How had I missed my baby struggling inside me?
How had I carried on singing, stripping wallpaper and going about my daily life, when the fragile being inside me was suffering repeated insults?
What kind of mother was I?
Refocusing on the words being thrown around the room, I brought my mind back to the small office and information I wanted to ignore.
“All parts of his brain are affected. He will live with cerebral palsy… resulting in learning difficulties… as well as physical limitations.” There was nothing to say, so we simply nodded, indicating our readiness to hear more.
“He will have complex needs and it seems the areas affecting temperature regulation and vision are particularly damaged.”
My husband bravely asked questions and I was surprised at his ability to talk with a steady voice. The doctor remained vague. We weren’t told he would never walk, talk or eat, but it was indicated that each of these things was in jeopardy.
It was as though the doctor conjured up a paintbrush dripping with brilliant white emulsion and began covering the wall of our future.
What had once displayed vivid colourful strokes of our hopes, dreams and future plans, was being abruptly erased. The blank canvas that remained felt daunting rather than full of potential. Nothing could be assumed, and nothing could be expected. Our medical backgrounds brought insight into the myriad of potential complications.
Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
A bomb had exploded in the middle of our lives splintering our world into thousands of tiny pieces. Like walking wounded, we staggered out of the hospital holding onto each other, dazed and bewildered. The words spoken over us rang in our ears. As reality began to sink in, I was surprised at the magnitude of my shock. I simply hadn’t prepared myself for the moment I heard my little boy had profound brain damage.’
Extract from The Skies I’m Under available on paperback via this website or Kindle and paperback through Amazon.