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In His Own Time

1
May 2012

Your baby brown eyes sink into my green ones. We both have tears, it’s your 1st birthday, and I’ve woken you from a nap. You’re utterly overwhelmed.  The ‘Waybaloo’ cake sits on the table and balloons swirl above your head in a kaleidoscope of colours. You bury your beautiful head into my neck.

The party guests frighten you further as their faces surround you from all angles.  “He’s tired,” I explain, as I grab a glass of champagne from the table, and shove Nok Tok into my mouth to lessen my gut-wrenching

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2
anxiety.

I’m like a swan, serene and smiling for our party guests, but my stomach is wobbling like the party’s jelly. My heart rate quickens, pulsating in my ears. The anxious thoughts take route in my brain, the familiar worries whirring in my head.

Why is he so distressed?
All the other kids are walking/crawling, why isn’t my boy?
They are pointing, shouting mama, smiling at their parents, why can’t my boy can’t do that?

I try to squash down the anxiety to the tips of my toes.  The Paediatrician and GP tell me not to panic,

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yes he’s late in some areas, but he’s sitting up, grabbing things and following my eye gaze. But, I KNOW they dismiss me as a first time, crazy, sleep-deprived anxious mother.  Yes, I’m all 3 of those things, but I’m also his mother and my GUT tells me that something isn’t right. They patronize me, patting me on the head as they dismiss me from their Surgeries. I don’t have the energy to argue with these men in pristine white coats.  My brain is addled from 12 months of no sleep; another reason why I’m concerned, my boy needs me on the
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hour, every hour. My GUT tells me that he needs my embrace to feel secure, as the world around him is scary and frightening. He’s not able to make sense of it in the way other babies do and clings to me. I’m a ’safe haven’ in his ’storm- like’ world.

And then it starts, the conversations that make me so anxious I dig my nails into my palms, to avoid the anguish I feel at being unable to share anecdotes about my own darling boy:

  “Little B said mama for the first time, she walked straight up to me, held up her arms and said,

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’mama’!”

I hold tandem feelings within me; one of pure joy that my friend’s little girl is talking and one of utter fear, that I’ll never hear the sweet voice that is currently locked inside my boy’s beautiful mind.

After the party, I turn to Gina Ford and other books stating ‘normal’ milestones at 12 months.  I despair, I panic, my boy barely hits any. I feel awful that I’ve failed him, and the guilt wraps around my throat and my breathing becomes shallow.

The next day, I make an appointment with a private Occupational

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Therapist. She’s concerned, Z’s muscle tone is low, he has no desire to crawl and his eye contact is too fleeting for his age. I burst into tears, sadness and relief flood me.

She writes to my GP,  and my boy starts occupational therapy (OT) and speech therapy.  I go home and immediately donate the milestone books to charity, replacing them with ones recommended by our brilliant OT.

Progress over the next 6 months is slow, but then it clicks! The crawling and walking happen within months of each other. The therapy unlocks and boosts those

SelfishMother.com
7
little neurons that need a gentle kick start. At age 3, we start speech therapy and 6 months later he utters his first sentences! We keep going, implementing the work at home.

We know our children best, not the Health Visitors or the family GPs.  Yet, when we’re feeling vulnerable and having an episode of postnatal depression, we perhaps lack the confidence to disagree with a ’professional’. Never let anyone make you feel that your fears about your child are not valid.  With NHS services being cut to the bone, we have no choice but to advocate

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for our children and have to be that squeaky wheel!

January 2019 – Where Are We Now?

Well, my boy argues with me, and is planning to join the school football team! He’s bright, but still has minor struggles in certain areas.  Overall, I am so immensely proud of him and incredibly grateful for the support I received from his OT, speech therapists and his wonderful primary school.

 If you’re worried about any aspect of your child’s development please talk to your GP. If they dismiss you, go back again,  armed with a diary that has

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9
logged your specific concerns, perhaps show them an ’i phone’ video.  Ask teachers/caregivers/family members to write down their concerns down to, so that the GP  clearly sees that you’re not just an ’over-anxious’ mother. I found it immensely useful to obtain a report from a private Occupational Therapist, as I had ‘professional’ evidence to show my GP.

I view my son’s development in this way now -some river’s flow quickly towards the oceans they are destined for. Other rivers start their journey as gentle streams, trickling into the

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river that will eventually run towards the expansive ocean that is waiting for them. The streams and rivers both flow towards their final destination, in their own unique way and time.

