Monday, November 25, 2013

The Mother and Person I Became

A few minutes after my son was born, I held him in my arms I looked up at my beloved and didn't have the words to express what I was feeling. He made me a mother.
It was a year before he'd be diagnosed with a vision disorder that caused delays. It would be another two before his sister would join us and bring a surprise inside her body that she would share with her brother.
Motherhood was an adjustment, as I'm sure you know. I'd like to think I'd handled it pretty well in those early days, before a time I call The Fog, when we'd learn about a life-threatening chronic illness. Two years before I became a mother I'd begun freelancing, anticipating staying home with a baby and worked nearly full-time until he was born. I'd nursed exclusively, he was a good sleeper (undiagnosed kidney disease anyone?) and I felt competent. We did okay, the two of us.
Fast forward a couple of years and we had two sick kids with multiple special needs to take care of that resulted in an unbelievable amount of appointments for the next year because blood pressure stabilization and up to 13 (yes, thirteen) therapy visits a week.
It was a terrible time of adjustment for me but as I just put one foot in front of another a transformation happened. As I was caring for them and their complicated needs I started to change.
I became an advocate.
A caregiver, tear wiper.
I became a story teller, a schedule keeper.
A comforter and soul protector.
I became a researcher and juggler. A medical aide and fighter.
Pill dispenser. A shot giver.
A volunteer, a speaker.
I became fearless and fearful.
I became a better daughter, sister, mother. A better friend.
I became more grateful.
I became a better person.
I became the mother I am today.
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Julia Roberts recently shut down her personal blog Kidneys and Eyes after 9 years and focuses all of her blogging time on a community she co-founded, Support for Special Needs. She loves long walks on the beach, Diet Coke, and naps. Married to Julian for nearly 20 years, they laugh at their life a lot.