When you have a child with “special needs”, you become part of a larger village that you didn’t know existed and didn’t know you needed.
I look back to Nathan’s early days, and I really don’t know how we survived. Although he was three months old when we got him, we were in the newborn phase. If you ask any mom to look back on those first six months of their child’s life, I’m going to bet that most can’t tell you much about it! I guess there is a reason you’re supposed to fill out that newborn book J
When Nate was about a year old, I knew I needed to reach out to other parents that could relate to what we were going through. Thank goodness to Facebook and the search tool because I was able to connect to an amazing group of women through a CHARGE syndrome support group.
I am usually not one to admit that I need help but at this point I knew I needed to ask women that had “been through the trenches” to help guide me and see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think this is one of the most important parts of motherhood-supporting each other.
The mothers I met through this online group have become some of my closest friends and confidants. Yes I talk to them mostly about Nathan’s ongoing medical condition but they are also there to support me in everyday life! I’ve been in an “online relationship” with some of these women for over four years but was fortunate to meet many of them in person at the bi-annual CHARGE conference in 2015. There is something special about finally being able to physically hug a person who has given you support on some of your hardest days of your life.
If you are a new mom, especially a new special needs mom, I urge you to look online and find a support group. In my own experience, I can say I have learned more from connecting with other special needs moms than I have from numerous specialists. Don’t get me wrong, I completely trust doctors, but it is so nice to connect with someone who has actually been in your shoes.
To find out more about CHARGE syndrome and just how AMAZING they are visit: www.chargesyndrome.org