These past few days I have given a lot of thought to identifying Dorothy as Special Needs.
For many people, when they hear Special Needs, they think of someone with a mental disability.
For myself, growing up with a mother who worked at the state school throughout all my life, I am one of those people.
I don't feel that I am in denial about Dorothy's medical status, it's just that I don't see her as a special needs baby.
Sure, she qualifies for physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and 30 hours a week of at home private duty nursing. She's on a surgically placed g-tube with 20 hour a day continuous feeds. She's on two life long medications now, and will likely be taking more daily as the years pass. But when I look at her I don't think of or see a special-needs baby.
I just look at her and think of how far she's come, and I know that our future holds lots of doctors appointments, and I guess really yes she is Special Needs because of all of these things.
It's just like when she was in the hospital. Enduring all of those tubes in her nose and her mouth, keeping her alive, feeding her, helping her to breathe, providing her medicine and feedback to the doctors about her health status.
I didn't see all of those things. All I saw was my little baby.
Laying in that hospital bed, being on what really boiled down to life support (that was a altogether separate epiphany for me, weeks after she'd been there). I was able to look past everything and just see my daughter.
Of course I worry about what her future looks like socially being a Special Needs child. But ultimately, I really want her to learn that although she may be special, it's in a good way. That it's nothing bad or to be ashamed of.
Every person is different in their own way and that is to be celebrated, that is not to be feared.
Every mother wants their daughter to know that they're not only beautiful, but smart, strong, brave, and to know their worth in this world. I am no exception.
How do you deal with whatever bumps in the road that have been thrown at you?
You can follow more of Dottie's story (along with our everyday life) on Instagram.