One Savvy Mom ™ | NYC Area Mom Blog: Thank You My Beautiful Boy, Your Strength Gives Me Strength #SisterhoodUnite

Thank You My Beautiful Boy, Your Strength Gives Me Strength #SisterhoodUnite

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Similac . All opinions are 100% mine.

There's an unimaginable amount of strength to be found on the road less traveled. Those unplanned paths that we find ourselves on in life, are oftentimes right where we need to be.

Hi friends, how have you been? In honesty, I got up from my computer a few times while trying to write this. The emotion that this topic evokes was simply too much for me to process and put into words. I touched on some of the health challenges that my toddler was having at the end of last year, but after the final diagnosis came in January, I couldn't bring myself to share what was going on here. I really didn't know if I would ever find the right time or the right words. But here we are. So, where to begin? As a mom of four, I worry, of course. Don't we all? I think it comes with the territory. Will my kids be happy? Successful? Healthy? The list goes on and on. In all the worry, my worst fear hands-down since embarking on motherhood was and remains, that one of my children would encounter a problem, health or otherwise, that I wouldn't be able to fix. That fear became a reality, this past January.

My three year old was born healthy. He breastfed for a full year without issue. He hit every milestone, by the book. Everything was going well, until we began to notice that he wasn't producing any speech sounds. He could only make one singular "M” sound. We went back and forth with the pediatrician. We waited for a time to see if it was simply a delay, and still nothing changed. When it was apparent that there was no notable progress, I found a specialist. Over a time span of about six months, he underwent a barrage of tests. We paid visits to some of the best neurologists in our area, then in January, they handed down the final diagnosis. I will never forget that moment.  "Mrs. Wilson, we don't believe that your son will ever be able to speak.  He has a very severe case of Apraxia of Speech (a neurological motor planning disorder).”  I sat in shock as the doctor continued to speak. "I can't tell you that you'll ever hear him say, I love you mom, or even singular words. I'm so sorry." She then proceeded to hand me a packet of information and a list of resources in my area, to arrange therapy for him. I picked up my sweet baby boy in my arms and clutched him tightly as I weaved through the office, out of the building and through the parking lot to our car. Once he was safely buckled into his car seat, I sat in complete stillness and silence while my husband drove, for what seemed like a lifetime. My thoughts raced as I tried to process what this would mean for him. What would his future look like? Life is hard, as it is. How would he navigate through life without the ability to communicate and express himself freely? I felt completely paralyzed. How could I help him? How could I make it all better? As a mom, I just wanted to make it all better for him. Where would I find the strength to be his rock, when I felt like melting into a puddle?

Read on for the full article.

The days and weeks that followed were hard. But from it, I found strength in one of the most unlikely places; my toddler. He was still joyful. He was still happy. He was still navigating through his day without a care. He was still reading, painting, playing, and laughing. So, I drew on his visible strength, and I got over myself. I set aside my own personal fears and expectations, and I got down to the business of helping him find a way to communicate. I set up therapy sessions for him immediately. I found the best therapist in my area, and we began our long journey towards our new normal. He fearlessly engages with his therapist weekly, and he's learning so much each day. Just a few months in, he has mastered more than I ever thought possible. He navigates through the screens and commands on the augmented communication device with ease. And he's just three. He's prideful in his accomplishments, and I'm so very proud of him. He is my hero. His courage and persistence, even when he's pressed to his limits, is admirable. His joy, his laugh and his smile are utterly contagious. I want to be more like him.

While I wish this wasn't something that my child had to endure; I can't wish it away. It's the path that's been set before him, and all I can do is help him navigate it with strength and love.

My best advice, as I continue to travel down this unknown path with my son? Look for hope and beauty in the messiness of life. Wherever life leads you; grab on to the little moments and small victories with everything that you've got and revel in them. That's all motherhood is really; a series of small victories. When things don't turn out quiet like you've planned, for the sake of your children, don't wallow in sadness and defeat too long.  Take a moment in solitude to feel however you may, then keep it moving. Leave no stone unturned.  Be your child's biggest cheerleader and advocate in all that they do. You are their soft place to land in this scary messy world, and that's a pretty big responsibility. Don't take it lightly. Love them without fear. Love them without regret. Today is all we've got. Give it everything you have, even when you don't feel like it.  There's strength waiting for you in their smiles, laughter and hugs at the end of those long hard days. Their love and happiness is the ultimate reward, friends. 

To my beautiful boy,  
I know this journey won't be easy, but the rewards will be that much sweeter. Thank you for the immeasurable amounts of strength that you've shown and  given me these past three years.  Your persistence and strength gives me truckloads of hope that fuels me through each and every day.  I can't wait to see where this journey takes you. I know in my heart that your path is going be an amazing one. Because you are you, and you are so incredibly special.  I feel so very blessed to be your mommy.
Your biggest cheerleader!

As moms, we navigate through challenges big and small, each and every day, without pause. We don't think about limitations. We think about our children and what they need, and we make it happen. Because motherhood makes you strong like that. Motherhood is a sisterhood like no other, and Similac understands that.  After conducting research and listening to thousands of moms, Similac introduced the Sisterhood of Motherhood campaign. The campaign encouraged parents to stop judging each other’s parenting decisions, and instead focus on raising happy and healthy babies. Now they are evolving the conversation beyond the judgment, to focus on the immense strength of mothers and on the importance of supporting each other as moms.

Who are the strong moms in your life? They're all around us, friends! Take a moment to share this beautiful video and salute to motherhood, with a special mom in your life. Tell her how proud you are of her and show her some love! As moms, we can all use a little love and support to fuel us through our busy days. 
And for some extra support, check out Similac’s StrongMoms Rewards Program. They offer up to $400 in savings, as well as customized gifts for new moms.

Join the conversation on Facebook at #SisterhoodUnite