On the 16th of June 2009 just after 8pm I gave birth to my 3rd baby girl...... Mollie.
She was beautiful, all 9lb 4oz of her!
Her birth went as normal as most, I was induced due to having a big baby the last time and she came along naturally about 11 hours later....no complications. I was back home 3 hrs later!
The next 18 months passed like normal....I had a 15/16 year old daughter, a 5 year old daughter, a baby and a husband to care for, so I was extremely busy....
It was the Christmas holidays 2010 when I realised that something wasn't quite right with mollie. I had been trying to wean her for a while at this point but she gagging and refusing any food with lumps in.
All she would do was scream constantly!
So when I received a letter inviting us along to mollies 2 year check i felt relieved and hoped I'd get some answers.
Sitting in the health visitor centre while mollie got observed and the health visitor
fired off questions at me, I came to a realisation that all was not ok.....something was different.....different to my 2 other girls....different to other families with 2 year olds I knew.......a different deep gut feeling
Of helplessness, which unbeknownst to me then, would only grow on a daily basis.
The next 6 months was abit of a blurr to be honest, mollie was referred to a long list of professionals, each one ruling out this and that....until the only reality left...was autism.....thats not what I ordered......
When you become a mum you have so many expectations, you look forward to all the milestones, talking, walking, potty training , first day of school ect.....with my 2 older girls I even day dreamed about them going going off to college, getting great jobs, getting married and maybe even becoming a nanny one day!......but when you have a child with autism, who doesn't talk, doesn't understand when you speak to them, still wears pads past the age of 5, 6, 7 and so on......screams day and night and just doesn't sleep!! Well, your expectations soon become a distant dream and the reality of taking it day by day, tiny steps and hard work becomes all so real.
I felt like I had failed as a mother.....I mean I grew her in me, nourished her and brought her into this world.....so it must be my fault??!
I had heard of autism, seen films with autistic people in......other than that I had no idea what I was in for, it all seemed so sereal, maybe the professionals were wrong? Maybe she was just delayed, maybe she'd snap out of it?? ......I just wanted my baby girl, my perfect beautiful baby girl to look at me and say.....mummy!!.......I wouldn't hear that word from her for many years......but I did eventually hear it!
Mollie is now nearly 12 years old......and we have been through a hell of a journey together!!.....one now I can truly say I'm glad I was on! Believe me there were times over the years I did wonder what I had done to deserve all this shit! I mean, as much as I loved her, and oh my god did I, I mean yea you love and adore all ya kids but when you have a child with special needs, they have such a vulnerability and pure innocence it literally brings out the lioness in you!
But loving mollie was hard, it was a hard job indeed.....something I wasn't prepared for.....something I definitely didn't order!!
Now, being a special needs parent is like continuously living in a version of the film "Groundhog day"......just not as funny at times!! Lol
If the average jo could be a fly on our wall at our house I think they would probably turn camacarzy and fly directly into a fly trap! I know that's how I feel at times!
On a more serious note, my life is like Iiving in a constant circle of grief.....
I greave the child I lost when mollie developed autism.....
I greave the life I had hoped for her and every single milestone she doesn't reach....
I'm in denial alot,....denial that my baby will never be able to live alone and be safe.
Denial that I've accepted this is my life and have no hopes of any miracles!
Then there's anger......so so angry! At myself....at the professionals, at other parents who stare and glare at mollie when she screams at the top of her lungs whilst I try to get her to school......and the worst one....angry at mollie!!.....yep, I said it....angry at mollie.....not her fault, I know this, don't think i don't, but emotions are a funny thing, in this case a horrible thing, abit like jealousy, jealous of all those happy families who had all perfect happy non autistic children!! ......then I feel guilt.....how can I be angry with my baby.....my baby who can scream so loud you hear it echo through your whole body, my baby who can launch herself at me on a whim and hit me, kick me, punch me and pull my hair and then 10 seconds later wants cuddles!
My baby who i can't turn my back on outside for fear she will run into the road and decide to lay down and refuse to move!
Angry at the child I wish she was, through no fault of her own!
Now acceptance should come next in the circle of grief......but sadly I never get to that point.....I mean, I accept mollie is how she is and I adore her! I accept that I will care for her for the rest of my life! But acceptance in general is a fickle thing....it comes and goes! You get waves of it, ups and downs, good days and bad days and really bad days! As a mother you have to deal with these feelings and get on with stuff! But as a human this isn't always physically and mentally possible! I, like so many other sen parents have no choice to resort to the dreaded "happy pills"...... just to get through the day!....again you feel like a failure, an all to regular feeling. Its what I need to keep my head straight, to do what I need to do to look after my children! I did not ask for depression but it sort of came with the order...... I'm not ashamed of that!
This is just a snippet into my autism journey, which is still chugging along briskly!
Don't know whats gonna happen, what station we will stop at with all new issues awaiting.... if mollie will tolerate the noise and the hustle and bustle of other passengers, meaning we both have to stand in between the carriages by the toilets where its extremely noisy so it drowns out her screams!! Or then mollie may not even wanna stay on the train and try to jump out the window!?....where obviously I would then follow if needs be.
...but ends up with us being kicked off!! 😆 then having to wait for the next train to pull into the station, mollie having a huge meltdown because she literally cannot wait for anything longer than 30 seconds!!! Finally getting on a new train and the second she sits down screams "I need a poo"......to only discover the toilets are all out of action and the next station is 20 minutes away!!! Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhh......this is definitely... NOT WHAT I ORDERED!! 😠