My Journey Part 2:Clarity

Some may ask why a silly post of venting about my husband on a mommy fourm with woman I had never meant would create such an a-ha moment. Well, the reality is although we were a young couple with young children like most our circumstances we were a little different.

We married young but waited to have children. I’m glad we did. We dealt with the near death of his mother, a mentally ill family member, he worked night shift, while I worked days and attended college. We grew up together and clung to each other. Those rough times only made our bond stronger. We understood that it was us against the world. Nobody could understand the road we were on or the road we had already traveled, except us. Along came our first child we were both thrilled with being parents. It was everything we had imagined. We decided to have a second and we were even more blessed. During the second year of my first child’s life he was diagnosed with a genetic abnormality. This is not something that ever nor will it ever threaten his life. However it was a game changer for us. I remember the phone call and I remember the tears. I will never forget the embrace of my husband as he held me and told me, “Nothing has changed. He is still the same child today as he was yesterday. We just have tools to help him now. We’ll do this together.” This was definitely a defining moment in our marriage. My husband was my rock during this time. He kept things in perspective while I became a warrior and learned to become a fierce advocate for my child. My definition of a stay at home mom changed. I was no longer at home…LOL I was taking my son to therapy, Dr. appointments, doing research, as well as taking care of my younger child. One of these appointments was to a genetic specialist. She recommended that my husband and I were tested to make sure we were not the carrier, especially since we were planning on having more children. On a side note my plan was to have four children. I already had it all planned. I knew how apart I wanted them to be and was already calculating my next pregnancy.

It took a couple of months to get the test results. During that time my husband watched me as I was run ragged everyday. I was chasing my two very active toddlers, running to therapies daily, dealing with the emotional aspect of what it meant to have a child with special needs as well as just keeping up with daily life. My husband had come to me during this time and told me he didn’t want to have anymore children if it came back that either of us were the carrier of this genetic abnormality. He felt it was not fair to the two children we already had and would put to much burden on my shoulders if we had another child that had special needs. I agreed because he had some excellent points and perspective that I didn’t.

We had taken a road trip with our little ones. My husband and I were wrestling to get the kids in car in the valet line at the hotel and I get the call from the geneticist. It was simple, “We just wanted to let you know we got the test results back. It has been confirmed that you are the carrier of the genetic abnormality. We recommend that you see a genetic counselor if you are considering having more children”. Here I am standing in the valet line at a hotel, tears streaming down my face and I’m in complete and utter shock. Of course my husband notices and hugs me asking what’s wrong. It was a quick embrace as I told him, “I’m the carrier.” Not the most opportune moment to find out news like this. He helped me in the car and we drove holding each other’s hand as tears continued to stream down my face. Thank God for entertainment systems and wireless headsets in the car.

My husband, my rock.  I don’t even know how he knew what to say to calm me down and put things into perspective.  I do remember him once again telling me, “Things are still the same today as they were yesterday.  Nothing has changed.”  He just continued to talk as I cried.  Our kids had started bickering and antagonizing each other from their carseats.  My husband asked me why I was still crying.  I told him, “I wanted four kids.”  My man looked at me like I had turned purple, grew 3 eyes, and lost my mind.  In a joking manner, as he is looking back at our squirrely children he said, “You really wanted two more of those.”  That was it we were both laughing hysterically. Another defining moment in our marriage.   I have always been so thankful for my husband’s insight to make such a huge decision before we knew the results of that test.

Never once in all these years has my husband blamed me or held it against me that I was cause of my son’s abnormalities.  In my few moments of guilt he has stopped me.  The night we found out we were pregnant we layed hands on my stomach and prayed for our son.  We also prayed that God would equip us and prepare us to be the best parents we could be for our child.  He has always reminded me of that.

