It’s a natural reaction to blame yourself when you child is born with an abnormality.
Some days are better than others. I often wonder if I could have done something more to prevent this. I feel like a freak having two kids born with the same birth defect. I am the only person I know with a child with a cleft. That was until I joined Cleft Club and More Than One Cleft ;)
My second child was born with a cleft; she is my husband's first child. I actually apologized to him for her cleft. I felt that I had failed her and him in some huge way and that my own deficit had caused her to have this defect.
Thankfully he told me that it wasn't like that for him, and that I shouldn't blame myself. She is in perfect health and she made it into the world safely and for that he was so happy. He just holds me and tells me to stop blaming myself. He reckons that the fact that I want to know why make me a good mother, but the fact that it happened is just beyond our comprehension or control.
What I did discover is that my kids can't really benefit from this kind of self-judgment. What they do need is a mom with her self-esteem intact who is positive about what CAN be done and who is willing to work at making it better for them. The questioning can erode your confidence and make you feel like a victim if you don't try to turn it into a positive.
We feel that it is better that she is born into our family with all the resources to cope, with a sister who has paved the way for her and trained us about what to expect from surgery, and a mom who is willing and able to try and learn about her condition, than to be born in some less perfect circumstance.
So I am working on staying focused and loving myself so I can love my kids properly. If I lose it, who do they have? They need me to be happy with myself to teach them how to be happy, too.
I actually feel pretty stressed today. There is so much going on. Getting online and remembering my friends who are in this with me (no matter how far away you all are) does help. Anything that makes mefeel a bit better on bad days is welcome here. It's nice to know that someone else feels this way, too.
Guest Blogger Fiona Comber