The Baby After My Baby with Special Needs...

My beautiful-BIG-baby boy Theo was born almost 2 weeks ago & everything about him so far has been incredibly intense. 

This 3rd pregnancy was far more intense in terms of how I felt, how sick & tired I was & as a kicker, how long the little bugger stayed in

The labour & delivery was outta-control-intense, racing & just making it to the hospital, him arriving 48 minutes later at a whopping 9.9 pounds. We can all go ahead and just agree that me & my vagina get a gold freaking star for this one. 

But what I'm finding even more intense is how I feel now. The awe I felt when my first two children were born is there. The overpowering sense of love is there. The feeling like he belongs & was always meant to be a part of our family is there. But a new feeling, that I can't shake is also present. 

A feeling I blame his big sister for. 

You see with Pip, we were in a way, cheated out of the "newborn stage" - She was born & days later we were told she had Down syndrome, Congenital Cataracts, Congenital Heart Defects & more. We went from being in a "new parent bubble" to trying to keep our daughter alive & get through each surgery, each challenge, each hurdle. We went from innocently kissing her sweet newborn head to kissing through tears, while begging God to let us keep her. We went from figuring out each others bodies & breastfeeding to learning how to put in a feeding tube & look for signs of heart failure. We went from looking into her beautifully speckled Brushfield spotted eyes to maneuvering an itsy bitsy contact into one of them, patching the other & constantly being aware of if the contact was in place. We went from nothing was wrong, to what felt like everything was, in just a matter of days.

And in a way it's coming back to haunt me now. I don't think I got to truly think about it during the time because it was just survival mode and then move forward. 

But now every time Theo snuggles into me, I subconsciously think, "Oh no, little guy your contact" and then have to stop myself because he doesn't wear them. When Theo is breathing erratically instead of knowing all newborns do this, I automatically remember the signs of heart failure & begin to panic a little. And even though I know he doesn't have Down syndrome, I am checking the folds of his neck and the creases in his hands. 

It's almost as if I have to re-learn to just be...Just be still, take in & enjoy this "newborn" stage that I missed with my daughter. 

So, in a way I'm kinda thankful for having my last baby, after a baby with special needs. It's making everything more intense but it's also making me more grateful, more aware of every passing moment & more appreciative of what we've been through & what an absolute gift every baby & every day really is.

So, I'm intensely soaking it-them-Theo all up...


  1. Anonymous10.11.15

    Tara, you always manage to bring me to tears. YOU, my dear are a blessing to your children. Thank you for opening so many eyes that could have remained closed forever.~tammy

  2. Anonymous10.11.15

    You are such a wonderful mom, a writer that I love to follow because of your "from the heart" truths, and incredible Woman. You rock in my book, Tara! <3

  3. Anonymous10.11.15

    Great blog post tara. My little guy doesn't have DS, but he's a medically fragile micro-preemie who lost his hearing through complications in the NICU, so I can identify with many of your posts about sweet Pip. I'm about to have #2 and I'm wondering how I will feel enjoying the whole newborn stage, which I didn't really have before. Thank you for sharing your beautiful stories with us. X

  4. Awe dear
    Beauty statement and I can completely understand the emotions and fears( not personally I have not been there myself)
    But what I can tell you is that theo will never be shown an unbelievable amount of unconditional love than what pip will show him, and in turn his protective nature will display because she is his sister and he knows no different, it will be sister first special needs after.

    And it will be a beautiful thing to see (or so says my parents - when I've been told I displayed the same traits)

    You'll see and I hope all the best and happiness for you and yours

    Another baby born after a baby with special needs

  5. Anonymous10.11.15

    Not much to be said except stunningly beautiful and heartfelt.

  6. Anonymous10.11.15

    Yup, you nailed it. Our first child, our son, came via emergency c section at 30 weeks, and was later diagnosed with Down syndrome. Our daughter went full term and is typically developing. The post traumatic stress did not show itself until we were pregnant with our daughter. There was never the opportunity to stop and think with our son, it was manage, manage, manage. Grateful for them both.

  7. Anonymous10.11.15

    This is beautiful and oh so timely. Six weeks ago I delivered MY little Theodore (I had no idea how popular the name is!). He is my child after the special needs child with an age difference of almost 9 years. I get it. Congratulations to all of you

  8. Simply beautiful. Enjoy Theo.

  9. Anonymous11.11.15

    My baby after my special needs baby also had special needs. I refused to let myself give in emotionally to the feeling of loss that I had experienced the first time. I learned that it is possible to savor, enjoy, and be grateful, even when your baby is born with extra needs.

  10. Alisha3.3.20

    Awww tara you bring tears to my eyes. Love your post. It bring me back to my days when my baby was about to born. We were so excited, and after she was born, she was bigger than normal babies and how we brought big sized baby swing for her. I remember each and every moment. No doubt developmental process of kids is the best memories for parents.