When I was pregnant with Tanner I was not nervous at all. I've known all my life I wanted to be a mom and I had confidence that I'd figure out how to be a good one. But in my head, the ONLY scenario I had considered was how to be a mom to a typical and healthy child. Brian and I got pregnant almost immediately, but I miscarried. Once we started trying again, it took a little longer, but got pregnant fairly easily again, after 4-5 months. It wasn't until Tanner was a newborn and I was walking with friends in the neighborhood that I asked "if we want another child, how will I ever love them as much as I love Tanner?" I struggled with that the second I started considering another child, and Tanner's disorder was completely unknown. They responded how almost anyone would, with "you just will".
Brian and I try to have as "normal" of a life as we can and also be parents to a special needs son, along with a typical/ older son. We know that if we are not happy and active and social and working, we will not be as good of parents as we need to be. But that is much harder to do than you think. I hate to say that my life revolves around Tanner because again, I try to live a normal life, but at the end of the day, my life revolves around Tanner...and it always will. He requires more than most. More attention, more dedication, and yes...more love. Love is all he knows and can feel from us.
Enter a new child....We had a difficult time getting pregnant this time around. we tried everything for about a year and a half, with a specialist. We were tested for everything and there were no signs that we couldn't get pregnant, yet we couldn't. Due to my age, we decided to do IVF. I have referred to this baby, Broxton, as our miracle and here's why (I'll try to summarize). The doctor was able to extrapolate 19 eggs from me, which I was told was extremely positive! the eggs then have to go thru many different stages to determine if they will survive, then to be fertilized, then to grow/survive again. they expect about half to drop off. At the end of this process, we had 3 that were fertilized, but only 2 looked as if they'd make it, and even those 2 weren't "graded" well. This was a long and very expensive process that we only had 1 shot at. I received this call on CDKL5 awareness day 2017, as our entire cul-de-sac was filled with people waiting to begin our balloon liftoff. I cried behind a golf cart and then had to suck it up and move forward. We decided to do genetic testing for obvious reasons. Only 2 of the 3 survived the next 2 days and were then sent for genetic testing. Only 1 of those 2 came back genetically healthy. We started with 19 and ended up with 1 and all we could do was pray that it turned into a pregnancy once it was inserted. Obviously it did...and now we have our miracle baby. Excitement!! But now comes Scared. I had no idea how to be a special needs mom but as each day goes on, I try to do my best. I think I've been doing ok considering, but I'm about to give birth to a, please god, healthy child. what will I feed them? Tanner has never been able to chew and now has a feeding tube. Do they just learn to sit and pull up and stand and walk all on their own? Tanner could never do any of that. How important is it to baby proof my house and move all the breakables and chemicals? Tanner never bothered with any of that. Will he actually talk and say momma? will he learn how to repeat me if I say a curse word? (haha). Tanner never did (and Carson was too smart to). Will I have to teach Broxton how to swim rather than just holding him myself? Will I actually wake him up to go to school in the morning vs. letting him wake up all on his own since Tanner only sleeps in due to his body seizing so much and being over exhausted and needing his sleep? Will he make friends that actually ask to play with him? This may seem trivial to most of you but I'm about to be a first time mom...yet I gave birth to a now 4 year old. When Tanner seizes and starts to fall asleep, we tiptoe and whisper. Will that still be possible? I'm sure not, but how will I handle that? I have no idea what we are about to get into but I am scared to death at whether I will be able to be a good mom to a "typical" child. I think a little part of you always loves your first born just a little more than the others, and I think that's normal. Or maybe Tanner is just so extremely special I can't help it. I want to bond with Broxton and be a good mom and I have no doubt I will love him. But I still think Tanner will always come first. I just hope that doesn't make me a bad mom and Broxton grows up to understand and can love and play with Tanner like we all do. I hope god gives me enough strength to be a good mom to all my boys.