomplishments and strengths of your LO, and celebrate her for what she IS able to do.  I think those accomplishments are even more sweet when you know it's a challenge to achieve.  Hang in there!

    Thank you so much (all of you) for your reply. And let me just say...your DS is adorable!! I love that little face!

    I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 1Samuel 1:27 Image and video hosting by TinyPic Lilypie Third Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers Team Peeta Tag Pictures, Images and Photos
  • Oh yes, most defintely, I think I felt that way still preg and now that my son is almost a year old. Its very hard knowing something is diff about your child, I constantly compare him to others and get very sad when i see he is delayed. But then again I look at his happy face everyday, and he knows nothing diff, he is a happy lil guy and that warms my heart forever. The only time anymore that it becomes hard is when I hear my GF talk about their babies, and say "oh look she's walking" or "crawling" and my lil guy doesn't do either, it breaks my heart.
    1 current MC 2011, cautiously pregnant again EDD 4-10-13~STICK BABY
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