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Simmerville web proudly introduces Lucy Test of Sim Dale neighbourhood, with a series articles about living with a special child. She will share her experience from bringing up Jack, her child who suffers from learning difficulties.
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Life With a Special Child [2]
August 18, 2002 - by Lucy Test, Sim Dale

Last month you met our free lance, Lucy Test, sharing experiences from  her own life. Her true story is continnued next month.

P   a   r   t       t   w   o   :      A      n   e   w      b   a   b   y

Jack was just ten months old when I discovered I was pregnant again.  Part of me was excited and part of me was scared.  Jack’s birth had been so traumatic I was afraid of what would happen, I was also scared for my baby.  I adored Jack, but I didn’t think I could cope with another child with the same difficulties.  Alex and I spent a lot of time talking and we decided that whatever happened we would love this child the same way we loved Jack.

When I was 11 weeks pregnant I started bleeding.  Alex took me to the hospital while my mother watched Jack.  I was so afraid I was going to lose the baby.  Dr Lockwood, my obstetrician, kept me in hospital for a few days and the bleeding stopped.  Thankfully both my baby and I were going to be OK. 

Going home to Jack was difficult.  Because of the pregnancy I was tired a lot and Jack still wasn’t sleeping through the night, I gave up work because I was so exhausted all the time.  This meant money was tight and we had to move into a smaller home.  I hated leaving our lovely house to move into a small six-room house, but I knew it was for the best, and we’d still have enough space for the new baby.

August 21st was Jack’s first birthday and we had a party for him, just a few friends and our families.  Jack loved the party, all the people and colours to look at.  He ate so much cake we thought it was going to start coming out of his ears.  We bought him a train set for him and although he couldn’t really play with it himself, he loved to watch it.  He’d sit on the rug and point at the train saying “choo-choo”.  We were soon to discover it was something he loved, trains.  We decorated his room with a Thomas the Tank Engine theme and on Sundays Alex took him to the station, he loved watching the tourist steam train leaving with it’s brightly coloured carriages.  Jack was fanatical about trains and would point to pictures of them in books and clap his hands squealing with delight. 

Just after Christmas we took Jack on a train as a treat.  When we got to the station his eyes lit up and he clapped and was yelling “choo-choo ma-ma choo-choo”  When we actually got on the train, Jack was so excited, pointing at everything and squealing.  Jack got him out of his pram so he could sit on the train seat and he was sitting there clapping his pudgy little hands together, his eyes shining.  That night at home Jack was watching his train set when the train came of the rails.  He started screaming and although Alex put the train back, he kept screaming.  I held him and hugged him to try and quieten him but still he screamed pointing at the train set.  “What do you want sweetie” I said, talking to myself more than him. “Jack train ma-ma” he said. “You want the train darling?” I sat him on the floor again and to my amazement my little boy slowly got to his feet and took three steps before falling on his bottom.  It was one of the proudest moments of my life.

On April 15th our second son Adam Nathaniel was born.  The labour was easy and uncomplicated and Adam weighed in at a huge 8lbs 9ozs, more than 2lbs heavier than Jack had been.  He had the same dark hair and big brown eyes.  I watched him sleeping and I knew that he was another precious child.  No feeling in the world is stronger than the love a mother feels for her child.

We took Adam home from the hospital when he was two days old.  Jack was very unsure of the baby and became very clingy, always wanting to be held.  We knew he was likely to be jealous, but we didn’t expect him to react the way he did.  He screamed even more, almost all the time, except when he was asleep or when Alex or I were holding him.  It was very hard for us both, always trying to sooth Jack and take care of Adam at the same time.  I started to resent Alex for going out to work, able to leave the children at home for a while.  We started fighting and I can honestly say it was one of the most difficult times of my life.  If they were left alone together Jack would pinch and bite Adam, which meant they had to be watched 24 hours a day.  Dr Mele suggested we needed to show Jack that he was still loved and wanted.  We made sure we took time to spend time with Jack without Adam around, and covered him in kisses and hugs.  We told him he was very special to us and reassured him we still loved him and slowly, he started to accept Adam.  Alex and I were still fighting and he moved to his parents in July.  I was heartbroken, I still loved him very much and wanted to be with him, but things were very difficult between us.  I was always tired which meant I was often cross and snapped at him for nothing.

Just before Christmas Alex moved back in with us and we became a family again.  Things are difficult still but I know we can get through all this.

In June, just before Jack’s third birthday our daughter Natalie Louise was born.

To be continnued.