Shabby Miss Jenn

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

happy 18th birthday lance!

wow can you believe today lance turns 18 and as i look back over the past 18 years of where we've been, the journey we have have traveled thus far and how we've managed to get to this incredible milestone here today my mind boggles at all we have come through and i am so very grateful that God has been gracious with us. come with me as i reminisce just a little over the past 18 years but i'll go back just a little further so you kinda get the picture a little

tim and i were married on the 6th of september 1986 and this year marked our 23rd wedding anniversary. we were married for 4 years and wanted to start a family yet in 1990 about a year before lance was born tim and i were given some terrible news which was heartbreaking. without going into too many details because i certainly don't want to bore you to tears, i was told by my specialist that the damage and the scarring left behind from the severe endometriosis i was dealing with would pretty much leave us childless and i was told that i would not be able to have children. the specialist also informed me that even if i was too fall pregnant i would not be able to carry full term and i would lose the baby early....not the best of news to hear. now i do believe in God and i do believe in the power of prayer so that's what tim and i did....prayed for children but we also came to a harsh reality that if it were not to be then that was that. 8 weeks later i was given the good news that tim and i were expecting our first child and we were ecstatic.

it wasn't the easiest of pregnancies with 3 threaten miscarriages, many days in bed, trips to the doctor to make sure the baby was still alive and eventually having to resign my job but we got through it and on the 14th of september 1991 i went into labour. off to hospital as the contractions became more intense and closer and as things progressed there normally for a period of time it soon became apparent that things were not going so well in fact things would become complicated and i would have a fight on my hands trying to stay alive. somewhere in amongst the absolute agony that no drug was able to handle they realised that lance was positioned badly and it was causing stress. i recall quite clearly my near death experience while in labour, i recall when i stopped breathing and my body was completely paralysed, unable to move, my eyes unable to open, my voice unable to scream out, i knew that something was seriously wrong and this was it....i would have to fight to save myself and my unborn child because although i could hear everyone including tim panicking and asking for help i was not able to respond to any of it and i was slipping deeper and deeper into darkness and all i could do was call out to God to save me. that he did because then i saw a light in amongst all that darkness and i knew that although I was heading further into it i needed to move towards the light and come out of this alive.

i remember quite clearly as if it were just yesterday breathing again and being whisked off to another room where they could prepare me for an epidural and the birth of my child with more care. lance had still not turned and when the epidural was given and didn't work but paralysed the right leg instead of the lower half of my already exhausted body i knew we were still in for the fight because I was still in agony and as much as tim and i kept asking for a cesarean they kept saying they were doing everything they could. i must have lost consciousness somewhere along the line after that and coming to i recall them saying the baby had finally turned and just in time so it was now time to deliver. lance was born at 7.52 am that morning and although all his apgar scores were fine etc etc i knew something was wrong, i hadn't heard him cry yet nor would we for hours and when i asked why it all i got told was it was all the drugs in our system that had doped him up....but still i knew, i knew something was not quite right.

we watched lance grow, develop and reach his 1st year milestones incredibly early and I began to wonder if indeed there was any possibility that we may have a "gifted child" here. then that nagging feeling from his birth hit us big time because we started seeing some odd behaviours in lance and it all started with those few words he knew so well and seemed to understand the meaning of. then all over a sudden he wasn't able to say them and he seem to get "lost in translation" when he tried to talk and then the frustrations started as his speech progressively got worse and it appeared he was not able to process and understand pretty much anything anyone said as speech became more and more confusing. his tantrums and self harming started as well and by 2 we knew something wasn't right but because this was our firs child and I did not want to be labeled with "it's just the 2 year old phase" tim and i spoke to no-one about our concerns and by the time lance was 3 and things became extreme we knew it was time to see the doctor and express our concerns about lance. he in turn referred us to lance's paediatrician and after some time he referred us to early intervention who suggested that lance may possibly be autistic and because of his speech difficulties he would need to see a speechy. 2 years of speech and the speechy saying that his brain processes things back to front and wasn't normal, 2 years of early intervention and then closing the file saying everything was fine now that he was in school, became 15 more years of hell and misdiagnosis and trying to find out what was so different about our son because something was indeed not right.

lance late last year was finally diagnosed with autism. he has a severe speech, language and communication delay, learning difficulties, low average IQ, is unable to "adapt" well if at all, depression, severe anxieties, doesn't process much and then of course we look at all the symptoms that make for a diagnosis of autism which not only includes all of the above but many more i.e - sensory/tactile difficulties, taps constantly, monotone voice/tone, is very literal, is unable to read facial expression and understand them - both his and everyone else's, mimic's, mirror images people, makes up his own idiosyncrasies, has meltdowns, struggles severely because he can't make sense of the world that we live in, self harms and the list just goes on and on...oh and did I mention needs 24/7 care and support.

although the journey has not been an easy one with it's high and lows, it's negatives and positives, the intense daily struggles we deal with is a huge milestone because things could have been very different and without God's intervention, lance and i would not be here that i am certain of. if you have managed to read this far i hope you have taken something from my "memoirs" and i thank you for allowing me to share a little glimpse in to the world our family lives in.....the world of autism and even though there are daily struggles and there is so much to deal with, every morning my son wakes up is a miracle and one I am forever grateful for, every morning he comes in from his unit and i greet him with 'goodmorning lanciepoos" and he smiles his most gorgeous smile i know it will be alright!

so to my gorgeous boy who seemed to grow up so quickly and is now 18, happy 18th birthday lance, i wish you the very best of happiness and peace, i pray for easier times and things to become more stable in your life no matter how much help and support is needed, i pray for people to accept you for who you are, not for someone you are not nor can be and i am thankful that God saw us as worthy parents, to allow you to be born into this family so we could love you with every ounce of ourselves and all that is possibly human and even then so much more. we love you so much!!! xoxo


Craft u Crazy said...

Hi there, I stumbled across your blog his morning - so happy I did. your work is fantastic and your blog is stunning.
I'm from South Africa and would love you to pop over to my blog to see my work.

Kind regards
Adele James
Craf u Crazy
South Africa

ksharonk said...

Happy birthday to your special boy ... mine turns eighteen in December, I can't believe how quickly this time has come. He is off to uni (with help) next year ... can you believe that? :)

Ann-Marie said...

Oh Chris you got me all teary at the "Goodmorning Lanciepoos" part ... that he smiles and allows you to call him that is just brilliant!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy 18th to Lance - what a milestone and a memorable day it must have been.......hope you all had a fantastic day celebrating together!! Annette XX

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris =)
wow so much i didn't know about Lance and you and your family, im so gald i was able to read this.

Besides all the struggles and difficult moments that arise we both know how special Lance is and i know i consider him a very important person in my life and i know i met him for a reason =)

catch up with you soon.