Dear Aunt Silvia,
I am a married woman with five children. About six months ago I had my fifth baby who was born with cerebral palsy. Ever since the birth of this child my marriage has become very difficult. My husband is still in denial. Are you in a position to know what causes cerebral palsy? And what should I do to make my husband love our child, the way he does our other four children.
Children are a blessing to us, and your child is no different from any other except that she is a child with special needs. When it comes to love, you cannot love this child any lesser because of her condition. I am not a medical expert, but I have some knowledge on cerebral palsy from extensive research on the internet.
Cerebral palsy is a condition caused by lack of enough oxygen circulated to the baby’s brain. It can be caused by during pregnancy when an expectant mother suffers from hypertensive disease, infections, poor maternal nutrition or diabetes.
Cerebral palsy can also be caused by delivery factors like prolonged labour, foetal distress and prematurity in babies. A child with cerebral palsy is not able to use some of the muscles in the body in the normal way because of that brain injury. Such children will have problems with walking, talking, playing and eating normally. In most cases these children suffer from mental retardation, sight and hearing impairments, behavioural problems and epilepsy. Symptoms do vary from one person to the other depending with the area of the brain that has been injured. Once a child is born with cerebral palsy, the condition cannot worsen and neither is it contagious. This condition is not hereditary neither is it curable; so the best thing parents are advised to do in such cases is to seek help from experts in different fields ranging from social workers, speech and occupational therapists, special teachers and physiotherapists, orthopaedic surgeons, clinical psychologists, ear, nose and throat specialist as well as a paediatrician.
Your husband has been hit very hard and cannot come to terms with the condition of your child; but he will not agree for a very long time unless he is educated on this. I advise you to seek the help of your family doctor so as to help your husband understand what this is all about. This is a child who will require lifelong care, love and a constant support of her family. If you do not project the love to the child, it can be very dangerous to her life.
No one chooses to be in this condition; remember it is only God who gives; unfortunately none of us has had to apply as to how we should be born. Be strong and love your child unconditionally God takes you through a life challenge but He will also provide the resources and strength to take you through it. Keep up the good faith!