The First Year

My lovely daughter, Janaya made a year this past April! I was so elated that she made it to year. I couldn’t have family and friends over like I wanted but we did what we could with zoom (which has been amazing).

This past year has had its ups and downs. Janaya was hitting every milestone but then stopped at 3 months. She began missing them since then. Her tone was off. Her muscles were so tight that cerebral palsy was a concern. Her head was small that she was diagnosed with microcephaly. She didn’t have enough brain tissue. I did tummy time but she still couldn’t lift her head.

It hurt so much to know that she wouldn’t be at the same level as other babies her age. Her doctor was wonderful getting her to a neurologist and through the neurologist she got early intervention services which include physical therapy and eventually speech therapy. The services would be available until she is 3 years old.

Although I was happy these services were available, guilt kept me up at night. Did I do enough? What did I do wrong? Did I bring her into the world just to suffer? I’m not sure but I think all new mothers go through this. This tremendous feeling of guilt. Even as I write this, I’m crying because it just hurts. And I think it doesn’t stop here. It’s a lifetime of wondering “what if”?

What has made it easier is speaking to other mothers whose children have been through therapy and so much more. I’ve learned to reach out to the right women and avoid those who are NOT AT All helpful. Some women have made me feel inadequate as a mother and I no longer allow them in. As I’ve written in a past blog post, many women can be helpful to your journey and be that shoulder to lean on and that ear to listen when you need it.

With the pandemic, Janaya’s physical therapy stopped but once again thank God for Telemedicine via Zoom. We were able to continue. It’s not easy but its doable. Her therapist is wonderful. Janaya is learning more and more each day. She isn’t crawling or walking but has mastered sitting on her own.

Through it all, Janaya is the happiest 1 year old. She’ll never remember the struggle of her first year but I hope to bring continued joy to her life as she has brought to mine.

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