I’ve had a breakthrough. It wasn’t a sudden rush… it happened over time. I’m almost overly proud to be Landon’s mom.
That has to be a very strange statement for people to understand. Everyone is proud to be their child’s mother. Let me explain.
When we brought Landon home- at first- I was feeling really private about what she had. I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want my small circle to tell anyone. I was really secretive about her malformed ears, somewhat different shaped eyes, how incredibly tiny she was. I can’t explain exactly why. I wanted to protect her…. and me.
It’s like the story in my previous post about Holland, it just wasn’t what I had expected. I wasn’t prepared. All my preparations had been about the nursery, what diapers to buy, strollers, diaper bags, Baby Bjorns. About how to calm a baby, how to breastfeed, how to swaddle. I read baby center everyday. I had always fantasized about being a mother. I was so proud to be pregnant.
So when the geneticist, nurse practitioner and nurse marched into my room 5 hours after my c-section and told me they were moving her to the NICU “because she has deformities and a rare syndrome” … my world was shattered. I had a very healthy pregnancy – even working out the day before I had her. The word surprise doesn’t cover it. Did I mention they told me when I was alone and on 3 different types of drugs? Yep. Enough about that day though.
So I just didn’t want to tell people. I didn’t want to face the stares, the “poor yous”, the discomfort that people feel when they realize something is wrong with your child and they don’t know what to say to you. I wanted to live in my bubble of Landon, Bo and Kingsley and not face the scary world.
I posted photos on facebook at first when you couldn’t see her ears. I bought 30 hats. I just couldn’t deal. But slowly, over time… things started to change. I met my Clarke School friends. We got our baha hearing aid and met other babies who also wore a softband. I became educated about the syndrome, hearing loss, how the ear even works. I emailed with a mom who’s child also has Treachers and found another mom’s email that lives in NYC.
Slowly I came out of my shell about what she had. I wrote about it on here and I started to feel normal again. Hundreds of people emailed me and told me their own very personal stories of adversity, fear, and loss. The healing really took hold of me. I started to tell people her story- without crying. That was major. My voice would catch a little at first, but I could make it through the story without waterworks. It got easier and easier.
We put on our softband in public, in the bjorn, and would gladly answer strangers’ questions about “the little box” on her head. My pride started to swell. We just attended our first baby party and I could not have been prouder of every little thing Landon did. Proud of her softband, proud of her Treachers. Beyond proud that I’m her mother. Proud that I can help other people. That other moms trust me to tell me what they have been or are going through.
I feel whole again. We will have tough days. I will cry again. I will have to face scary surgeries and therapies. But my pride is here to stay and it’ll only grow from here. I love her so much I could burst.