When most women hold their baby for the first time they experience a warm and fuzzy feeling. For me, it was a moment filled with hesitation and fear. When the doctor placed my son in my arms, I became not only a first-time mom, but I also became a special needs mom.
I remember every moment leading up to his birth. Even him being so gently placed in my arms. In what should have been an excited and happy moment, I faced the biggest fear that any mother would want to face. The first time I held my child I knew my life would be forever changed.
As I held my child, my life was forever changed
There was this precious little guy with big blue eyes and a tiny body. Ten fingers and ten toes followed, but as I looked closer I saw his fingers were conjoined by his own skin.
I called out to my mom with fear and said, “Mom, what’s wrong with his hands?” My mother, my doctor, and my nurses came over to look. My son was born with a rare disorder called Syndactyly. He had these tiny webbed fingers, but it wasn’t the fingers I feared the most.
My first thoughts when I saw his hands were nothing compared to what I should have felt. I was confused, scared, and lost. Although, there were feelings of love and excitement. He was my first child so I was very excited to be a mom but so afraid of what my son will face down the road. Every single thought in that moment was a question.
“How can I handle this?”
“How am I going to be strong?”
“Am I equipped to be a mom let alone a special needs mom?”
“Will he be made fun of?”
No question was off limits. Imagine the fear I felt. Amplify that times ten and add in doctors, specialists, surgeries, and hospitals. My mind was in overdrive from the moment the doctor placed him in my arms. My heart was overflowing, my world was in a second rearranged and misplaced. I knew nothing would ever be the same again.
When Isaiah was placed in my arms and I received my little boy that I wanted so badly. I got the greatest gift a mother could ask for. Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn said, “In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.”
Strength comes in many forms and this quote says it all. The possibilities that I faced when I gave birth to my son was not just the hard parts, I found good parts too. I found out there is such a thing as a supermom, well at least in my child’s eyes.
My strength was tested that day. But while everyone around me was crying, I was smiling. I looked down at this miraculous little boy and I knew nothing would stop me from helping him. I also realized I received my precious Isaiah for a reason. I was chosen to be his mother for a reason.
I was his mother for a reason
When I held him for the first time I didn’t know how much he would teach me over the years, and that he would grow into a beautiful intellectually disabled little boy. Today, my son is eight years old and he not only endured one surgery to separate his fingers, but he has lived through being labeled as intellectually disabled, and epileptic.
To me, that moment is the moment I wasn’t just a special needs mom, but just mom to a little boy who will always need me the most.
Cheri Voigt is a country mom of three little musketeers or maybe the three stooges. Either way they are always getting into some kind of mischief. Cheri is a full-time student and special needs mom. You can find more from Cheri at Words Unspoken.