The Graceful Boon

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I’m only now starting to feel like more or less myself after my son was born, which means that I’m ready to go out there and see the world. I’m ready to explore new places, see my friends, and meet new people. Of course it’s not going to be the same as it used to be before I had my son, but it’ll be adventurous nonetheless. I feel that it’s important that my son sees that his parents have lives outside of being his parents. It’s what I grew up knowing about my parents growing up, and I want my son to witness what I witnessed as a child. It’s especially important for me because I’m disabled and I want my son to see me as a strong woman. I want him to see me for the person and the woman that I am rather than for my disabilities.

It takes a lot of time, effort, and energy to even attempt at having a life outside of being a parent. My husband and I made it a priority to do it even before I got pregnant, and we’re sticking by it. Even though it’s been hard, almost impossible at times, I’d say my husband and I have been doing a pretty good job at showing our son the world through our lenses. Last month was a big milestone for me as I went out with a good friend of mine that I’ve known for over a decade. It was a very casual outing that really wouldn’t be considered to be anything special. But it was special. It was very special. I forgot when the last time was when I had actual adult conversations that didn’t involve talking much about my son. Conversations about my son and motherhood came up, of course, especially since my son joined us for our girls’ day out, but they weren’t endless throughout the whole outing, and that felt refreshing.

Despite me having the time of my life on such a casual day out with a friend, there were some things, very important thing that could potentially affect our entire family’s life, that my friend needed to know. As soon as we sat down at our table and settled in, I told her that in the case that I have a seizure, she needed to make sure no one called 9-1-1. The reason why I told her this wasn’t that I didn’t want to go to the hospital and waste my entire day there for absolutely nothing, though that’s a good enough reason as it is. The actual reason why I asked her to make sure no one called 9-1-1 in case of a seizure was that I didn’t want social services to be involved and for my son to be taken away from me.

My worries of going out anywhere without my husband came about when I came across a woman who told her personal story of how social services got involved when she was out alone with her child and had a seizure. I then gave her a little background as to what she can do to help me stay safe in a case of me having a seizure by providing her a seizure aid course. I hate to be the type of person who constantly talks about disability with friends when I’m so much more than a woman who has CP and epilepsy. But when it’s a life or death situation or when it can affect my son, I just have to be that girl. I’ve said this so many times in previous posts, but it’s so, so, so important for everyone out there to know seizure aid. It’s just as important as knowing CPR.

In turn, my friend was telling me about her recent vacation with her boyfriend, and how she witnessed homeless women with their children, some even unclothed, and no one said anything It was just the norm. Whereas here in Canada and US, the only norm there is to be a mother is to be as healthy as a cucumber. I’ve talked a lot about the stigma surrounding disabled people, specifically women, on this blog. In fact, that became sort of the mantra for the blog. Now, though, were talking about what can happen legally speaking if a woman becomes ill while she’s alone with her child in public.

So how does this affect me, you ask? This affects my life, as well as my baby’s life, a great deal actually. The thing with seizures is that they’re ultra unpredictable. You never you know how long you’ll be seizure-free. You can take all the anti-seizure medication you have and you can work on your health, well-being, and lifestyle all you want. Sometimes your brain just gets triggered on its own. With that being said, I almost feel scared to be out and about with my son alone. I should probably omit the word ‘almost because I AM scared. I’m afraid that if I go out with my son alone anywhere, that’s where I’ll have a seizure. That’ll be when someone calls 9-1-1 and my son will be taken away from me because the law will see me as an unfit mother. This factor restricts me. It restricts me to go out there and make new experiences and memories with my son on my own terms. It restricts me to meet new moms like me and potentially make new friends. All in all, it restricts me to have my own identity, and that’s just absolutely unfair.

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