Continuing my story of my unlikely journey into homeschooling from Part I …
Following our newborn baby’s diagnosis of meningitis and a brain bleed, we went into deep shock. It was the only time I saw my husband actually sob.
I spent eleven days in the hospital with my baby, now in the children’s ward, where there were five other meningitis cases, caring for my tiny, sick, newborn baby and trying desperately to learn to breastfeed.
Hospital life is interrupted, clinical, medical and full of fear. Not the nurturing, calm and private bonding post birth experience I had dreamed for and that my hormones absolutely craved! I almost gave up breastfeeding because my drugged and sick baby couldn’t latch properly. I had cracked nipples and a bad case of milk fever, but a La Leche League consultant came and talked me through all my difficulties and supported my decision to keep trying to feed my baby despite all the obstacles. I am so grateful for her help as we went on to breastfeed for two years.
We were referred to pediatric specialists who told us of all the possible damage the brain bleed and meningitis could cause. The news was dreadful. The pediatric neuro-specialist referred to her diagnosis as right-side hemiplegia or right-side paralysis. There were fears of possible learning and speech problems. I was gutted.
My hubby and I immediately found ourselves in separate camps trying to cope with this news; he was quiet, withdrawn and in denial, and I began a frantic search for options, help, therapy, support, and interventions. I think that I was determined to help my child and nothing was going to be too difficult. I resigned from my teaching position and so I began my new role of stay-at-home-mom-on-a-mission!
To be continued in Part III.