Butterfly grew up with food intolerances and was diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger's
Syndrome, and learning difficulties. Now she struggles with OCDs.
This is the story of how we have faced these challenges.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Butterfly is born

Butterfly is an only child ~ but was also my third. That is to say, I lost two pregnancies before she was born. I was still debating whether or not I'd even try a third time when a condom company and Mother Nature combined forces to take the decision out of my hands. This time I sought the help of an obstetrician. Don't worry, I'll spare you the details. Suffice it to say there was a congenital problem and the baby was lassoed inside me after the first trimester. I had to take it easy for the remainder of the pregnancy. Butterfly was born at eight months by Cesarian Section because I had pre-eclampsia.

I started late, so by the time Butterfly was born, I was 40 years old. I'll tell you quite honestly, that while I think older moms probably have more patience and a more mature perspective on motherhood, chances are they simply don't have the same energy they had in their 20s. I know I didn't. That new baby thing.... geez, that's wearing, eh?

Fortunately Butterfly was a "good" baby. She didn't cry a lot, and except when she was colicky, she woke up smiling, fed happily at my breast, and slept well. When she was colicky, at least Hubby helped out with the rocking and singing. I'm so glad I breast-fed, because I feel it gave her a good start on life. Sort of a preparedness for the problems to come.

Butterfly was a very bright baby too. When she was about eight months old, I remember giving Hubby the rounds of the kitchen because he'd reupholstered a little rocking chair for Butterfly on the little balcony off the living room. That he'd fixed up the rocking chair was great. But that he did it on the balcony we'd carefully latticed so she could go out there with us concerned me, because he'd used those little upholstery nails. What if he'd dropped one... or two?

Well, he checked and double checked, and he assured me there were no nails loose out there, so I put her down in the living room and let her go out there with him. After a little while, she came crawling back into the living room. Her right fist was tightly closed and there was a look of intent in her eyes. She was clearly headed for me, so I got down to meet her. When she got to me, she held out her little hand, and there was a tiny upholstery nail. Several emotions grabbed me all at once: relief that she hadn't put it in her mouth; anger at Hubby; sheer astonishment that this little baby had brought the nail to me, as if she'd understood what I was giving Daddy whatfer for.

But something changed after a routine visit to our doctor. He gave her a vaccination, and she became very ill. She was clearly uncomfortable and in pain, she had diarrhea, and she developed a fever. For a few days I had all I could do to keep her hydrated, never mind fed. When the symptoms abated, she wasn't the same. Her steady, cheerful gaze with twinkling eyes was gone, and in it's place was a look of unfocused confusion. I told myself it would be ok... she'd be back to normal as soon as she was completely well. But she was never quite the same. I didn't know what to make of it, but that was her last vaccination.


  1. Oh, you got me! I teared up at this. What a beautiful name too. A story, unfortunately, that is all too familiar :( I was speaking with a new friend today (at Goose's hippotherapy) about having community and finding strength when our children have disabilities and food intolerances. My blog has certainly been therapeutic in that sense, for me.

    Sometimes, in real life, especially in the midst of crises, it is extremely hard to find community, or even to think there might be someone else out in the world going through ANYTHING with any remote similarity to our circumstance in that moment.

    Luckily, we live in a day and age where internet affords us those connections we might not otherwise have, and yet, are we now so "plugged in" and "advanced" for our own good and potentially causing some of the very issues in our children that we have to reach out across these invisible wires for?

    I just don't know, ((shakes head)) I just don't know.

    Big hugs to you for sharing this story, and for having lived through it. <3

  2. Thank you, Chickie Pea. I wasn't sure about sharing Butterfly's story, because I really don't think very many people read anymore. But you reminded me that there is a story here and maybe it was time to share it. I hope you'll read along, and I hope it somehow helps others who have similar challenges, if only to help them keep going, as your blog has helped me. :)

  3. I was 40 when I had Audrey as well. I am definitely TIRED and I'm not sure about the having more maturity and patience part. I always hate to hear the vaccination regression stories. So heartbreaking. Unlike Butterfly, Audrey was delayed from the get-go, but her 15 mos MMR definitely set her back further.

  4. The patience and maturity part was more noticeable after I got my thyroid meds. They became necessary during Bud's potty training. They helped... also with the fatigue.