A very small percentage of families receive unsettling news about the physical health of their child at the 20 week ultrasound. The news can be confusing and paralyzing. Here are some tips to help cope.
1) Use the internet-cautiously. While the internet is an instant source of “answers”, just “Google it” can cause unnecessary anxiety-particularly regarding health concerns. Don’t let a computer dictate your own visual of your perfect child. Do use the internet to find support. Finding real parents who have lived through the same emotions/confusion is priceless.
2) Ride out the emotion (and throw out the Parenting magazines). Shock…pain…anger…let yourself grieve the loss of “the perfect baby”. Process the emotion before your child can sense your own fears.
3) Talk about it. You never know who has a “friend of a friend” dealing with the same experience. Additionally, you need the emotional support.
4) Try to enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. It may not be the road you envisioned, but you will still be amazed at the experience of parenthood.
We all have our handicaps. Some are just more obvious than others. Don’t dwell on what you have been told is “wrong”. Focus on what you know is right. You are still part of the creation of a miracle.
Submitted by Ann L. (mom to a happy and handsome congenital hand amputee)