*Today’s post is a guest post, written by Michelle from Grammie Time.
God’s creation, words, people, photos, they all breathe inspiration into me. There is “one thing” though that inspires me beyond all others: my daughter.
Nine months pregnant, I went in for my soon-to-be last doctor appointment. After a routine sonogram and unbeknown to all of us, my doctor said, “your baby has a myelomeningocele. A neural tube defect (spina bifida), where the baby’s spinal cord fails to develop properly.” I listened as he continued to explain. His next words, “we need to deliver your baby by c-section today.” I was terrified and life as I knew it was about to change.
I called my husband and we prepared quickly for the c-section. My original birth plan was not happening, no time to explain to my other two children, and I was not bringing home a newborn baby anytime soon. After the delivery, I was unable to hold her. My daughter was taken by the nurses to be prepped for surgery to repair her spinal cord and insert a shunt for hydrocephalus (fluid in the ventricles of the brain). As I was waiting in my hospital room to hear from the doctor, I felt a heavy weight of grief fall over me. I was drowning in a sea of emotions and not knowing what to do, I cried out, “God, give me strength to go on if you take her from me; or give me strength to care for her if she lives.” Twelve hours later, I welcomed my daughter Katie into the world.
From the moment of her birth, Katie has undergone several surgeries to correct her spinal cord, numerous shunt replacements, orthopedic surgeries and medical procedures for other issues relating to her disability. Katie’s life consists of wheelchairs, special equipment, medications and modifications within our home. For these reasons, she has an array of doctors she visits frequently.
As I’ve navigated the challenges of raising a child with special needs, it has not been without worry, frustration, tears and prayer. As God guides, I try to love her the way I would want to be loved: unconditionally. This child I’ve been given, is the one who inspires me to…
- BE PATIENT… when you have a child, patience is necessary. Patience does not come easily for me. I had to learn to slow down and wait. There are days it’s still a struggle. Katie is a constant reminder to let go of what you cannot control.
- PERSEVERE… in spite of her difficulties or challenges in learning how to do something we all take for granted, she never gives up. For example, learning how to drive a car with modified equipment so she could have her independence. As she was learning, I was fearing something bad might happen to her without the ability to get out of the car quickly. Katie inspires me to keep trying, even if you are fearful.
- BE GRATEFUL… she is grateful for little things in life. When the future is unknown I let worry consume me. She has a joyous attitude which helps remind me to live in the moment and be grateful for the present. Tomorrow could be a whole lot different.
- HAVE CONFIDENCE… Katie does not let others get to her easily, or is concerned about what others may think. I watch how she handles situations and I’ve learned through my daughter to be true to who you are and if they like you, great. If not, move on. Her confidence shows to others she is okay in her skin.
- BE DIFFERENT… everyone wants to be liked, noticed and accepted. Many people have a difficult time accepting those who are different. Katie has had to overcome many obstacles. She tries to focus not on what she can’t do, but on what she can do. Even if it makes her different.
My baby girl is grown up now and many people have shared over the years what an inspiration Katie has been to them. The one thing I know for sure, she has been and will always be the inspiration breathing life into me.
Michelle blogs over at Grammie Time. You can also find her here: