If you have been following my BeingMaxinne blog, than you already know I am a mother to twin six year old children, Ryan and Felicity. They were born very,very prematurely at only twenty five weeks gestation and spent three months in the neonatal intensive care unit before finally coming home. Bringing them home came with many mixed emotions, the obvious one being relief. I was relieved that they had fought for their lives and survived being on life support,countless blood transfusions,sepsis,near renal failure,the list goes on and on...Mixed with my relief I was also very scared. I was terrified that I wasn't capable of keeping them alive, never mind being a "good" mother. Having them in my care came with many new challenges aside from being a new mother to twins. Felicity came home requiring many medications that she was prescribed to take multiple times a day and Ryan had issues too, mostly respiratory. Both of them were seen by more specialists during their first year than many people see in a lifetime. There was also a constant cloud of uncertainty hanging overhead, the not knowing if they would develop normally. Of course I hoped and prayed that they would grow into healthy,typical children leaving their earliest days behind them for good, but I worried about them...a lot. I believe I knew intuitively that Felicity was going to face many challenges in her life soon after she was born but I still hoped I was wrong. I wasn't. As life unfolded it became clear that for all of the milestones Ryan was meeting...Felicity was not. Even with tons of early intervention including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and a special education teacher coming in and out of our home like a revolving door, Felicity's progress was painfully slow. She did not get an official diagnosis of cerebral palsy until she was around a year and a half old, by that time it was obvious and it was just a matter of confirming what our hearts already knew.
Ryan and Felicity are in kindergarten this year. They both attend public school where Ryan is in a regular class and Felicity is in a special education class consisting of twelve children, one teacher, one assistant teacher and her own aide. Felicity uses a wheelchair and needs assistance with everything physical. Although both children are bright, funny, wonderful people, this blog is going to be geared toward Felicity's life with cerebral palsy and our life as a family. I've decided to call this blog The Mermaid Chronicles because Felicity is undeniably at her happiest when she is in the water. There is nothing she loves to do more than spending time in the swimming pool. It is where she is most independent and free. She has a float which allows her to navigate the pool without any assistance from other people. In the water she is powerful and able bodied. On land she struggles with even the most simple movements. I imagine if mermaids were real they would have the same struggles and strengths as Felicity...And so The Mermaid Chronicles are born.
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