Mom’s always carry guilt over things in regards to their children. I am no exception and always felt so guilty that Leo struggled so much in his development. Was it the drugs from my surgery? Having an under-active thyroid early pregnancy? Not being able to breast-feed for very long? Being gone for so much of his babyhood with more surgeries and treatment?
There was no way to ever know what caused Leo’s delay, and I learned long ago trying to find a reason was pointless, but what would help is doing everything I could as a mom to help him catch up. And it wasn’t just me, but Daddy and big sister were committed to helping Leo, too.
Leo’s delays made him qualify for special education around his first birthday. Through our educational unit, we have been BLESSED with amazing therapists who have loved on and worked with Leo like they were family. At the beginning, we were seeing some type of therapist 3-4 times a week. For a year and half, Leo worked really hard to build up his low muscle tone, improve his coordination, over-come his food aversions, and speak like most kids do his age.
I never doubted our little boy would get “caught up,” but we couldn’t have done it alone. The women that have helped us help Leo will always have a special place in our family, and I am also so personally grateful that they put my mommy guilt to rest. We had our final meeting in September where all the therapists agree that Leo doesn’t need the extra help anymore. A bittersweet day for sure, as we are so proud of Leo, but sad to not see these therapists as often as we were.
Leo’s team left me this note…I will keep it always, to remind me that cancer may have left scars on me, but it did nothing to my son. Despite everything Leo went through, he came out the other end like any other normal kid.