Friday, January 25, 2008

My Journey

When you give birth to triplets you are automatically part of a unique group. Support groups are there to help you deal with this atypical situation. You join mothers of multiples groups, both local and virtual. You have no clue how you are going to raise triplets and it's nice to have people to talk to.

When your child is diagnosed with a condition, such as cerebral palsy, and categorized as having special needs you belong to another unique group. There are also support groups. My support groups in this area are all virtual but obviously no less important or helpful. I believe we not only join these groups for support but to also feel as if we are not the only ones in the world dealing with our help us feel a little more normal.

Although I belong to these two groups, I can't help but find myself connecting more with the groups that included children with cp. The triplet groups focus more on potty training, preschools, discipline, gymnastics or ballet, etc..."normal things". Their concerns are more about teaching your children to share and how to decorate for triplets. Sometimes I just feel as if I can't relate. Sure I have these things to think about but they are way at the bottom of the list. My major concerns are not something most triplet moms can relate to and I don't feel like being pitied by them...they don't really understand. Sometimes being a part of this group only makes me yearn to be a normal mom.

I do have one friend who has triplets not much older than mine. One of her three has "special needs". She does not have cp but I know that there are, and will be, a few challenges along the way. I sincerely believe that God has put this amazing woman, mother and friend in my life for a reason. I'm so glad He did. We were emailing each other the other day discussing my guilt in enjoying a little time alone with Mack and Sophie...being a semi-normal mom for a morning and this is her reply to me...

I was just thinking of you earlier today. Our lives are similar but also very different. I try to imagine what it must be like for you and can't. Mom and I were talking yesterday and I was telling her of
a mother with one little girl and how amazing that must be. Let's face it. If you and I had one baby, our lives would be 180 degrees different. If you and I had 3 perfectly normal, healthy children, our lives would be 180 degrees different. Having triplets, but more, having one that doesn't "fit the mold" is the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with in my previously "perfect" life. I struggle with it a lot. I just take it one day at a time and try to be a good mom and just hope that everything will be ok, that my child will be ok. I think, given time, I will be grateful for this journey somehow. I understand it's hard to talk about some things, but I'm always here.

She is so right...our lives would be so different but I have to believe we would miss out on so many blessings as well... and as my friend said, I have to believe we will be grateful for the journey.
I've mentioned another mom several times in my blog. She has twins, both with cp. Please read what Billie has to say about the journey we're on. I love the way she writes and the things she has to almost as if she's reading my heart sometimes. You're right Billie, we aren't in Holland, we are in the wilderness.


Mel said...

When I think about what your situation is like I am amazed at it all! I can relate to having 3 and I can relate to having a child with CP yet I know our challenges are uniqueley different considering I've never experienced multiples. You are doing a great job! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

BusyLizzyMom said...

Having triplets is a huge undertaking in itself and then having one child who has a developmental disability must be at times mind-boggling. Have 2 children develop 'typically' and having one who struggles to do what her siblings can do effortlessly must be heartwrenching at times.
I always loved the 'Welcome to Holland" story but now that I am a mother of a child with a disability I cringe at how many mothers I had given this to when I worked with children with disabilites. Yes Holland can be a beautiful place but it can be a place of lonelieness and longing to be back to when things were okay and there wasn't so many unanswered questions about your childs future and capabilities. I long to be part of a conversation at the mom's groups that include where to buy the best furnishings but instead I am filled with knowledge of the latest therapies and where to get the best shoes for AFO's. I feel out of place, left out and angry at all those mom's. What I do get to enjoy is life with Elizabeth and I get to see the world from her eyes and there is no wrong in it. She embraces life to the fullest and enjoys every experience.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that there are many people on the journey with you even though we may be miles apart.
Even if sometimes it is only a prayer. We love you Grace and think you have a beautiful, wonderful mom. Love, Ni

Billie said...

I was just thinking about this today... About how lonely it can be in the wilderness, even when you have many loving friends and family around. I too tried joining two different Mothers of Multiples groups, and just found myself becoming more and more depressed. My blog, and online groups have been so much more helpful. Especially because I get to meet people like you!!!

And with my two, I cannot IMAGINE having three to tend to at the same time!!! Yikes!!! You guys are outnumbered:) But you are obviously doing a wonderful job. Your three are all so beautiful and well loved.

Justinich Family said...

Having a special needs child is hard and I totally get how you connect more with the CP moms group, I found myself doing the same thing and then I thought for my older son I should find friends that have typical children, well funny thing is that after making friends with one mom her son was diagnosed with Autism a few months later, it really struck me as funny. But it was so great to be able to help her navigate services and such. We have a special needs moms group called Time 4 me, and it is so great how we can all relate even though our kids all have different diagnosis. None of the other kids have spastic CP, a lot of them have hypotonic CP, and few have no diagnosis, which I can imagine is probably harder than anything. Glad to have met you and be on this journey with you, no matter how hard it is.