My husband and I have recently found that that after a mere six months of marriage I’m pregnant. We’re happy but surprised: we were told by my doctor that conceiving would be more difficult since I have Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). I’ve recently decided to explore the path of Wicca, but since I’m new to Wicca and pregnancy I’m lost.
I became pregnant with my seventh baby at the age of 44 — after my husband, Michael, had undergone cancer treatment for Stage 3 colorectal cancer two years prior. To say that this pregnancy was a surprise would be quite an understatement; my age alone made it seem somewhat unlikely, and we were under the impression that his cancer treatment had left him sterile. Our family felt complete with six kids, and we were thankful that Michael’s cancer was in remission, so the idea that we would have no more children was fine with us.
With the birth of our son we joined the ranks of that undefined, amorphous, limitless group of “special needs parents.” Within the first days of the NICU I knew there would be challenges, but I could not ever imagine the constituency of belonging to such a group. A stat perhaps. A label. A stigma?
In my cancer story, the diagnosis and treatment was a huge, out-of-nowhere inconvenience in an otherwise fabulous life that I believed I had the right to see fulfilled. And I didn’t need to breastfeed my son to fill him with all the potential of a healthy young man. Except in MY mothering story, I had to do everything possible to nurse him, simply because I wanted to, I was driven to. I believed it was my right.
Even before trying to conceive my husband and I had discussions about how we might handle another pregnancy emotionally. We expected to be ravaged with anxiety and dread most days. We expected to live in anguish for nine months, fearing the worst. I’m happy to report that isn’t the case, for either of us.
My two-and-a-half-year-old was born prematurely and currently has a few different disabilities and setbacks that we’re working with. I’m always on the lookout for children’s books that prominently and positively feature children with disabilities. Unfortunately, it seems like I can ONLY find them at hospitals — and we can’t take those home with us.
Aiden will know that my boyfriend is not his biological father. He will also know how much more this means to his mommy: he’s not here because he has to be, he is here because he wants to be. That kind of love and dedication, the willingness to put aside DNA and open your heart, is what makes a family.
I think having a child with a disability is similar to learning how to run. We line up and listen to a whole lot of people tell us what we should do. Sometimes we hear them. Often we don’t. They are usually talking from their own experience anyway and only slivers of what they say will have real applicable value to ourselves. Then we run: we try and try and try and try.