Tuesday, November 24, 2015


All parents feel guilty at some point, I think. Sometimes, it's probably warranted. And sometimes it's over things that are far beyond our control.

As it became clearer that Teddy wasn't a typical child, the guilt and worry kept creeping into my mind.

Was this because of my Crohns and medications I took during my pregnancy? I had followed my doctor's orders, which were even more conservative than with my first child. (I had even participated in a multi-year study following my first son's birth to check the possible effects of the medication.)

Maybe it was the fact that his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck when he was born. Maybe we should have been more concerned that he was blue at birth and advocated or did something differently.

Or perhaps it was that moment when he tumbled out of a chair, and I learned he could indeed move his body that way instead of being a motionless baby. Or perhaps the time his big brother "helped" him out of the chair by pulling him down into the over-sized stuff animal that served as a landing pad that was never intended to actually be used.

Was there something we did wrong? Something we could have changed?

After getting a diagnosis, it alleviated pretty much all the guilt associated with how and why Teddy was Teddy. (Don't get me wrong - there's enough guilt for other things because I'm still human.) In many ways, it was freeing to know this was how God made Teddy. It wasn't my fault. I hadn't caused this. It wasn't my Remicaid infusions. It wasn't me failing as a mother by having his cord wrapped around his neck (although I realistically had no control over that). And it wasn't those few times he tumbled.

It was Multiple Congenital Anomalies-Hypotonia-Seizures Syndrome 1. It was a genetic mutation of the PIGN gene. It was how God made Teddy.

There's been so much that's been difficult to accept (process is the word I use most often), but this relief was almost instantaneous with the diagnosis. For that, I am grateful. I had been making progress on accepting that even if Teddy's symptoms were caused by something in the past, there was nothing that could be changed aside from doing what was best for him in the present. Still, the diagnosis brought full closure for me on that aspect and made it easier to accept the "What's next? What's the best we can do for him now and in the future?"

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