Sometime last year I attended a conference for professionals dealing with children with cerebral palsy where a paediatric neurologist said something that has always stuck with me – “birth is the single most dangerous experience you will have in your lifetime.” Those words struck me hard and I have never forgotten them. Since our Millie was born we have had appointment after appointment, hours of therapy and many specialists involved in her care. Every single day I am eternally grateful that she survived being born. There’s a possibility her stroke occurred during birth although in my heart I have that ‘I know’ feeling that it was sometime in the last few weeks of my pregancy. Regardless of these thoughts and all others of guilt that follow them (and they are inevitable!), I still celebrate every achievement like I did her birth, because she’s surviving and striving!
The reason for such deep thoughts today can be seen in the video below. Exactly 21 days ago I set 21 of our chicken eggs in an incubator. Like clockwork, this evening our first chick was hatched just in time for Millie to meet him/her before she went off to bed. So chick chick got a welcome from two excited faces staring through the incubator lid, grinning like fools and the toddler asking to ‘twoke him’. We could well have 14 chicks by tomorrow morning though some loss is expected, as we learnt that 7 out of the 21 eggs I set didn’t make it.
Since our new life in Devon started Millie’s care has taken a bit of a backseat as we transfer all her care over and get to know our new team of professionals. Saying that therapy has never stopped for us and absolutely no time in clinic beats the farm and the animals for engagement and encouragement.
I have been, as I always am, quietly researching new techniques and ideas to keep working with her and tomorrow marks the start of our new chapter in therapy. We have been waiting for our turn to attend ‘local’ charity Brainwave for an assessment since November and the day has finally arrived. I meet it in the same way I always meet new therapies and programmes, with a degree of trepidation, apprehension and some excitement. Tomorrow very early in the morning Millie and I will be off to Brainwave’s Somerset centre where we will spend the next two full days carrying out assessments of her, taking part in therapies including hydrotherapy sessions and devising a personal therapy programme for her (and I) to follow for the next 6 months at home. We will return biannually for a reassessment and come away with a new programme as she achieves targets and her needs change.
So for tonight this momma is having some down time and a rather large glass of wine to regroup and put my emotions in check, ready for a tough couple of days!
I will be back with some chick updates later in the week.