It's funny how two little words (though they don't seem so little when you hear them) can change your life. Those two words are, Spina Bifida. Before Kaitlyn was born I had "heard" of Spina Bifida, but really did not know much about it. I think most of the world is this way, even doctors. Having to learn what Spina Bifida is, is like an induction to a secret club, one you (in your mind) decide you don't want to be part of. However once you're in that club and you have made peace with those words, you might decide it's not so bad of a club.
I'm not sure if I am quite there (100%) yet but I am getting closer. I have accepted the fact Kaitlyn was born with Spina Bifida and while her defect has not been as bad as others, it still sucks to be honest. However it's who she is and will always be and the love I have for her is no different than the love for my other two kiddos. There has been some really rough times, her birth with unknown birth defect, her NICU stay, not holding her after she was born and major surgery at 6 weeks old but there's been some really great times as well. All of her firsts, first smiles, first laughs, roll overs, taste of cereal and more. Some days I forget. I forget she has Spina Bifida, because by all accounts those who simply "see" her, have no clue that she has Spina Bifida or the fact she still has a lipoma on her back. We hope will diminish more as she gets older and bigger.
Despite the Spina Bifida, she is like every other child I know. She's happy, she's sad, cranky, loving and a wonderful addition to our family. So even if you're a expecting mom and you're given this diagnosis, it is not the end of the world or your child's life. It's simply a different direction in life, one you're not expecting but one you'll learn so much from and help others learn from as well.
So while those two words did change my life and even my family's life as we're thrown into the unknown, I m learning to embrace the change. I've met in real life and online some really awesome moms to other Spina Bifida babies and their blogs are inspirational, motivating, uplifting and touching. Sometimes I cry from the sadness in their posts, other times there are tears of joy for milestones and good news from doctors. So while this club is not one I would have chosen to join, I am embracing and accepting it daily.
Don't forget October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month! Donate to your local Spina Bifida Association!