Our story…in the beginning

Our Story

I often get asked when I knew that there was something different about Wee Man.  I can pinpoint it to the minute pretty much, although at that time I didn’t really know what was wrong, I just knew that something wasn’t quite right…

Wee Man’s birth was tricky.  I had tested positive for Group B Strep during my pregnancy, so when my waters broke, I had to go straight to the delivery suite.  There they told me that they would induce me immediately as the waters around the baby would protect him or her (we didn’t know) from potential infection, but not for long.  My instincts told me to resist the induction as long as possible, and I negotiated an hour’s reprieve.  So, off I went jogging and star jumping around the hospital.  I trotted up and down the stairs so many times I lost count, but nothing was happening – no contractions, no signs that things were getting going so I had to admit defeat.  They hooked me up to the Syntocinon drip, then BANG!  Within minutes the contractions started and we thought it’d all happen quite quickly from then.  It didn’t.  After eight hours, I had an epidural* and was able to relax for a bit.  Then push for an hour.  Then panic for a bit.  Then push a bit more.  Then panic again, as the room started swarming with doctors and midwives shoving papers in my face to sign and tugging at my jewellery to remove it quickly.  “Your baby is stuck”, they told me.  “We need to help baby out”.

Baby boy

Monz Man vanished as I was scooted to the operating theatre, only to reappear wearing blue scrubs and looking mighty dashing!!  And then it did all happen very quickly; two more pushes and a tug with a plunger (OK technical term is a Ventouse but it does look like a sink plunger) and out came baby!  Monz Man was so overcome that he forgot to tell me what variety it was – Wee Man was in my arms before anyone told me he was a boy.  He was a bit blue and had a very funny shaped head, but was hollering loudly and looked perfect to me.

There it was; the holler.  I know now that was the first sign for me.  The cry that didn’t tell me anything.  And it didn’t stop.  Not for three hours.  Now, I know most babies do cry after being born – hell, who wouldn’t?  It’s pretty traumatic for all concerned.  But this cry was different; it was in pain; it was confused; it was scared; it didn’t like what was happening and it couldn’t tell me.

Wee Man didn’t feed well – he still doesn’t.  He didn’t seem to know how to suck.  That most basic of human instincts, needed for survival, and he didn’t have it.  The midwives were pretty useless and just kept shoving their fingers in his mouth “to get him going”, then shoving his head at my boob, “nipple to nose, firm and fast”.  Now I don’t know about you, but that certainly wouldn’t entice me to want to feed and in the end I had to tell them to bog off – very politely you understand.  They just weren’t feeling what I was or seeing it in the way I was; his head must have been sore after being bent into a cone shape; his neck must have hurt after being stuck in one position for 20 hours and he just didn’t know how to SUCK!!  So, after I told them to go, we just got on with it – lots of skin to skin and cuddling, and I tried and tried.  Slowly he got the hang of it and was taking some milk.  Interestingly the hollering lessened, with the fewer people coming in and fussing over him and I started to think, perhaps I was getting the hang of this…

But no – at 24 hours old, just as lay him down on his back for the first time (had been told off by the midwife for putting him on his side which I was doing instinctively), the hollering came back – with a vengeance!  And it didn’t stop.  For eight hours…the only thing that finally stopped him was a tight swaddle and laying him ON HIS SIDE!  Again, I told the midwives to bog off, not quite so politely this time.

We left the hospital when Wee Man was three days old.  I wasn’t ready to go if I’m honest.  I still didn’t understand what he was trying to tell me.  I couldn’t hear all those different types of cry that we were told about at antenatal classes – you know, the one that means “I’m hungry” and the one that means, “I’m tired”, and the other one that tells you “I’ve just crapped in my pants and I don’t like it so change me quick”…

He had just one cry.  That holler that told us nothing, but meant everything.


*  Just a quick piece of advice here;  if you’re ever having an induction by drip, please have an epidural AT THE SAME TIME because it bloody hurts – I have had a few natural labours to compare it to so I am talking from experience!

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Welcome new visitorsHi newbie visitors (how very exciting to actually have visitors!),

Just a very quick note to say that this is all a work in progress – please bear with me and visit me often.  I’m really hoping that I can make some sort of a difference to my readers, even if it’s just to give you a bit of a giggle now and again…

See you again soon!

Monz Mum

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Doing my bit

What can I do?  What CAN I DO?  I need to do something – to contribute something to this new world of autism that we’ve found ourselves in…

When we first got our diagnosis of autism, we were lost.  There were no maps.  No signposts.  Nothing.  Just an uber ‘helpful’ doctor telling me to “join the National Autistic Society”.  She then wished me “good luck”, with a sympathetic sort of head-tilt that I’ve now come to recognise only too well.

Autism awareness

So then what?  Well, me being me, I got on Google.  And joining forums.  And buying books.  And basically turning into a one woman ASD info junkie!  But it wasn’t easy – there were (and still are) so many things to think about and look into; therapies; education; understanding; explaining; ‘treatments’; respite; benefits; the list goes on and on.  But, and I think this is the most difficult part of the process, I had (and still have) no way of knowing what the future held – not just for the Wee Man, but for me as well.  Could I cope with this?  Could I ever feel like I was prepared enough to help these little people (there may be more than one kiddo with ASD) as much as they really need me to?  And, how the flip will we cope as a family??  Well, I can now say that yes, I can cope.  And yes, I can give them everything they need.  And, as a family, we are stronger than ever.

It’s not always easy, in fact it’s very hard a lot of the time, but WE CAN do this.

Whether you have a child with autism or if you care for one, or even if you just want to learn more – you can help make a difference just by trying to understand that the world they experience is different to yours.  That’s all…


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