Family Helps

The Next Family

By: Stacie Lewis

Four days left in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Sob.Since May’s birth, I’ve searched high and low for information on helping raise a brain-damaged baby, and the amount –or lack of –literature has been shocking. The most formative months of her life, and what help do I get from medical and scientific minds? Zip.

I’ve certainly had help from the professionals working with May, but when it came to sourcing and developing my own understanding of May’s condition?

Zip. Nada.

“There is so little we know of the brain,” I am constantly told.

“Not good enough!” I say (to no one in particular).

But, here is something I have found, for those interested parties: family helps.

I don’t mean, family members will help change diapers (Hello? Dad? Change a diaper?). I mean being around family helps me, and especially helps May. Her two cousins (2 and 6 years old) adore her and she obviously loves them. Every time they shriek or laugh, she does the same. And, they help her play in a way that an oldie such as myself has no concept of.

I can’t get over how much progress May has made in the past few weeks. She is reaching forward all the time now to press buttons on toys. Her balance is better. She seems to fix on things better. Everything is better.

And for me, I have had a few weeks of just thinking about May as being my daughter and just another member of the family. That is a huge thing. It is very hard to not think about May’s condition all the time. To think of May as just an adorable little girl playing with her cousins is a real gift.

Here is a short video from the start of the vacation of my sister (Aunt Carrie) with May. This was one of the first times we saw May reaching up to touch someone else’s face besides mine or her father’s. I couldn’t capture it exactly – babies never do what you want when the video is recording! You can see May doesn’t get to Carrie’s face, but I can assure you she does now all the time.

This is what family can do that medical textbooks cannot.

Stacie Lewis blogs at Mama Lewis and the Amazing Adventures of the Half-Brained Baby.
Mama Lewis

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