In The Lion’s Den

The first installment of The Lion's Den, words from a mother of an Autistic son

I’m a mother of five sons and a daughter. One of my sons, who we’ve affectionately called Snoop, was officially diagnosed with autism in his senior year of high school. Here’s our beginning:

Two years after giving birth to our 3rd son, we found out that we were expecting again. I was going into my fourth month when I experienced some cramping. This was unusual for me so I headed to the doctor’s office. About 15 minutes into the exam, I felt a heaviness and deep pressure in my womb. “I’m so sorry but you’ve experienced a miscarriage. Before you leave, please go down the hall to see the ultrasound technician to schedule your D&C procedure.”, the doctor said.

Pulling myself together, as best I could, I walked down the hall. As I laid on the table, the technician says, “Why did they send you down here again?” I replied, “to make sure the baby is completely gone so that a D&C can be scheduled.”  The technician then says, “Well, you’re not going to get a D&C right now because there’s another baby in here and the heart is beating fine.” I cried. And then I cried some more. Twins! I was having twins! I’ll never forget that day and the emotional rollercoaster experienced. I left the hospital to begin the journey of bonding with this miracle baby. (the promises and faithfulness of God, was shown even when I felt like everything had been lost.)

Five months later, my miracle baby was born! While I was excited to see him, he didn’t look happy to see me. Lol! He seemed so sad. His little body was jaundiced and required him to be hospitalized for a few days. I’d never had to leave any of my babies. This was heart-wrenching!! My family kept saying, “Snoop will be fine. The nurses and doctors will take good care of him. You have three children at home who need you, too.”

After my miracle baby came home, he still needed the blue lights and lots of sunshine. For days, I would sit by the window holding him close. He still looked sad and he cried a lot, too. I remember many days putting him and his little lion plush toy in the crib, at the foot of my bed. Then I’d lay on my bed and cry with him. I wanted to console him but he was inconsolable. Was he grieving the loss of his twin? Did they form a bond in such a short period of time? Was the extra digit on each hand an indication that they were holding hands as they grew inside me?

Finally, towards the end of his 3rd month he stopped crying and began to coo. I was overjoyed!! I loved the sound of his babble. However, this major milestone ended abruptly, as he went silent by the end of his 5th month. What happened? What’s wrong with my baby boy? A doctor’s visit would be forthcoming.

By his first birthday, Snoop was still nonverbal. And although he hadn’t yet mastered walking, he was active enough for me to think that he’d reach those milestones in his own time and on his own terms. It was tough trying not to compare him with his siblings. After all, they were the gauge and the standard, right?

To hear more, join me over the next few months as I share encouragement, support, autism awareness and my own lessons learned while embracing the spectrum.

 

-CASSIE C

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