Thursday, April 20, 2017

Support, Love, and Baby Cuddles

Let me preface this post by saying, I couldn't do it without my husband. Any of it! He's patient, hands-on, and always willing to accept a challenge. That said...

When my second son, Alistair, was born (in July of 2013), like any mother transitioning from one child to two, I felt anxiety - to make certain my boys both got the love they needed, to establish a healthy new routine, and in our particular circumstance, to minimize the effects of and safeguard Aksel from the many changes taking place.

Change for most children causes stress, but for a child on the autism spectrum, it can be devastating. And at three-and-a-half years old, on the brink of a language breakthrough (Aksel was just starting to talk), I was so worried he'd regress. I was scared he'd retreat back into his own, quiet little world.

Oh, and did I mention that I probably over-coddled Aksel? In natural response, of course, to both my grief and guilt (because I was still in the phase of thinking I had caused Aksel's autism, or that there was something I could have done differently to prevent his diagnosis). So, to say that Aksel was, at the time of Alistair's birth, a momma's boy, would have been a true understatement!

There's no questioning the fact though, a newborn needs their mother to survive. And I needed to get to know him, too.

So, for two lovely weeks (albeit torn), we were in isolation, Alistair and I, gently getting to know one another. All the while, my husband, Mark, fielded the outbursts of change, making certain to both delicately reassure and comfort, Aksel. But as fate would have it, due to a protein allergy, I was unable to successfully nurse Alistair. And I guess you could say, as bad as it might sound, that it lessened the pressure I felt to be a perfect mother - to two very different boys. I could now divide my time.

Point of it all, during this tricky time of transition (in other words, hormonal imbalance, failed-attempts, and lessons learned), my husband was ever-constant in his support, love, and baby cuddles. And for all my worry about regression, it was minimal, at best. I can never thank him enough!

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