I am feeling a little battered. Today we received yet another 'challenging' diagnosis for one of my children. Between the three of them we have varying diagnoses of ADD, SPD, dyspraxia...I am beginning to wonder, is it me? Is it just us? All three kids?? Is it their crappy genetic inheritance that is to blame? I know I have varying forms of all of the above. Which makes me feel super guilty for passing it along to my children.
Or is it just that the professionals are too trigger happy now days with diagnosing these kinds of 'issues'? I am extremely grateful that I can afford therapy for my kids and that there are helping professionals willing and able to assist, but I am beginning to wonder if it is just us?
And then there is my secret, dark fear. That this is all I, we, deserve. Because I struggled so hard to have children, that having children with challenges is what I deserve. That 'normal'* children are reserved for people who conceive easily and without help. "Normal" families get to have "normal" children. People like me, families like mine, should just be happy with what we are and just shut up.
*Normal meaning "average" / typical / no challenges / no learning issues / no therapy needed.
Of course my rational mind (haha) says this is not true. But there is a part of my mind that is so scarred by infertility and loss that it is beyond rational.
I don't care about myself, about any extra work that might be required from my side, but I care deeply about my children. I feel extra guilty because I brought this on them. Because of my own genetic make up and the predisposition to the ADD/SPD/Dyspraxia above, because I am broken (infertility), their path somehow has to be harder.
Please don't think I feel that my children are "less than". They are not. They are awesome and amazing and clever and competent and funny and brilliant and "normal" in so many respects and have HUGE potential. I wouldn't be surprised if they become leaders / CEOs / entrepreneurs / presidents / stars / celebs / best-at-stuff. But I worry, when I get these diagnoses, that their path to being whatever they want to be is going to be much harder. No mother (or father) wants their children to face extra challenges. Life is challenging enough.
You see, that is why I say infertility is such an insidious affliction. It doesn't just affect the mother-to-be. Or the the father. Or the single/gay/married/straight parent-to-be. It affects their friends, their family, their lives, their relationships, their health, their finances, their mental and psychological well-being. During and after. It affects more than that. It is a wound that leaves a permanent scar. The bitter legacy that infertility has left for me is the fear that because I had to fight and beg and plead and struggle to have children, that my children are somehow damaged because of that struggle.
I wrote this post 3 months ago. I never posted it because it felt too raw. I was worried about being misinterpreted. The most recent diagnosis was too fresh. But I have had time to process this and I am calmer and more in control. And like with Adam and Kate, I will do whatever it takes with Max to make sure he lives the happiest, most fulfilling life he can. My kids are awesome and special and unique and I am so incredibly lucky to be their mother.
I am going to write a separate post about Max and what we have learnt so far.
I am strong. If I can survive infertility, I can survive anything. I wil do whatever it takes to make sure my children lead happy, fulfilling lives.