"He has taught us that a disability isn't a punishment or a mistake, it's an obstacle that shows you patience, the purest form of love – acceptance, and compassion."
My experience with motherhood is nothing like I imagined it would be like. But, I suppose that's true with all moms. We're all on a journey we could never fully prepare ourselves for.
When my husband and I found out we were expecting our third son, Logan, we immediately started picturing what our life would be like with our newest addition.
We pictured our three boys running around in the backyard together. With him being so close in age, we knew they grow up being best friends. At the time, I was only one semester away from graduating nursing school. It was all perfect timing and our plans almost seemed too good to be true.
Finally, the day came when it was time for Logan to make his arrival.
It was nothing like we had planned.
Something went wrong during labor and delivery, and he was deprived of oxygen. When Logan was born, he was whisked away to the NICU. We didn't fully understand the seriousness of the situation until he had a series of tests done to determine the extent of brain damage.
The doctors were very direct with the results. "He has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, visual impairments, and would need a feeding tube. Logan has profound, global brain damage. He may never walk or talk. You'll be lucky if he graduates from high school or holds a simple job. But he can still live a happy life, and that's all that really matters."
My plans were quickly replaced with fear and uncertainty. It was at that moment when I had to re-evaluate our future. As heartbroken as I was to give up my dream job, I decided dropping out of nursing school would be best; as our life quickly filled up with doctor's appointments, therapies, and so much medical equipment that we still haven't found a place to put it all.
Logan is 3 now, and he hasn't let any of this define him. He has overcome so many expectations and has a love for life like I've never seen. He has taught our family that one person's weakness brings out another's strength. He has taught us that a disability isn't a punishment or a mistake, it's an obstacle that shows you patience, the purest form of love, acceptance, and compassion.
And for me, that's so much more valuable than a nursing degree. I am proud to be the one he calls mama.
This story was written by Ashley Sondag for our Hello Parents series. Our mission is to create a community of extreme inclusivity. Appreciating what makes us different and what we all have in common. No judgment. Just a village of support.
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