 

 

 

 

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- 10 Jan 19

May 2012

Your baby brown eyes sink into my green ones. We both have tears, it’s your 1st birthday, and I’ve woken you from a nap. You’re utterly overwhelmed.  The ‘Waybaloo’ cake sits on the table and balloons swirl above your head in a kaleidoscope of colours. You bury your beautiful head into my neck.

The party guests frighten you further as their faces surround you from all angles.  “He’s tired,” I explain, as I grab a glass of champagne from the table, and shove Nok Tok into my mouth to lessen my gut-wrenching anxiety.

I’m like a swan, serene and smiling for our party guests, but my stomach is wobbling like the party’s jelly. My heart rate quickens, pulsating in my ears. The anxious thoughts take route in my brain, the familiar worries whirring in my head.

  1. Why is he so distressed?
  2. All the other kids are walking/crawling, why isn’t my boy?
  3. They are pointing, shouting mama, smiling at their parents, why can’t my boy can’t do that?

I try to squash down the anxiety to the tips of my toes.  The Paediatrician and GP tell me not to panic, yes he’s late in some areas, but he’s sitting up, grabbing things and following my eye gaze. But, I KNOW they dismiss me as a first time, crazy, sleep-deprived anxious mother.  Yes, I’m all 3 of those things, but I’m also his mother and my GUT tells me that something isn’t right. They patronize me, patting me on the head as they dismiss me from their Surgeries. I don’t have the energy to argue with these men in pristine white coats.  My brain is addled from 12 months of no sleep; another reason why I’m concerned, my boy needs me on the hour, every hour. My GUT tells me that he needs my embrace to feel secure, as the world around him is scary and frightening. He’s not able to make sense of it in the way other babies do and clings to me. I’m a ‘safe haven’ in his ‘storm- like’ world.

And then it starts, the conversations that make me so anxious I dig my nails into my palms, to avoid the anguish I feel at being unable to share anecdotes about my own darling boy:

  “Little B said mama for the first time, she walked straight up to me, held up her arms and said, ‘mama’!”

I hold tandem feelings within me; one of pure joy that my friend’s little girl is talking and one of utter fear, that I’ll never hear the sweet voice that is currently locked inside my boy’s beautiful mind.

After the party, I turn to Gina Ford and other books stating ‘normal’ milestones at 12 months.  I despair, I panic, my boy barely hits any. I feel awful that I’ve failed him, and the guilt wraps around my throat and my breathing becomes shallow.

The next day, I make an appointment with a private Occupational Therapist. She’s concerned, Z’s muscle tone is low, he has no desire to crawl and his eye contact is too fleeting for his age. I burst into tears, sadness and relief flood me.

She writes to my GP,  and my boy starts occupational therapy (OT) and speech therapy.  I go home and immediately donate the milestone books to charity, replacing them with ones recommended by our brilliant OT.

Progress over the next 6 months is slow, but then it clicks! The crawling and walking happen within months of each other. The therapy unlocks and boosts those little neurons that need a gentle kick start. At age 3, we start speech therapy and 6 months later he utters his first sentences! We keep going, implementing the work at home.

We know our children best, not the Health Visitors or the family GPs.  Yet, when we’re feeling vulnerable and having an episode of postnatal depression, we perhaps lack the confidence to disagree with a ‘professional’. Never let anyone make you feel that your fears about your child are not valid.  With NHS services being cut to the bone, we have no choice but to advocate for our children and have to be that squeaky wheel!

January 2019 – Where Are We Now?

Well, my boy argues with me, and is planning to join the school football team! He’s bright, but still has minor struggles in certain areas.  Overall, I am so immensely proud of him and incredibly grateful for the support I received from his OT, speech therapists and his wonderful primary school.

 If you’re worried about any aspect of your child’s development please talk to your GP. If they dismiss you, go back again,  armed with a diary that has logged your specific concerns, perhaps show them an ‘i phone’ video.  Ask teachers/caregivers/family members to write down their concerns down to, so that the GP  clearly sees that you’re not just an ‘over-anxious’ mother. I found it immensely useful to obtain a report from a private Occupational Therapist, as I had ‘professional’ evidence to show my GP.

I view my son’s development in this way now -some river’s flow quickly towards the oceans they are destined for. Other rivers start their journey as gentle streams, trickling into the river that will eventually run towards the expansive ocean that is waiting for them. The streams and rivers both flow towards their final destination, in their own unique way and time.

 

 

 

 

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Mum to Zachary; Idealist; belief in humanity; Graduate in Psychology; trainee Psychotherapist (specialising in woman's mental health), aspiring freelance writer with a passion in understanding what modern feminism means for mothers, and finally....... a Prosecco opener extraordinaire!

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