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Why I Hate When People Say They Hate That Their Child Has Autism

So, The Mighty has asked its readers what their greatest gift has been. I could say the laptop from my parents that I’m typing this on. I could say my awesome phone generously provided by my in-laws. I could say a roof over my head and my family and friends.

While they are all amazing gifts, I have to say the best is my son. Yeah, yeah, I know. You’ve probably all heard that before, but wait. My story is different.

I’ve been through seven miscarriages. Yes, you read that right. Seven. The first one was about 16 weeks along. The other six were before 11 weeks. “Spontaneous abortions” is how doctors refer to them. I hate that term. I didn’t choose to lose those babies. My body did, and it ripped my heart out every.single.time.

It got to the point where my doctor told me I may never be able to carry a child to term.

Until Liam. I found out on my brother’s birthday that I was pregnant. I was scared to
death. I made an appointment to see an OB/GYN. As soon as I told them of my previous miscarriages, I was scheduled to see a high-risk OB/GYN. I had every test under the sun. While we awaited results, I was told to take it easy. At nine weeks I started to bleed and was rushed to the ER.

With my husband and best friend in tow, I waited for what seemed like several hours (when it was merely one). They brought in an ultrasound machine. There I was, feet in stirrups, a doctor, a nurse, a tech, my hubby and best friend at my feet. The doctor was talking all hush hush. I could feel panic start to course through my body. My hubby and my best friend were standing there with their mouths agape. No one was telling me what was going on.

Then I heard one of the most beautiful sounds in the world. I heard his heart beat. It sounded like a train roaring down the tracks. I was sent home on bed rest, and after going over all my testing, they told me I had a clotting disorder. They sent hubby to the pharmacy for aspirin and told me to take it every morning until 32 weeks.

Aspirin! Aspirin saved my pregnancy! I went to a high-risk OB/GYN weekly through my pregnancy.  Hubby rented me a hospital grade doppler so I could check the baby’s heart beat every day. If I wasn’t throwing up, I was chilling out.

When we moved from Alabama back to Pennsylvania, I had to find a new doctor. By
this time I was 20 weeks in. The new high-risk was quite a drive, as we live in a rural area. So I only saw him every other week. Long story short, I delivered around 36 weeks. I became pre-eclamptic and
had to be induced. But other than that, it was a normal delivery, and I had a beautiful baby boy to be thankful for.

He wasn’t a Christmas gift though; he was actually my Mother’s Day gift that year, as I had him just two days before. I bawled like a baby when they put his little body on my chest. I silently thanked God for this miracle.

So now you know my story — or at least part of it. If you follow us on Facebook, you know my boy is autistic, struggles with biploar disorder, SPD, ADHD, OCD, ODD and anxiety. You also know I embrace him and all his quirkiness. This is why!

I don’t care if he’s autistic. I don’t care that he struggles with all these labels. (I mean, I do, but I don’t love him any less.) I care that he is mine.

So when I hear people say they hate that their child is autistic, I get angry. Not because I don’t think you have valid feelings. Let’s face it, your journey is different than mine. I hate it because I know there are other women and men out there who want nothing more than a child to love. We have that. We were given that blessing. Even though our journeys are hard, we still have them. We have something they long to have. We have something to be thankful for.

You see, my greatest gift didn’t come from a store. It isn’t a thing. My greatest gift is my son, and I will always treasure him. Through the good, the bad and the ugly days of autism and bipolar. He
is my Miracle Man.

For all of January, The Mighty is asking its readers this question: If you could go back to the day you (or a loved one) got a diagnosis, what would you tell yourself? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please  include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

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