As I’ve mentioned, I spent a lot of time questioning if something I did somehow “caused” Eli’s apraxia. My pregnancies with both kids were fairly normal and uneventful. We did relocate from NJ to NC for my husband’s job when I was about ten weeks pregnant with Eli. Moving to a place where you don’t know anyone with a toddler was no joke. It was a very stressful time for me and my husband…was it too stressful for my sweet boy? Eli was delivered by scheduled c-section at 39 weeks. Should I have waited longer? Tried for a VBAC? I didn’t breastfeed, or really try once I left the hospital, as I was unable to breastfeed my daughter after a valiant and ridiculous effort. Could breast milk have changed something? I had post partum anxiety after he was born. He spent time in front of the TV because his sister was watching and I couldn’t mother them. I hired a babysitter so I could have a break for a few hours. What if I were more engaged in those infant months?
I also questioned my decision to go back to work. After I had Layla, I quit my job. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving her and we were fortunate to have the resources for me to do so. But, two kids in two years made mommy long for more than playdates and a good book at naptime. I was unbelievably lucky to find a part-time job as an attorney, as they are few and far between. So, when Eli was 17 months, I put him in part-time preschool with his sister. Was that a mistake? I hate to think about it because I am so much happier working and think it makes me more engaged when I am with the kids, but what if…?
As I am only a year into a very long journey (some kids with apraxia start catching up quickly, others need speech services through 8th grade or even longer), I have tried to work through the nagging doubts and know that we did not ask for or cause this; it just happened. Inevitably, though, the doubts creep back in. Support helps; I have a very supportive family and an abundance of friends who are there to listen or bring wine. Eli has an amazing speech therapist and a caring pediatrician. I have learned that I am a fighter and will do whatever it takes to get Eli the help he needs.