A Special Needs Child in the Family – 2

11 Jul

What your neighbors don’t know about your life

After weeks in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia which was about an hour’s drive from our home, no one could explain how or why my daughter survived. Doctors peered into her tiny isolette and shook their heads sadly, one after the other. In her protected environment my daughter was on display for all to view. There she received the utmost attention from the loving nurses with their gentle touch, acting upon their keen instincts and vast experience to nurture and care for our precious one. Through our interactions with them they passed along their vitality for their careers, and that always included sharing love, hope and encouragement whenever possible.  

There was no explanation for her ability to gain strength and continue to take breaths on her own. Sometimes I even saw a glimpse of “she lived even without my intervention” look in the eyes of the doctors in charge of her care. I’m sure it would have made more sense to some of her doctors if an operation or surgical procedure was what had saved her life. She was quite a puzzle, my little angel.

It was an absolute miracle that she had lived through childbirth to achieve three weeks of age.

My first attempt at breast-feeding took place in front of a large pane of glass overlooking the City of Brotherly Love: Philadelphia. Now that was quite an experience—sensing that anyone looking in our direction from the tall buildings nearby and the buses driving past—could witness the intimate act of feeding my newborn child. Talk about stress! Thankfully, I knew in my “mother’s heart” that it was more important to focus on her needs than my embarrassment, and I toughed it out.

Experiences such as mine, and the challenges we overcame, brought about advances for countless new parents facing similar and even more difficult circumstances in the years that followed. My daughter’s birth took place long before hospitals had any idea how to deal with such a sick child, or how to interact with and educate the parents of such children as they embarked on an unknown journey. Each day brought a new reality, special delights we couldn’t have imagined, and an uncertain path that at times seemed treacherous…

Check back tomorrow to learn more about my Auburn Angel, and her affect upon the world!

All my best!

Betty Anne



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