First off, I want to say that I feel so fortunate to have two children and another one on the way. It was a journey to decide if having another child (my youngest child has a rare disease) was right for me. Our daughter is non-verbal, requires a wheelchair, and does not have purposeful hand movement the majority of the time. I don’t know if other moms of special needs children feel this way, but this is my personal story of coming to a decision, if in fact, we could have another child.
This is something my husband and I have considered for the last 3 years. He was always 90% sure that he wanted to try for one more. Of course, there were those days when the kids were nuts, and I was a basket case (which is 24/7) and he would say that we are DONE. But he always knew in the end that he wanted more children. I, however, have been riding the fence for two years. It’s not that I didn’t want more children. I would gush when seeing a new baby and cry every time the kids out grew something. It wasn’t the physical, day-to-day struggle I dreaded. Yes, I knew it would be hard to push a stroller AND a wheelchair. And my sleepless nights would continue. But my struggle was internal…with my heart and what I thought it could or could not handle. Whether we had a boy or girl. How would I feel when this baby met milestones that my daughter had not? Would I feel guilty for rejoicing? Would my daughter feel left out? Would she get her feelings hurt or feel replaced?
We live life to the fullest and are always taking the kids to do things. We adapt and adjust things to make sure our daughter is included. However, there are things I cannot change. For instance, if we had a girl…her coming home to gush about a boyfriend, telling stories from college, picking out a wedding dress, having a baby, etc., etc. (warning: tears are flowing) – these are the scenarios that played in my head and I couldn’t bare the thought of my daughter feeling hurt.
But at the end of the day we have no control of the future and what it holds. These “what if’s” are just that…”what if’s”. We decided to put it in God’s hands and He has blessed us with another child coming in the Spring. We are over the moon excited and so are both of our kids. When we talk to our daughter about becoming a big sister, she grins from ear to ear. Of course, I still have fears and worries, but I also have gained a new perspective. I was so busy thinking about the negatives and myself, when I really needed to take into consideration my children and the amazing people that they are. They are incredible siblings. My daughter is so happy, full of joy and life, and absolutely ADORES her brother. Having a younger sibling is going to be a new and amazing experience.
I know there will be times in our life that the tears will come, jealousy and feeling left out will happen, AND the heart strings will be yanked. But at the end of the day, we are completing our family. We will have another child that understands compassion and can adapt to a life that isn’t always the norm. Our daughter will be gaining another best friend, another teammate, partner in crime, and above all, a sibling that will ALWAYS be there and love her unconditionally.