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Obligatory Pregnancy Post

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Seb’s sibling at 25.3 weeks.

We had another ultrasound to determine the sex of the baby. How something didn’t matter at all the first time around somehow matters so much this time. In our preparation to feel as prepared as possible, while always aware that you can never be fully prepared, we added knowing the sex of our second to that list. If you have a first born child with a disability, I know you understand. If I am going to birth another boy, I need to prepare myself mentally and emotionally.

When Seb was born, his grey, lifeless, perfect 40+ week body was whisked away from us onto a resuscitation table. In a brief moment we saw his penis and looked at each other, ‘We have a son!’ our eyes shouted together. A son who was not breathing. No one in the room announced his sex. His weight. His length. There is an empty space next to ‘length at birth’ in his baby book. There are many empty spaces in his baby book. After Sebastian was taken to NICU and I was cleaned up and ready to be wheeled to see him, only then did someone ask if we knew we had a son. I will never forget the image of his body being rushed away from mine. I will never forget that if we had not seen his body we would not have known he was a boy until well after he’d been taken to the NICU. This time that won’t happen.

Our son is perfect. But he does not run or climb trees and get into mischief like other little boys. He does not pick up rocks and bring me salamanders hiding beneath, like my own brothers did when we were kids. So if I have another boy I have to be ready for him to do the things that Sebastian does not do. Yes, perhaps a girl will do the same, although I was never interested in tearing frogs legs apart. And yes, there are other worries that come along with having a girl. I know this.

I have also seen the relationships Sebastian has with his peers at school. I have seen the girls doting on him and dancing with him during music. Our play dates are with the girls in his class. He has relationships with the boys too, but they are different. He can’t quite keep up with their adventures, their building blocks and love for firetrucks, though I know he does try. Last week as one boy was leaving, he patted Seb on the head and said ‘Bye buddy,’ and then ran off with another friend to greet his nanny. He is popular with everyone and I have no doubt his sibling will be his biggest fan, boy or girl regardless.

And now we know. But you have to wait.

So, until then, enjoy a few very requested photos of my growing baby belly. Here I am Easter weekend, 25 weeks.

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13 thoughts on “Obligatory Pregnancy Post”

  1. I loved this post it made me tear up for Seb. But he sounds full of life. Congrats on the new baby. I’m 30weeks and I’m having a baby. Our first. Keep your chin up! =-) Like Jennifer said wonderful perspective.

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    1. Thanks! Congrats to you too. It is an exciting time and Sebastian is so full of life. He may have cerebral palsy, but it doesn’t have him.

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  2. Kara…how did you get to 25 weeks already!??! You look absolutely gorgeous. I hope you DO feel obligated to post many, many, many more posts and pictures about this obvious BROTHER to Sebastian. *wink*. That’s just my prediction…but I do think this is a boy. So happy for all of you. Especially Sebastian who is going to be a great big brother!!

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    1. Thanks Kate! You are fabulous! We will see about the photos, I’m sure as I get bigger I won’t be able to resist sharing more. Seb is super excited about becoming a big brother. And he’s the only one that knows our secret. He’s also been advised and trained not to give it up. 😉

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  3. You look great Kara. A proud mama to be again. I hope your feeling okay too. Sacha and I are coming back to horse backriding on Fridays. Always give me a call if you would like help carrying in Seb from the car. Hope to touch base soon!

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  4. Oh my gosh, Kara! It’s like you can read my mind sometimes 🙂
    “If you have a first born child with a disability, I know you understand.” And I do. I’ve always thought that if we have another child I would definitely want to know whether we were having a boy or a girl. First time round, we were happy to have a “surprise”. It breaks my heart now to think that that’s one of the things we were excited about – it never even crossed our minds that things could have gone like they did. But next time (if we ever decide to go down that road), I dont want any surprises. I’ve never been able to explain why I’d want to know the next baby’s sex, but I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like this.

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    1. Thanks Sara, I’m glad I could put some of your feelings into words too. I have a really difficult time being around first time parents-to-be because of that naivety that come along with it that we felt once too! It took us a long time (3 years) to be ready to try for number 2. And then we both had to be ready at the same time! I’ve done a lot of personal writing and reflection which has really helped me emotionally. It is certainly different this time around, but we can do it! And someday maybe you will be in that place too.

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  5. You just validated what I too felt not long ago but couldn’t explain to give such feelings the justice they deserved. I HAD to know baby number 2’s gender for the very same reasons. We found out other “things” too but knowing gender was still a biggie (we did not with Oia). I have some things I’d love to share once this special one enters the world… I’m trying to be patient for you!! Also, I plan to email an idea regarding Sebs masterpieces once I get a chance to set down at my computer (much easier than this iPhone!) hugs!!

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    1. Thanks so much Mo, I know a lot of moms in our situation get it like you do! I also know some folks that don’t so I thought a little perspective would help. Thanks so much for the awesome email about ideas for art projects! I loved it! And I can’t wait to get more of your advice/thoughts whatever when this baby arrives! Thanks so much! We love seeing what your girls are up to.

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  6. This is a beautiful piece of writing. I was so thrilled to meet you and Seb yesterday. It was such a treat. Seb made me feel great! I hope he enjoyed the ice cream.

    I remember having similar feelings to those you expressed when Ben went to the same school. He was a keen observer because he wasn’t mobile like many of the other kids and wasn’t able to speak like them. I used to feel resentful/sad that the other kids and staff couldn’t ‘see’ the boy within in the same way we did. I used to ‘wish’ he could do the things the other kids did.

    Now I have a true appreciation for stillness and know how rich a child’s internal world can be without movement and speech.

    I do remember feeling loss at times after my daughter (second child) was born — healthy and typical (loss for my son who wouldn’t have the same experiences). I also felt awe at the ‘miracle’ of typical, effortless development. I hadn’t realized that typical kids learn by ‘osmosis’ — no effort required. But that made me appreciate what my son had been through even more. I saw how hard he had to work for everything.

    Hope to see you guys again soon!

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    1. Thanks Louise! It was wonderful to meet you the other week! Seb really enjoyed visiting with you and he definitely enjoyed his ice cream afterwards. It’s always a treat to sit and chat to someone who understands my child in a way that other parents of non-verbal kids do. Thank you.

      Although Sebastian is often a quiet observer at school, he has really grown so much in the past year and a half there. This year he is uses pictures and switches for choices and some of his classmates have gotten in on the fun. One boy gave Sebastian two choices of activities to do together yesterday, using his left and right hand for different choices and he thought if himself! Priceless. The teachers are really great at sharing these stories with me and helping me see the things he is doing in class since he can’t tell me. They also had pictures of him ‘climbing’ a tree last week! I think they have done a really great job in making sure he engages with his classmates and vice versa. He will attend one more year and I will certainly be sad when he graduates from the program!

      I have a lot of online friends that have first born children with disabilities and I’ve read a lot of their posts about the emotional roller coaster having another child can be. It took us awhile before we are ready and even though there will be those times of sadness there will be a balance of the wow/miracle factor too.

      Thanks so much for your comments and hope to see you again soon too!

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