Firstly I just wanted to say I dont mean to offend anyone in this post. I have absolute respect for kids with special needs and their amazing parents.
I work in a preschool doing support work with special needs kids (anything from autism, chromosomal abnormalities, speech and hearing problems) I recently did some work in a special school and at 14 weeks pregnant it has made me really worried about all of the "what ifs" I suppose all of those things we worry about when pregnant were suddenly in front of me in reality and it has really got me scared and anxious that there migh be something wrong with my baby, and that I wouldn't be able to cope if something did go wrong.
For those who work as nurses, doctors, OTs, teachers, speech paths or anyone who works with special people (or actually anyone in general!!) - how did you over come the worstcase scenario thinking?? I am going to speak to my gp next week but would love some advice on how I can get over this way of thinking. I'm really struggling.
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22-07-2012 10:24 #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
For those who work with special needs kids and babies..
22-07-2012 10:58 #2
I work in a special school setting (autism specific). Plus my nephew is Autistic and there are several other disabilities in my extended family.
You cannot control whether or not your child is going to have a disability, it may not happen. Even though it is in the back of my mind it's not worth my worry or stress about something that my never happen. This worry and stress is also unhealthy during your pregnancy. And if my child does have a disability I'll cross the bridge when I come to it. My husband and I will still love and adore our children no matter what and even though a child with a disability may make life more difficult, we'll be ok.
22-07-2012 11:08 #3
I'm a paeds nurse and my first shift back at work after I found out I was pregnant I nearly had a panic attack. I was going up in the lift with a family I knew well and the little girl with significant special needs. I suddenly realized that this mum wouldn't have been any different to the way I was feeling or excitement I had while pregnant, then a few weeks after birth noticed something was up and from there her whole life has changed.
I had this huge eye opening moment on not only how hard it would be in everyday life but also the grief that you would feel over the life you had imagined for your beautiful girl.
I also looked at her and thought, I can't do what you do!! All the mums that I know with sn kids are the most stable, organized, together and capable parents I know and I felt so guilty thinking - I couldn't do that!
The thing is I know everyone of my work mates feels the same way when preg but that you need to remind yourself that you get a skewed perspective of what is normal. It is normal to have a happy healthy baby with very few complications along the way but unfortunately I see so many of the special circumstances that that's what feels normal.
The only way I've been dealing with it is by ignoring it, and doing all the screening possible - will have the nt scan despite being 25, and I will be aiming to not tell work mates and make it full public news until after anatomy scan. In my head that's just how I will feel more confident.
But it's hard, and I know exactly how you feel. *hugs*
22-07-2012 11:37 #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
Thankyou so much for taking the time to reply. Both of your replies were so well written and I'm glad to know that the way I'm feeling is not completely abnormal.
I think I'm just dwelling on it too much, and I blame it on hormones. It is hard to put it to the back of your mind though, especially when it is in every day life.
I'm trying so hard to be excited about this baby, I wish I could just focus on the positives.
22-07-2012 14:42 #5
I understand what you are going through. I dont work with special needs children bu I did with moms of preemies and had a preemie myself. Many of these children end up being special needs and when I found that I was pregnant again I was devastated...it was unplanned. I am happy and greatfull being prg again it was just very hard getting over that overwhelming shock and fear especially as I have the same symptoms as my previous pregnancies. I am the kind of person that just cry something out and move on, but this is different, I cant cry...it makes me gag and is tiggers the contractions. I am now in a better mental place...i am more at peace now..
all i can say is, find a support system, mums that understand what you are going through and talk it out. Talk to you doc or midwife, let them know you need to know everything that is happening. When you have information, good or bad, you can deal with it rather than sit and worry about what if's for nothing.
23-07-2012 07:36 #6
Good to know I'm not alone in my worrying, and shani2's reply could have been written by me I swear!
I am a nurse working in Paediatric ward, I also get sent to maternity and special care nursery a lot to help out. I have been worrying from the day I found out I was pregnant, and although I am a bit better now i still worry. In maternity I hear all the bad birth stories, in special care nursery I see all the premmies and their problems, and in kids ward we get children who have a huge range of problems, from the severe cerebral palsy, to minor developmental problem.
Even though I know they are the minority, and thousands of healthy babies are born every day, it is still hard to remember that when you see only the minority every day. It makes it hard for me to believe that everything will be 100% fine. However in answer to your question, I just think to myself that I love him regardless and I will deal with any hurdles along the way!
Also remember that only a tiny percentage of babies born have special needs/ deformities (I think only 2% or something) and of that 2% most of it is be something as tiny as a deformed toenail or a heart murmur that resolves on its own!
23-07-2012 07:45 #7
23-07-2012 09:17 #8
As a teacher I have worked with many children with disabilities, both moderate and severe, in an integrated schooling system.
Before having my first child I also remember feeling anxious about all of the things that can go "wrong" and remember thinking that I would have every test possible to ensure that my baby was "normal". It all seemed so hard and I couldn't fathom having to care for children with such special needs 24/7 day after day.
Now that I have a child (who has no special needs btw) I can honestly say that it is something that worries me far less. Because I know just how overwhelmingly and completely I will love my baby whatever their cognitive or physical ability - I know that will give me the strength and ability to deal with whatever life throws at us.
Intellectually you know you will love your child, but it's impossible to comprehend the depth and breadth of that love until it happens. It will carry you through whatever challenges you may have to face.
We were given a 1 in 288 chance of down syndrome with this bub and have declined any further testing. To deal with your answer, OP, I deal with this by having faith in myself and my partner to love and nurture this child, by focussing on the positives and by knowing it is not the worst case scenario, by a long shot.
23-07-2012 09:32 #9
Just going to start off by saying I don't work with SN kids nor do I have any in my family.
But I still did have those 'what if' fears and was hell bent on having all the tests to make sure she'd be 100% healthy. The way I got over it was by coming to the realization that no matter what happened there would be nothing I could do to change it and it wouldn't make me love my daughter any less so there was no point stressing about it.
23-07-2012 09:59 #10
I dont work with SN kids but i have a 6 year old with wacky DNA ( x link inactivation ) screwy mitochondrial, birth defects cp and intestinal failure, that had air way reconstuction as a bub screwy endo system etc etc.
For me how i stopped thinking worst case sinario all the time was basicly but thinking that if i always look for the bad things and wory about the what ifs and the maybes then i would mis the good bits. yes bad things happen and there are risks of every thing but you have very little if any control over the out come.
Each and every decision for my daughter has been a weigh up of risks verses benifits and if we do this this might happen, we now look at what gives her the BEST chance of a good out come and what would make her feel the best and suddenly sh*t aint so scarry
The chance of having a child with SN is way less than having a 'normal' one and if yours has some sort of issues you will deal with it its hard but you get there
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