Did you read the previous part, An Experience of a Lifetime?

Experiencing the arrival of a baby that is different in life is facing a new reality. It’s mourning the loss of a “normal” child, the child that was expected and wanted.

Mourning takes time to get over it. Each person will mourn at their own pace, as it is a very person and intimate path, something profoundly deep.

There are many questions about living with a baby with specific needs, but the answers may not be evident:

  • How can we live with our baby?
  • Will they learn like others?
  • Who will they become?
  • Will they be autonomous one day?
  • What does the future hold?
  • What is their life expectancy?

Unconsciously, parents always look long term with their child as they grow. They look far into the future with expectations that aren’t always realistic.

Mourning a “normal” child involves a range of emotions. There are different phases that you have to go through, and walls you have to climb over:

  • Shock
  • Guilt
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Discouragement
  • Sadness
  • Depression
  • And then acceptance

These stages aren’t linear and may occur at the same time, interchange over time and events.

Going through mourning stages is very much associated with the baby’s condition, the severity of their condition. This passage is also influenced by the parents’ personal capacities dealing with this reality and the level of support they receive. This will affect the length of the mourning period. There are always people who will tell you that they were never able to accept the situation, but they learned to live with it and deal with it.

Photo : Billet de blogue enfant différent, Famille St-Onge
The St-Onge Family

Guilt is very present when a baby is born with a health issue. The first reflex is often looking for the cause, why this baby, and whose fault is it…what did we do wrong?

Unfortunately, the baby’s condition is the result of uncontrollable circumstances where the parents and baby are victims of nature and bad luck.

While we can’t fully calm the parents’ feelings, we can say that, for the most part, appropriate support helps people get through this life experience, even if it is challenging to live from day to day.

Read the next part, Impacts of the Arrival of a Baby that is Different.

Source de la photo : Éric Plante

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