“White Noise”

photo (2)I heard Carter crying out from his room at bed time, so I went upstairs to check on him.
I walked through the door and saw that he was covering his ears.
I said to him, “What’s wrong?”
“What’s the matter?”
He said, “My ears hurt”, (sensory), and continued to cover his ears.
I said, “Do you want me to turn the rain off?” (Which is the sound of rainfall from his white noise machine)
He said “On.”
So I asked, “Do you want me to turn the (ceiling) fan on?”
And he said “Yes please.”
I turned on the fan, and then I knelt down beside his bed.
With the night light of stars shining above us, I ran my fingers through his hair like I did when he smaller. I rested my head on his pillow beside him, and I gazed into his eyes.
I told him I loved him, and he whispered something back to me.
I asked him “pardon?”

He lifted his head, leaned in towards me and said “See you later Mommy!”

Which, in Carter lingo translates to, “Get the hell out of my room!”

“The same boy”

photo (4)

A year after we got married, we decided to start our family.
I got pregnant right away.
I was so body aware, that I knew we had conceived two weeks before I peed on the stick.

We were SO excited !
We were going to be parents !!!
We told everyone.
How could we possibly contain this information until week 12 ?!

9 weeks in, I miscarried.

Dreams were shattered, and our hearts were broken.
“Probably for the best”, I heard, “something must’ve been wrong with the baby”, and, “everything happens for a reason.”

All good intentions I’m sure, but to me it meant, “your baby wasn’t perfect, you wouldn’t want that one.”
“What a burden that would’ve been on your family.”

It was devastating !

I cried myself to sleep.
Many, many nights.

When we were ready to try for another baby, I became pregnant again rather quickly.
I was terrified.
We didn’t tell anyone.
We were cautiously excited.
As the 9 week mark approached, the anxiety of another miscarriage was too much to bear.
I broke down at my OB appointment and she arranged for an ultrasound to confirm viability.

One week later, we saw our little bean for the first time !
I instantly fell in love !!
You’d think the vision of our teeny baby on the screen was enough viability confirmation to put my mind at ease, but later that night I had an anxiety attack while lying in bed.
I couldn’t contain my tears.
The thought of losing another baby, was overwhelming me.
I pleaded to the universe to please let me carry this baby to term !
This baby deserved a chance, and I proclaimed that I would love this baby with every ounce of my being, “perfect” or “not”.
I longed to keep this baby.

The rest of the pregnancy went on without a hitch.

Carter, our first, was a dream baby !
My heart was bursting with love for him.
He was happy. All.the.time.
He was a good sleeper.
He transitioned to his crib with no problems !
He travelled well. In the car, on an airplane, it didn’t matter.
His two bottom baby teeth emerged without me even knowing.
He never complained.
He was so content and delightfully perfect !
It was like God had offered a condolence gift to us, for having suffered a loss.
Or at least, that’s how I saw it.
He was wonderful, and I felt honoured to be his Mom !

Just after his first birthday, we noticed he wasn’t meeting his milestones. The most prominent, was a speech delay.

We brought up our concerns with our Doctor.
Another 6 months passed and he wasn’t progressing.
We knew it was something more.

In April 2010, at 3.5 years old, he was diagnosed with Autism.
Before we left the specialists office, she said to us “Carter is the same boy you walked in here with, the diagnosis doesn’t change that.”

Those words resonated with me on the drive home.
She was right !
Well, sort of.
Our lives had just been turned upside down, and nothing was ever going to be the same.
Nothing, except Carter.
HE is the same.

The same little boy we walked in with.

The one I wished for and proclaimed to love with all of my being, no matter what.
And I did.

I still do.