I wrote this last week but my head has been cloudy and a bit messy so I sat on the decision of whether to share. Yesterday I was told there is a possibility Little Red might have mild Cerebral Palsy. At first I was shocked but then it all clicked into place. We’ve always called her left side dodgy, thinking it was her position in the womb that left her squashed and stiff and that she basically needed stretching out.
I asked questions and spent the day busy and calm but also with an emotional feeling bubbling under the surface. I did the typically English go-to method of making jokes about how she’s such a little princess now, you know she’d just play on it. Getting her adoring big brother to carry her about just because she doesn’t want to get her dress dirty.
HOW DO I TELL HIM?
I tossed up whether to tell Hubby, knowing he was away working and couldn’t get home until the next day. I ended up calling a QLD friend while in my car, parked outside Little Mans daycare. Upon hearing her familiar voice I broke down almost instantly, confessing my fear for my daughter and the unknown that is to follow.
That evening Hubby asked about her physio appointment and I told him. He was silent at first while I relayed exactly what had been said – it’d be a mild form, intelligence often isn’t affected, might need to put something in her shoe, new physio moves to do etc. Then he said that it all makes sense, in his gut he knows it’s right.
Later that night, after the kids were in bed, he messaged me to say he’d been crying, that he was going to bed now. Naturally I called him and it was difficult, listening but not being able to at least offer a hug. When we hung up I sent him a video of LR from earlier that day, she’d got the giggles and was belly laughing. It was cute and hilarious and captured her energy perfectly.
WHEN THE HOUSE HAD SETTLED
I did some research, as you do. Then I cried. I cried f*cking hard.
No one wants to hear that their kid might be (for want of a better word) “different”, the considerable amount of unknowns felt overwhelming. I was sad and scared for her. Put simply, it was a big day after a big year.
I went to bed after doing the dream feed, enjoying the late night sleepy cuddles with both my girls. Not long into my sleep I was joined by my boy and I was grateful for it. The way he grabbed my arms to wrap him up, it’s like he knew I needed it.
I won’t say I slept great but I had to do that last night. I had to cry and release it all so that I could wake up like I have. Knowing that whatever happens it doesn’t change anything. Love doesn’t see disability, love nurtures, encourages and supports. I would never let any of my children think that they can’t accomplish anything and everything. Whatever the outcome, she would never be “Fenella with Cerebral Palsy”, she’ll continue to be Fenella – Fenny, our baby bear, punk rock princess, old soul and happy little Vegemite.
To read more about Little Red’s health journey please click here.