I couldn’t tear my eyes away from his sweet little old man face, memorizing every translucent fingernail and pinked roll, nor did I want to.
We were in a bubble, William and me.
Any kid who has ever been handed a sheet of bubble wrap will tell you the same thing, and they’re right.
Bubbles are meant to be popped, and believing they won’t is just prolonging the inevitable.
As Jeff and tucked our baby boy into his new car seat and left the hospital as shiny new parents, we were starting to realize that something was just the right amount of wrong.
Because babies are supposed to move a little… right?
And he did.
Just not on the left side.
His arm and leg just hung there like limp octopus tentacles.
He didn’t look left either.
And he couldn’t open his fists.
During feeds, we packed nappies under his chin to catch all the milk that would come dribbling back out. It seemed he couldn’t swallow fast or efficiently enough.
And then there was our first pediatrician who was either drunk or high or stupid. He might as well have patted me on the head and handed me a lollipop while telling me new mothers have no idea what’s going on with the human they just created. Better that he didn’t since all I wanted to do was punch him in the kittens.
I didn’t. But maybe I should have. Because I’m not kidding about the drunk and high and stupid.
A few months later, we found a new pediatrician. She took one look at William and diagnosed severe torticollis and plagiocephaly, which is just fancy talk for a severely twisted neck and an asymmetrical distortion (flattening of one side) of the skull.
After hours and hours of physical, occupational, feeding and developmental therapy; plus a craniofacial surgeon, orthopedic surgeon and orthotic helmet, here we are. The parents of a special needs child… with Asperger’s Syndrome and developmental delays.
Or so his most recent evaluation says. About being on the spectrum. The delays are obvious. The Asperger’s isn’t. He only got one question wrong during the testing, just barely tipping him onto the high functioning end.
We remain skeptical.
I won’t even mention vaccines.
Except I will, because that first MMR did something. Or at least it didn’t help.
And yes, I think you need to have some yet-to-be-pinpointed predisposition in your genetic makeup to be negatively affected. Which doesn’t make me anti-vaccine in case you were wondering.
It just makes me confused. And angry. And sad like Bridget Jones wrapped up like a burrito in her comforter.
After years of poring over medical records, charts, graphs, scans and evaluations, I’m convinced William suffered a TIA – transient ischemic attack, otherwise known as a mini stroke – in utero. He dropped when I was only five months pregnant, wedging his noggin in one position for the remainder of his stay in my uterus. That could have caused the pinching of a blood vessel ever so briefly, causing temporary oxygen loss to his brain.
Can I prove it?
Not unless a TARDIS suddenly appears and spirits me away back in time. Which would be awesome. Because PROOF.
Until then, I’ll never stop searching for answers. You know, like the Doctor. He’s a madman with a box and I’m a mom with a mission. Either way, perseverance is ingrained.