We’ve often said that we’d like to hear more from men, or more specifically, from fathers of special needs children. In our imperfect travels, we’ve learned that the way men and women handle the stresses and joys of raising special children is very different. In general, we’ve found that women tend to be more open about their children’s struggles and willing to talk about them with others, while most men don’t feel comfortable doing that with one another. We’ve often tried to come up with ways to get more men to join our Facebook community, however, attracting men has never been our strong point. 🙂 Knowing this, we were thrilled when a lovely woman, Leslie, approached us at our talk in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and told us about her husband, Jim Walter, and his blog. The blog, Just a Lil Blog, discusses “the true life adventures of a little girl with autism, and her struggles raising her two parents with only a big sister to help her.” Please read Jim’s wonderful blog below.
10! by Jim Walter
My big girl turned 10 today. She’s very literal (not sure where she gets that) and she claims she’s not officially 10 until 11:52 tonight. I told her that legally she’s 10 even though she won’t have been alive for 10 full years until 11:52 p.m.
Leslie was reminiscing about the day Emma was born this morning. I’m not sure why I wasn’t. Maybe it’s just something that moms do annually. I think about it from time to time, but for some reason this morning wasn’t one of those times.
Leslie had back labor with Emma. Do you know what back labor is? Well it’s icky. Emma was shoving her noggin against Leslie’s spine and for 30 hours we waited for her to decide to join us.
For 30 hours my wife would fall asleep for 3 minutes, wake up for 5 minutes of contractions, then fall back asleep again. I was rubbing holes in her back with my thumbs because if I pushed in a certain spot it made her feel slightly better.
“Rub harder,” she said, her voice a ragged hiss, the tone trailing into a whine.
“If I rub any harder I’m going to puncture the skin,” I replied, rubbing harder.
And then she’d fall asleep and I’d crack the knuckles on my hand, flexing my fingers tiredly and lay back, shaking my head at her ability capture sleep so deftly and nod off myself for a minute or two before the “machine that goes ping” would ratchet back up in intensity, signalling a new set of contractions and I’d mobilize my thumb for spine penetration duty.
Some time after she finally opted for the spinal (which was like the hand of God descending upon her removing all pain) and they readied us for the C-section, we could see St. Patrick’s Day approaching.
“Can you hold off a few more minutes so we have a St. Paddy’s Day baby, Doc?” we asked.
“No,” he said flatly. And so at 11:52 p.m. (possibly 11:51 p.m. . . I swear I’ll change this entire post if it turns out I got the time wrong just to make it seem like I didn’t) Emma was delivered.
To read more, visit Just a Lil Blog. Be sure to visit Jim’s Facebook page to let him know that “We ‘Like’ Him! We really ‘Like’ him.”