Imagine finding out you’re pregnant. Everything seems to be going great you’re full of energy (well at least most of the time) you have the nursery all set and then you find out that everything is not fine. The child you are carrying is special needs. The wind in your sail comes rushing out. All the typical questions come to mind, what happened, is it my fault, and the biggest one of all. Can I do this. That was me a little over two years ago. I found out my son had a condition known as Hydrocephalous and it wasn’t the only thing he also has Dandy-Walker Malformation.
Hydrocephalous is a condition where excess Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF from now on) gathers in the brain and is not reabsorbed within the ventricles. Dandy-Walker Malformation is where your cerebleum is misshapen and either smaller or not there at all. I was told that it did not look good for him and that if he survived birth it would be a difficult life for him; he might not walk or talk or do anything that typical children are able to do.
After that appointment I saw a few specialists and thought long and hard about if I wanted that responsibility of dealing with a child that needed so much attention. Could I be the mother that this child would need in order to thrive and have a chance at a normal life? I didn’t have that answer, but I knew that I didn’t have long to find it either. When all this was discovered it was Christmas and I didn’t say anything to my family because I wanted to keep the mood bright here I was pregnant with the first boy in the family in almost 27 years and “he” wasn’t normal by any means. I waited until after the new year and brought it up after talking to my preacher about giving him up to a family that I thought would be better for him. I finally told my mother while on the way to talk to the Neurosurgeon who would be doing his surgery. That was a conversation I will never forget; my mother asked me why we were going up to see a NS and I told her everything about the scans the issues he had and about what I was thinking of doing. She didn’t say anything. The whole rest of the day I was battling with what I thought I had to do and that was to give him up and I took myself to the local park and just sat there and watched the kids play and run around and I was angry because I thought William would never be able to do that and I hated myself for not wanting to be there for him.
On April 24, 2011 I gave birth to a 9 pound 6 ounce baby boy that seemed healthy in every way there was no large head they had told me he would have but what he did have was trouble breathing. About a month after birth he had his first surgery and a Shunt to drain his CSF was placed but shortly after we rushed him back for his second and third surgeries because of and infection. Being his mother is the best thing that I could do; the things he has taught me just by being here and fighting everyday to prove the doctors wrong has taught me that I can prove myself wrong. His smile and determination is the greatest gift that a “special needs” baby boy could ever give.