The Unexpected Mothering

Firstly, I’d love to say that I am so nervous as I type this, my first ever blog. I have never done anything like this before. It brought me to tears reading when Elise (owner of What’s On 4 Australia) wrote to me just recently asking if I would consider doing this. I didn’t know I could touch people like that and I am absolutely honoured to have this opportunity to be a voice to the many mummies out there that like me, who haven’t had the easiest of roads with this wonderful gift of motherhood.

Aghhh I’m such a mixed bag of emotions right now, I’m so excited, a little scared, very happy, but also a little teary because these issues are so close to my heart, I feel (well a little) completely in over my head. So please wish me luck and stick with me for the ride, because I’m an absolute beginner here, and I really hope you enjoy reading and feel some warmth and support with what I write.Image

I’d love to introduce myself to you all; my name is Kinta I am 32, and I am married to my beautiful husband of 6 years Rick. Together we have 2 gorgeous little ones, our superstar Archie John (who is 4 ½) and our little sweet pea Josie Rose (who is 2 ½). We live a somewhat interesting life here in Southern NSW.

When we decided to have children, Rick and I dreamed ‘the dream’. You know, of having amazing happy and healthy children with lots of fun family times together, we couldn’t wait!  We always wanted 3 kids and for me to be the typical ‘Stay at Home Mum’ for as long as we could manage. It’s fair to say that we all dream of having healthy babies, but we also know that is not always the case. It is fair to say that having a child with a severe illness or disability is every parent’s worst nightmare!

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this would be our case! That this would the beginning of the most hardest, and most challenging, frustrating and sad, but in the same breath happiest time of my life!! Our Dreams and plans for the future didn’t go as planned, they were far from it actually, but we have done our best with what we have been dealt. We have researched, read and tried to learn as much as possible so that we could again one day feel a little ‘normal’ or ‘typical’ as I like to put it!

But, to be honest, the most joy I will get out of all of this is to know that I may be able to touch your lives in any way, and have you feel some relief that you are not alone.  I don’t want this to come across all negative and sad, but in the same breath I am a voice that this motherhood gig isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be – that there are sometimes some terrible times to be had, and things won’t always go as planned, but please remember this, if you do experience any of this……you are never alone xx

So when I say I speak on behalf of all the mums out there that haven’t had the easiest of roads with this motherhood gig, I speak from the personal experience of having  a horrific first labour (36hrs, posterior presentation followed by emergency c-section added with complications from my anaesthetic).  I still can’t believe I went on for number two after that – we are amazing creatures aren’t we ladies!

Followed by……. attachment disorder with my little man, severe Post Natal Depression,  Anxiety, massive post baby weight gain (20+kgs) but blessed with a beautiful boy with Autism (PDD-NOS) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).  Our beautiful little girl has had significant development delays and is being monitored as she may have a slight neurological disorder and on top of all that we have had our fair share of marital problems! Not surprising really!!

Phew – wow even I get a little overwhelmed when I re-read that, so much has happened in the last 5 years, only now do I feel like I am able to breath and enjoy life so much more! As you can see I am very open and very honest – I have always been that way, I don’t want to sound all negative, and never ever want to look for pity or “Poor Kinta” but the reason I am so open and honest is that I felt so alone when I went through all this, I felt like the biggest of failures and never ever do I want anyone else to feel what I felt, hopefully with my honesty others out there that have gone through or are going through tough times, will NOT feel alone, like I did in those early days. Xx

I’m happy to touch a little on Archie and his background, and will leave the others for another day; otherwise this won’t be a short blog, more like a novel!! Actually it’s already looking that way now. Sorry.

Right from early on I knew my little man was different, not like the others……special!! Everyone told me – no way, I was thinking and worrying too much, but I knew…..just call it……Mothers Intuition!

It has now been 12 months since our beautiful 4 ½ year old was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) – in short he is on the Autism Spectrum. For those of you like me, don’t know too much about Autism (well I do now) If you are diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum you have, Aspergers, PDD-NOS or Classic Autism for life, and thankfully, pretty soon, it looks like it’s all going to be called Autism, to take away all the confusion.

My Golly Gosh, WHAT a road it’s been. Even though we knew it was coming, it still completely rocked our world.  This I can go into more detail next time, of what the process was in diagnosis, where to turn to for advice and help, what to look out for if you have any concerns. But for my first blog, I want to try and keep it short if possible.

Archie is what they call, extremely high functioning, meaning he has amazing vocabulary especially with adults (most still ask me am I sure anything is wrong with him) however, when it comes to changes in his routine and socialising with little ones his own age this is where he really struggles. On top of all this he has a massive challenge with being diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder too – this proves to be his hardest struggle and in short means his brain is wired differently to ours and he has a lot of trouble processing every day noises, sights, smells and therefore, he HAS to touch and chew on things to cope. Autism and SPD are with him for life, but with time and intervention he will learn to function just like everyone else, he might just do things a little differently.

We have been so blessed to have been able to access amazing support and therapy for Archie. Finally with loads of hours of Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Early Intervention, Gymbaroo, Swimming Lessons and loads of mummy hours, combined with lots of patience and a completely new language to learn we are making some amazing progress with our little man! He is just so darn adorable, and has amazing amounts of spunk and character. He has such old sayings and values and melts everyone who meets him. We are so blessed he is ours. Rick and I often comment  – “Even though this has been such a hard, tough road, we wouldn’t have it any other way – we feel so blessed he came into our lives as we have learnt so much about ourselves, about life – we no longer judge anyone, we no longer take the little things for granted as those little things like loving his sister and playing nicely side by side have been such a hard thing to achieve and when we finally were able to – cried tears of happiness’.

I feel like Archie blessed me to be his mum, to be a voice, and advocate for those like him, until he came to us, we too thought Autism was the hand flapping type in the movie “Rain Man”, however as you will see with Archie that is not so, it affects each child very differently – no two children are the same.  I’m so proud of my little man and I do feel I need to stand up him – and those just like him, so that people understand them better, like the busy ones who can’t sit still, who scream if you chop up his apple the wrong way or run around crazy and uncontrollable in the supermarket.  I feel, that the more we talk about it, the more people will learn about Autism and SPD and hopefully the world will be a better place to live in because of it.  I feel that I have been blessed with these hard times, and boy have we had a fair share, but somehow, you can always dig that bit deeper and move forward, and look back on it one day and be so thankful of the lessons learnt.

I am a far better person because of what I have been through, and as hard and frustrating as it was enduring it, I wouldn’t change a thing in the world, it has by far made me the person I am today and I feel so very blessed.

So how did I go? Sorry to prattle on for ages, but I do hope you got something out of it, either, some knowledge you didn’t know before, or a sense of relief, to know that if you have experienced any of this – you are not alone xx

I’ll leave you with a little quote I read on a very dear friend’s Christmas letter; because I too think that this is very, very true. It said “If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d soon grab our own back”.

Well on that note I hope this blog brings warmth to your heart and a smile to your face, until next time big hugs.

Kinta xx