Monday, February 13, 2012

Did I Fail?

Most people who have known me for any length of time would say that I am an optimist. I've always made a point to see the silver lining, always purposed to stay positive, avoided wallowing for too long. On my blogs and such, I've also tried to maintain that positivity, no only for myself, but for others as well.

Today, though, something is weighing heavy on my heart, and I want to share it with you.

I think I failed my daughter.

First, a little background:

I got pregnant with Alana (my oldest) when my husband came home for his vacation from an overseas deployment. I was SO excited--we both were--when I found out. The first part of my pregnancy was pretty normal. At about six months, we discovered I had gestational diabetes--pretty common, no big deal, easily handled. Throw in a big move at seven and a half months, and staying in the Texas heat on the third floor of old barracks (temporary housing on Ft. Hood when the hotel is full)--no elevator, no AC--and things just got worse. I ended up with eclampsia and was induced five weeks early.

Alana was born 5 weeks early. Not quite mature.

So, fast forward over the next few years. Alana developed much like any child in most areas. She was a little slow in others--mostly in speech . At two, she was far enough behind that it was kind of noticable. I pointed it out to the doc who said it really wasn't a big deal, children develop at different speeds, and Alana was premature. I pointed it out again the following year to a different doctor, who said pretty much the same thing, but if I was concerned I could talk to a developmental specialist.

Well, the doctor didn't seem overly concerned, and Alana was premature--surely, she'd come along in time. Finally, though, I just had to admit that she wasn't progressing and I wasn't able to help her. So, I started trying to pursue therapy--which ended up being like jumping through hoops, and finally was able to get her tested right before we moved to Hawaii.

The results said something about her speech being equivalent to that of a 2 1/2-3 year old (she was 4 1/2 at the time). However, we had to wait until we got over to Hawaii and settled in before we could pursue actual therapy.

We arrived here and it took longer than we'd hoped to get settled. We started officially homeschooling and I just kept putting the therapy off. After much prompting from my husband and listening to her trying to communicate with random strangers at the grocery store, at the doctor's office, and even her friends, I finally called the doctor.

Alana starts therapy next week. She's not as behind as she was a year ago. She'll be six next month and her issues are mostly with starting/finishing sounds, which get more incoherent the longer she talks.

If I'm honest with myself, I didn't want to put Alana in therapy. As weird as it sounds, and as much as I know it's not necessarily true, getting her into therapy felt like a big, fat F on my forehead. I did this to her. It's my fault. I couldn't carry her and keep her safe in my womb, and I can't train her up or help her now. I am a failure.

There are days when those thoughts sneak up on me and smack me upside the head. I break down into tears because I just know that I did something wrong. I feel those feelings welling up inside and I think I'm going to suffocate. There are even times when I wonder what God saw in me that He thought I would make a good mother.

But I know those thoughts are wrong.

I know that those thoughts are NOT from God.

God is not the author of doubt, worry, and fear.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..." (John 10:10)

"He (Satan) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8:44)

I am done believeing Satan's lies. I am not a bad mother--I love my children more than my own breath. I would do anything for them. I may not be perfect, but God doesn't expect to me. Sure, I may have let Satan get a foothold and slow my decision to get my daughter the help she needs, but the point is that I conquered that fear, I did what was right.

He can only have a foothold if I let him. "Get behind me, Satan!" (Matthew 16:23)

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