I feel it’s time I told our story so far for it has not ended yet, I feel it’s time people knew.
Having children was never part of my life plan, I was always good with everyone else’s but couldn’t picture my own. I was fearful of babies because they were small and breakable and so parent dependable. Neither of my children were planned; however they are my world and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them!
I had just enrolled on a foundation degree in photography. I had no friends in that group. I was starting fresh, I had flown the nest too. A month in I found out I was pregnant with Blake. I decided to stay on the course but I failed the year due to lack of attendance, because of internal issues of people and my pregnancy was rough; but that is not what this blog post is about.
I would spend a lot of my pregnant days with my nan and mum, we would eat food, chat about random stuff, go to bingo, how those days are greatly missed.
Nothing in the world can prepare you for two things; childbirth and the aftermath. You can attend parenting groups like I did, listen to your family, ask on Facebook, read books but still nothing prepares you. Your midwife also discusses at length postnatal deprsssion but again nothing prepares you.
Bringing Blake into the world was horrific, infact so traumatic my brain has covered it up and I’ve lost my memory from half the birthing process.
We had a long hospital stay with lumber punctures a child who wouldn’t breastfeed and in those days that followed my family were around but I felt isolated and lonely. Everyone talks of this overwhelming feeling of love you have for your child. I never got that. I knew I had to care for him the best I could, but love that was difficult for me, for a while.
As the months passed, I tried to bond but couldn’t. Blake wouldn’t talk to me back, he would barely look at me, I would observe and photograph him, posting daily on social media. That was mainly so nan could see him everyday if she had not in flesh. Nan adored the bones off Blake, absolutely adored him. I think she knew and I think I knew that Blake is different.
That first year flew by,I enrolled back on my degree and it was a trying year, I was still unable to bond, our outings with nan helped ease the emptiness. We held a first birthday party at nans and I realised even more so how different he was to other children his age.
Then we sadly lost nan 3 weeks after Blakes first birthday. Sudden and life changing.
Through grief I bonded with Blake. I played on his terms with him more, I read books, we coloured, we hugged, I started to understand him in the best way possible that I could. At our one year check we got told all was fine, but it wasn’t and I knew that.
It then wasn’t until Blakes two year check that things got the kind of crazy and hectic that they are today. Apart from tow walking and jumping and a sudden hate of white food, Blakes other behaviours have crept up and appeared.
Once in a nursery it was very evident Blake had communication difficulties, also Blake took a while to become settled after finding the correct nursery for him. After our two year check and referrals backing up our concerns from nursery we then entered the world of speech and language.
Blake was 4 months short of 3 when we had our first assessment. Ember was 10 days old. Assessment called for play therapy and for us to give Blake more choice and break our speaking to him down to 2/3 word sentences. In a period of 6 months his hearing was tested, we seen the paediatrician and we had our play therapy. It’s stressful when nobody has an answer, it’s stressful when you shout I think my son has autism from the beginning to a we aren’t going to consider that yet.
So more speech and language assessments, 2 pecs sessions, assessments from learning disabilities team, a paediatrician review, a scamp referral, and they are now considering autism.
Blake will be 4 in 4 weeks. Blake has no verbal communication, his understanding limited. His ability to do things limited. His social being limited. However most of the time he is the happiest little boy I know. His sensory seeking has come into view and he certainly has his favourites, and is always with his bears and we face a difficult road ahead. I am no longer fearful of the fight. Blake has given me strength and resilience. It may have taken me longer to bond but our ties now are unbreakable. Sure we have really tough days and yes having a child with additional needs can be rough, but I look into those deep brown eyes (when he lets me) and I am so proud. I am the mum who cries (happy tears) at the smallest win like his xmas play because those are massive steps for Blake no matter how small they are for you.
Now more than ever I am fighting for the help he needs to grow and flourish and the support we need as his family!
This is a shortened version of our story so far, hopefully as our story continue we can raise awareness and help others along the way!