“Do we need these baby gates?” I asked Ed.
“Yeah hun, hold on to them because we will want to put up a gate to keep the little one from wandering out of their room,” he said.
Weird. Little one wandering. It seems like such a foreign concept. After he said that, I couldn’t help but think…is this child going to walk?
This is my third pregnancy. I am 35. We have one typical child, L, and our youngest, Maxwell, has a rare genetic syndrome called FoxG1. FoxG1 syndrome has kept Maxwell from walking, talking, sitting, seeing properly, feeding himself…it requires total care. And, that’s our world. We are special needs parents. It’s what I am used to. I guess you could say, we live in Holland. (Check out “Welcome to Holland” here. I am sure every special needs mom has been given this link to read.)
So, when Ed talked about our third, walking around the house, it hit an emotional cord. I have prepared myself to give birth to a special needs child. I am ready for therapy 5 days a week, appointments out of state to the doctor, a second feeding pump, a second wheelchair, a second little one who will need total care. I have not let myself assume my third child will be typical. I hope, but do not assume.
Several people were surprised to discover Ed and I decided to have a third child after our sweet Maxwell. Some assumed it was an unplanned pregnancy. However, it was very much planned, and even before starting to have children, we have always wanted 3, the Jackson 5. Not only did I want another baby, this time around, I had a few other reasons on my heart.
As a special needs mom, I think about my kids’ lives if and when I am no longer here. I mean, I hope I’m around for a really long time, but if it was my time, it would just be Max and L. L would be left to look after his brother, and would have no one else close to him to confide in or depend on. I thought, a third child, if born typical, could be someone Max and L could also look to for help, love, and support. It would be the three of them going through life together instead of everything being on L. I need L to have someone else he can talk to, and sometimes there are only things that siblings understand.
Cord blood. Stem cells. Tissue samples. What if down the road, researchers, doctors, and scientists actually came up with a cure for FoxG1 syndrome, and they needed those things from a family member in order to create a cure? I know those are a lot of hypotheticals, but what if? I would seriously never forgive myself if I didn’t save cord blood knowing that Max may possibly need them in the future.
I don’t know if this baby is typical, and I don’t plan on going through a CVS sampling to find out if he has FoxG1 Syndrome. Initially, I wanted to know right away, so I could prepare, but knowing the CVS sampling could result in miscarriage, I declined, and am hoping for the best. In May 2018, we will welcome the newest little dude to our family, and I couldn’t be more excited, whether he is typical or has special needs, we will love him just the same. So, I guess for now, I’ll just hold on to those baby gates.