Let Her Sleep, For When She Wakes…

Let's be honest: every mom parents each child a little differently. So, how does it differ with a special needs child? Down Syndrome Awareness www.abitofsimplicity.com

“Let her sleep. For when she wakes, she will move mountains.”

Let me first address the elephant in the room, I am sorry for my rather long hiatus – life. Life happened. Homeschooling. Running my own small business. And, taking care of LB – it’s been a whirlwind! But, it’s my life – and I love it (no matter how exhausted I look or how much left-over mascara I have on…) 

For those of you who have been following LB’s journey: THANK YOU! 

You can also follow her journey on her facebook page: fb.com/LBsJourney

She has come so far this past year.

Countless OT appointments. Endless doctor visits. And, priceless memories.

 

Last night was a big first for us-

After 16 months, LB spent her first night away from me…

No, not at someone else’s house, ARE YOU INSANE?! 

(;

For the past 16 months, her entire life, LB has sleep by my side.

Every night.

485 days (give or take).

Not counting the few first nights after her open heart surgery, she has never NOT slept in the same room as me.

 

At first, it was a necessity.

It was too risky to leave her in her own room alone.

She could stop breathing from her sleep apnea…

which she did.

She could get tangled in the wires from her feeding tube…

which happened often.

There would be many nights that I would wake up, no real reason other than to check on her, and I would find the tubes strangled around her neck.

It was my biggest fear, my greatest challenge, and my worst nightmare.

And, it happened almost every night, despite our best maneuvers.

So, you see – as often as my husband would pick on me for keeping her so close, I had to.

Months went on and changes took place.

She became stronger. Slept better. And, didn’t have to be hooked to her feeding pump at night.

But, she was still in my room.

 

What if she needed me?

What if her teeth started hurting her?

What if her foot got stuck in between the rail?

What if… what if.. what if…

 

The what if’s quickly ruled my mind, and it was just easier to become accustom to her staying in our room.

We bought a smaller crib, made a make-shift area for her, and life went on.

She began sleeping through the night and everything was great.

Our other two littles seemed to seamlessly sneak their way into our room at night, as well.

 

None of that ever bothered me. It still doesn’t.

Heck, I’ve even entertained the idea of creating just one big room for us to sleep in…

It’s because I know one day they won’t find their way into our room anymore, they won’t sneak on their dad’s side and manage to get him to squeeze over, they won’t fight over who gets to make their pallet on which side.

One day, they will walk out of our room carrying their blankets; and, unknowing to us, it will be the last time.

I know this day will come sooner that I’d like. I will have my room all to myself (other than the 7ft tall hulk I share it with). 

So, for now, I don’t mind them sleeping in there…

 

But, I’ve realized that the situation with LB is different.

She isn’t choosing to sleep in our room.

I’m making her.

She has no problem to sleep away from me… it is me. It’s 100% me.

I am hindering her from growing.

From spreading her wings, taking the next “big girl” step.

I can’t do that to her.

 

I know, I know… it’s not that big of a deal. But, I’m afraid that if I hold her close to me with this (because I want her to) then I will do it with other things to.

It’s not only her that has to learn on this journey. She’s not the only one who has to grow.

I have to learn to let her take these steps. To try these things on her own. There will be times I will have to sit back and let her fail (like every other child).

I can’t spend my life trying to protect her.

Honestly, I do parent her differently than my other two. It’s easy to give them a push, let them spread their wings. I know that when they fall they will dust themselves off to try again. And, if not, I will be there to motivate them.

But, with LB, I can’t help but want to guard her, protect her, and hold her close.

Hasn’t she been through enough? Isn’t the obstacles that she will have to face ON TOP of all the “normal stuff” enough? Why would I let her fall?

…because she has to.

 

As I rolled over last night, to the only side I can fall asleep on, which just happens to be the side LB sleeps on… my heart sank not seeing her there.

I thought I was fine as I moved her crib into the other room. No tears where shed as I kissed her goodnight in the other room. And, I managed to walk out with my heart still in tact as I cracked the door in the other room.

But, it wasn’t until I rolled over to my side. To her side. To our side – and, didn’t see her there that it hit me.

I sat there in the dark as the tears silently flowed, looking at the spot where she has slept for over a year and a half – and knew it was time.

Because, as I will spend my life fighting for other people to not treat her different – I can’t either.

That’s the only way she’ll learn.

That’s the only way she will fly.

That is how she will move mountains.

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