I‘m back with another video about being a the mother of a son with special needs. I did a series about Spina Bifida last year so be sure the check that out.
This video is specifically about self blame.
I’m not sure if this will resonate with everyone, but it was my experience. I deal with depression, and I would say I have an have an internal locus of control. This means when I look out at my life, I tend to feel that whatever happens to me is under my control. That can be a good thing, but when you are a person that deals with depression, it can translate to thinking that everything is your fault. You fight thinking that you actively did something to make whatever the bad thing was happen to you.
Now intellectually I know this is not the case, but it still is a thought that I have had.
You can imagine what it was like at the beginning of my pregnancy to get the news that my son was going to be born with a myriad of medical problems. I struggled with blaming myself for my son having Spina Bifida. I know somebody out there feels me, especially those women that have been pregnant and know the concerns you naturally have for your child. These concerns transcend special needs, every first time mom hopes that everything goes well, how could you not?
Still, you can think “What could I have done differently?” “What should I have done differently?”
I was taking the recommended 400 mcg of folic acid in my vitamins for 5 years prior to getting pregnant. I was doing everything I was supposed to do with respect to preventing neural tube defects. My son was still born with a neural tube defect. Science does not know anything more about what actually causes Spina Bifida, so there was nothing more I could do.
My reasonable mind understands all this.
Fast forward to this past holiday season when I found out that there is a distant family member that was born with Spina Bifida. I am SO THANKFUL that I did not know this earlier in my pregnancy/son’s life because it probably would have sent me over the deep end with my self blaming thoughts.
I know I am not the only person that has thought these things. I know my transparency will help someone.
I’m going to end this on a positive note. There are definitely times when a mom has contributed to their child’s medical problems (i.e drinking, smoking, abuse while pregnant), but otherwise remember that you most likely did exactly what you were supposed to do if you followed your doctors directives. At first you are thinking “What did I do to make this happen?”, but try flipping it and thinking “I understand why God gave me this child.”
Here’s what I like to think now
1. God knew I wasn’t going to kill my son (read have an abortion)
2. God knew my son was an awesome individual with a happy spirit
3. God knew my son would change who I am as a person & how I view people with disabilities
4. God knew my son would teach me how to love differently and be more unconditional
Hopefully this is encouraging, inspiring and educational to you.