‘The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it’ – C.C.Scott
How parents cope and adapt is a very personal journey, and the first few hours and days following the birth of a child with limb deficiencies can be very painful. But most families find their concerns and sadness soon lessens with the excitement and love a new baby brings.
Our key message in the words of a member is this:
‘The day we realised that our job was to accept our baby as normal and not make allowances was a big turning point’
Focus on your beautiful child and their life, not the small bit that is missing. After all, every one of us is different in some way.
But it must also be recognised that each family member is likely to develop their own unique way of coping, and that this will evolve and change as your child grows and life moves on.
Looking at the ways others have coped may inform your own coping methods and help you and your child develop more effective ways of handling whatever comes your way.
So, the birth and acceptance of your baby with a limb difference is intensely private experience for both parents, it is something you figure out for yourselves without outside interference. For parents reading this who have just fond out, please be assured that wanting to give yourself space and shut out your wider family and friends is very normal. It is important to give yourself that space so that you can come to terms with the news and think about what external help you are going to need. But just because it is offered, doesn’t mean you have to accept it.
Parents have told us that what did help was gentle acceptance and unconditional love.
What didn’t help were platitudes and time worn cliches.
And if you need practical advice and to talk to other families, that’s where Reach can help.
For more shared experiences that will help you please see our book, ‘SHARED EXPERIENCES, the experience of having and parenting children with upper limb deficiencies ‘ by Charlotte Fielder which is included free in new member packs, or can be purchased for £10 through our online shop.