Monday 15 December 2008

Counting my blessings

A few days ago, as part of our club's hospitality towards new mothers, I was scheduled to deliver a meal to my friend F, who just had a baby girl (2 weeks after Yukta was born). When I stopped by her place as arranged, I heard something that upset me deeply. F's elder daughter is the same age as Ads. F and I went through the ups and downs of our pregnancies together. Apart from gestational diabetes and the need to adhere to a strict diet, she had a healthy pregnancy. Tragically, her daughter was born with Downs’s syndrome and sundry other health issues, including a suspected heart problem. Since the standard genetic screening tests had shown that she had a low risk of delivering a Down’s baby, F and her husband were totally unprepared for the shocking news that awaited them. What should have been one of the most joyous moments of their lives turned out to be the worst kind of nightmare. When I met F at her house and she was describing her experience, the thought running at the back of my mind was “This could have been my story”. We could have been the parents who received the devastating news that the child they had just had, the baby they had thought would be born healthy and whole, the baby whom they imagined would complete their perfect family picture, was in fact disabled. In one instant, my friend was thrust into a world she knows nothing about. The world of caring for and loving a baby who is not “normal”. Managing their own and other’s expectations, learning about the condition, fobbing off unwelcome pity and sympathy while welcoming genuine help from friends and family, all in the interest of raising a child who is independent and strong and resilient.
Knowing about people in such situations makes me feel, more than ever, incredibly fortunate. F related to me a very beautiful and uplifting analogy that her nurse-midwife had shared with her. Raising a child with a disability is not the trip you booked at the beginning but it’s a nice trip too, just very different. Read the original article here.

My motto for the day, the New Year and for the rest of my life – COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, however small or big and remember that life is beautiful. You just have to keep your eyes open and find the beauty.

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