The more I read the more I realize that we just won’t know the extent of limitations Mason will face from the spina bifida until months or even years after birth. For example, while we will see some evidence of his ability or lack there of to move his hips, thighs, knees, lower legs, ankles, feet, and toes, we won’t have much ideas of how strong or weak those muscles will be able to get even if they are moving. It will take time to figure out what sense of touch he has in all those areas – and it may not be the same on each leg!
Then we get into bowel and bladder issues. He may have limited control or sensation over one or both, or he may not. That can mean lots of things, but one is that even with limited sensation Mason may not be able to empty his bladder completely. That can lead to bladder and kidney infections and damage, so we may end up on an intermittent catheterization routine to empty his bladder. He may need medications to help with all the bladder and bowel issues – and of course medication mean side effects. One medicine that seems fairly common is Ditropan – which can cause overheating, among other things. Oh the things I never thought I would need to know!
There may be areas of learning where Mason struggles, and those won’t become apparent until he’s ready to learn things like math and reading, fine motor and attention can be two affected areas. His brain and central nervous system aren’t ‘typical’ and so he may not develop on a typical childhood timeline. Thankfully we homeschool and can go at his pace, support his learning, and work with his interests.
Life changes with each new child in many good and challenging ways. Mason is just going to stretch us in new ways as parents and a family. I’m sure God’s got some great plans in the works – I just wish he’d give me a peek instead of making me wait to find out the details a little at a time. Ha. Patience still isn’t my strong suit!