Going back to my A-HA moment.  How could I speak so disrespectfully and say those awful things about my husband?  This is the man that I vowed to Love, Honor, and Obey before God.  He has never disrespected me.  He has always told me and others what a great mother I am.  He has always told me and others how wonderful a wife I was.  He would tell people I was the one that held the family together.  Another defining moment.

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9 thoughts on “My Journey Part 2:Clarity

  1. Kate,
    A powerful, heartwrenching post that shows all of us what a great team the two of you make. It is not easy to do……. sharing a story, but what I see is the stength of your love and his leadership.
    Meredith

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    • It’s funny because back I really didn’t see the leadership back then. Looking back I absolutely see it. I wish I wouldn’t have been so resistant towards his leadership back them. I have always felt the love though.

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  2. Hi again Kate. What a special story!

    Your post yesterday inspired an “oh yeah” moment in my life yesterday. I plan to do a post on it soon:)

    It always make me feel good when someone tells me that something I wrote helped them in some way!

    Jordan and I are high school sweet hearts too. He is my one and only love. We waited eight years together to have children too. He supported me through nursing school then I returned the favor while he obtained his degree. After college we got married and started trying to have a baby.

    We delt with infertility but we’re soon blessed with a beautiful baby girl. Thinking we couldn’t have children without assistance we took no precautions and ended up pregnant with our second child when our daughter was only 8 months.

    I wanted 3 children. Jordan was content with 1. But we both ended up thrilled with God’s gift and we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy.

    He was born seemingly perfect but we soon found out he had special needs. He didn’t speak until almost 4 and he is on the autism spectrum. He has had numerous therapies and still does but has made incredible progress. I understand the work and pressure involved. It will be worth it I promise you!

    After our son was born I turned ill and was later diagnosed with two incurable autoimmune diseases. Last year our daughter became ill and she has tested positive for both of those illnesses.

    Seeing her suffer is horrible and the guilt I carry for passing it on to her is hard to bare.

    I often wonder had I known the possibility of the illness if I would have had children but they are truly my world.

    My story is similar but different. Jordan has been my rock. I understand your guilt for putting your husband down. I also understand many of your feelings. Feel free to email me at any time<3

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    • Lilly

      Yes, having a child with special needs presents different challenges for the married couple. The therapies have and continue to do wonders for him. He has come a long way. The only thing I want for him is to be able to be a productive member of society in what ever way he can. Watching our children struggle and hurt is tough but I suppose even parents with “normal” kids feel that in a different manner.

      My faith has given me the freedom to never question myself on having children. I have had the what if moments though…just never questioned it.

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  3. hi Kate, Life is hard, sometimes unfairly so and it must be hard to have a special needs child. Please don’t blame yourself, how could you have known? I think you and your husband are a great team. Bless him he does know how to handle it all. I hope as your child grows things get a bit easier
    much love Jan,xx

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    • I am blessed that my man does know how to handle things. Yep life isn’t always easy. I’m years out from that diagnosis and have now worked through all that. I don’t blame myself because your right….I didn’t know.

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  4. What a lovely and heartfelt post Kate. I too live with a genetic abnormality but fortunately, although it does have impacts on my life, such as infertility, it doesn’t impact my day to day life … if that makes sense.

    I agree with the others, this post shows what a loving team you two are.

    Hugs
    Roz

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    • Genetics are so much more complicated than I ever imagined. I have the same genetic abnormality as my son but it has never affected me.

      I’m glad I’m able to portray the love I have for my husband.

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  5. What a touching story Kate thank you for sharing. While our son doesn’t not have an genetic illness, he does have a learning disability that came directly from me. It wasn’t until I was an adult having him tested that I found out I too had it. Anyway there is nothing in comparison other than the fact that when I watch him struggle, I blame myself. My husband never has, well not seriously~ in our case there can be some pretty humourous moments.

    I often think when I am about to be curt or flippant with my husband, ” he doesn’t talk to you that way willie, and how crushed would you be if he did?’ It really does put things into perspective doesn’t it?

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