Much like my blindness, both of my pregnancies were a complete surprise. Yes, I “do” know where babies come from! But every doctor who examined me said my complicated medical history would most likely prevent my husband and I from ever becoming parents.
God had other plans for us.
He was in control.
God orchestrated my journey to motherhood in HIS TIME.
Losing my eyesight in 2012.
Discovering I was pregnant 6 months later – the very same day I completed orientation and mobility training.
Giving birth via C-section in February 2013 to our daughter, Nuala.
Repeating the process with our second daughter, Aoife, born in October 2014.
Motherhood is a gift. Every. Single. Day. And trust me, it’s not always easy. I am far from perfect and there are times when I get frustrated or lose my patience with all the responsibility that comes with raising children. In those moments I take a breath and remind myself of what life was like before them.
I think about how quiet my house used to be without their laughter or even their occasional screaming. I think about how much I wanted my children and how I had completely given up on the idea that “I” would ever be a mother.
As a blind woman, I know I don’t do things the same way as sighted moms do. My parenting looks different because it needs to be. It’s taken me years to admit, “mothering differently is okay.” When doubt and uncertainty creep into my mind, I remember Proverbs 31: 21-25:
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
My daughters are happy, safe and healthy! I have learned that being a blind or visually impaired parent requires a combination of preparation, ingenuity, and most of all creativity. At Blind Motherhood, I openly share my experiences giving you honest insight into the joys and challenges that come with raising two kids as a disabled parent.
Looking for something in particular? Check out these categories to find the information you need.
Family & Relationships: When I write, I refer to my husband as “Mostly Wonderful” because most of the time he’s pretty amazing and the rest of the time he’s my third child. Recently retired, “Mostly Wonderful” provides lots of material to write about, but that doesn’t mean I leave out other colorful characters in our family tree…crazy in-laws included.
Fertility & Pregnancy: Getting pregnant and being pregnant is “NOT” what it’s like in the movies. Are you considering starting a family with a visual impairment? Wondering how you will be able to read that pregnancy test? Morning sickness running your life? Have you been coping with family, friends, or even medical personnel who doubt you can parent independently? Don’t let anxiety stop your family planning! Click here to read about my pre-natal experiences. Full disclosure, you can love Christ and still be a no-nonsense New Yorker.
Health & Wellness: Since my vision loss, I have suffered with debilitating eye pain. Of course, my health and mental well-being impacts how I raise my girls. Faith and good planning allows me to get through my tough health challenges. Feeling fearful you can’t parent and manage your ocular discomfort? Has vision loss impacted your psychological well-being? Are you looking for tips to combat dry eye? Do you have questions about ocular safety while caring for your kids? Let’s start the conversation
Infant/Toddlers: Congratulations! You’ve birthed a human being. I can guarantee you will leave the hospital with diapers and formula, but your new bundle of joy will “not” come with their own instruction manual. So, now what? Does your baby have their days and nights mixed up? Can’t get that smell of formula puke out of your clothes? Toddler walking at light speed and you’re worried that you can’t keep up? Lying in bed at night wondering how you’re ever going to survive potty training with no vision? Take a breath. I’ve done it ALL and you can too. Commiserate here.
School Age: Before you know it your baby will be off to school. And, YES, you will ugly cry! Whether it’s Pre-K, kindergarten, elementary, high school or college; your child’s educational journey becomes a huge part of your life. PTA meetings, bake sales, and school trips can take some getting used to when you’re a blind parent. Luckily, I have the help of the most amazing guide dog in the world, Frances! Nothing stops me from being an active part of my daughters’ education. I’ll teach you the in’s and out’s of being your own best advocate. Let’s hit the books together!
Time moves fast and stands still all at once in parenting. Consider this an open invitation to become a part of our family through the stories I share on Blind Motherhood.