Saturday, 22 July 2017
When life takes a sudden turn - Part 1

When life takes a sudden turn - Part 1

By Mary AMOAH
THE day arrived. I was ready and nicely dressed. My feelings were all mixed up.
My inclinations leaned towards the expectation of exactly what I had prayed for. Occasionally, a thin film of doubt would rise and fly cross my mind.
I would quickly refocus on what I had prayed for - it meant the world to me, and God had had enough trouble to know I wouldn't take none else for an answer.

The scan didn't take long. "Mrs Kuffour, it's a baby girl!" Flashes of pink in all its tints raced across my mind!
The excitement I felt was the highest height of emotions that begun some 12 weeks ago.
Having had two boys already through Caesarian section within two years, a third child was not part of the plan. But as fate would have it, a cute angel girl had firmly lodged herself in my womb without notice!
Both God and my girl winked at each other as they watched my reaction and excitement!
After the second trimester, I started visualising my baby in all the pink dresses I had bought.
From ribbons and toys to a thousand trillions of joyful pink moments, my girl and my world were simply heaven on earth.
Then suddenly, something unexpected happened. Chicken pox showed up as if to remind and ground my rising joy.
This was seven months into the pregnancy. A few weeks to delivery, I got really sick and had frequent visits to the hospital.
Finally, on the 17th April 2003, at 1.16 pm through Caesarian section, my baby girl showed up in this beautiful world! Many months of imagined reality had become a baby girl!
I asked to see my baby. I was told that would be later because she's at the Intensive Care Unit due to a fatal distress during the delivery process.
Five days would pass before I was discharged without my baby.
How was I to go home alone without my baby? It didn't make maternal sense to me.
So I decided to stay around the hospital so I could be close. Two weeks that felt more like two years in real terms, would pass before my baby was also discharged.
The family reunion and bonding felt like a miracle.
We kept our routine checks with the hospital until she was very well and started gaining weight.
At one, she started walking and babbling the usual child language to communicate her needs.
She grew well until at age three we noticed she would rather pull us towards whatever she wanted, instead of uttering what it was, as has always been the case.
She would stare at her fingers for unusually prolonged periods and would spin and jump and play all by herself. She had constipation for days.
All this got us worried. We visited many hospitals and churches too in search of a cure.
The various doctors we met assured us all would be well and she would resume her normal speech. Our last prayer camp visit was at mount Herob at Mamfe Akuapem. Nothing changed. We became worried.
Then one fine day, when she was around six, we had a friend visit us from the USA.
This friend was the first to point out autism to us! In the most dramatic denial, we demanded of our friend to speak English to us! What animal is autism? And where did it come from???
We went to see a speech pathologist. Finally, we got an official diagnosis that confirmed our friend's opinion.
The drive home from the speech therapist's office was longer than the nine months I had been pregnant! I felt heartbroken, disappointed and cried my heart out!
I experienced the worst of the "why me syndrome" and wondered what society would think about me. What did I do wrong? By contrast, my husband never uttered a word.
A year that seemed like many decades would pass before I came to terms with my new reality.
My life had taken a new turn and I had to deal with it!
. To be continued

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