By Poppy Peach | May 20th, 2012
They handed me the baby… then I handed him back. The nurse asked if I was ok, “my ears feel kind of muffled”, I said. She hit an alarm on the wall and the room filled with people trying to save my life. One woman read off my blood pressure, 50′s/20′s and one was screaming in my ear to keep me from closing my eyes. One nurse stuck me with needles and another was massaging my uterus, all her weight pressing on my abdomen to try and stop the bleeding. The phone was ringing in the background, family wanted to hear about the new baby and there was my husband, leaning against the wall holding our little boy in his arms. I lifted my head and focused on my husbands eyes, “I’m ok” I kept saying. I knew that baby needed me and I was determined to fight.
We work so hard to protect our children when they’re babies. Why then, as they grow, do we give our power away and hand them into systems that don’t fit? We get so scared and intimidated by all the professionals that show up to tell us the “right” way. Afraid of making a mistake, we often forget to check-in with ourselves. How are these children suppose to learn to be in the world if they’re drugged throughout these vital years of development? Is it just too much work to give them tools?
|Oliver Fiddling at the May Faire|
Oliver’s life started out intense and continued to be so. A child with sensory processing issues, he’s always been my teacher. We were told after about six 30 minute visits in an office, to try “several” different medications. When questioned, then of course, the Dr said, he was more worried about me. Oh, well that feels great! You want to drug my child because you’re worried I can’t cope? That helps! Great support Doc! The Dr. was defensive…we left. I had piles of paperwork from the short stint in public school telling me how “high risk” he was. Eventually, I just had to throw it out. How could I help him if his fate was already sealed? I spent many a day waiting in the kindergarten yard for him to be sent out. Oliver and I would water the yard and look for creatures because he couldn’t handle circle time. Watching him struggle was the most painful experience of my life. I just wanted him to be ok. We both had so much to learn and we did. Through trial and error ultimately I realized the I WAS the professional. I knew what Oliver needed and I had to garner the courage to take it on.
He’s learned so much since those early days. How to take care of his needs, to recognize what triggers his emotions and how to work through it all. He’s learning to take responsibility for his role in the dynamics that show up for him. Oliver has never been one to let things slide, you’ll know just how he feels about something. He can’t tolerate injustice and comes alive when inspired. Homework can be like running all of our nails down a chalkboard but we work daily on what’s acceptable behavior and what’s not. We’ve done private school, public school and homeschooling. We have learned to be flexible and are taking a year off from the Waldorf school he attends to do a bit of traveling. Schooling on the road! We’re very excited!
What happens to a child when we don’t allow their life to unfold naturally? What happens when we mask it to make life easier in the short term? I know that people will say that some children really do need medication, and perhaps this is true, but how many are being medicated that just need time to grow into themselves? I just think we need to really step back and take the time needed for these very special children. These are very important questions to ask ourselves. It may not be convenient or easy but this is the path we have been set upon. It’s so important to trust our intuition. If we get quiet enough, that gut feeling will tell us what’s needed. Listen carefully and new paths emerge. We are stronger than they’ll ever let us know.