A Second Child

Amanda O'Neill by Amanda O'Neill Additional Needs

Amanda O'Neill

Amanda O'Neill

I’m Amanda, I’m 25 and mummy to my little angel Ryan who has quadriplegic dystonic cerebral palsy. I never knew in life what i wanted to be when I...

Nothing terrifies me more than the thought of being pregnant again... Not because I don’t want another baby because I do more than anything.

I’m terrified that everything that had happened before could happen to our family again.

I had an amazing pregnancy first time around there was no drama, I did everything by the book.

What went wrong? Could this all happen again? Would it be cruel to even want to potentially put another innocent baby in a position like that?

I was told that Ryan’s Cerebral Palsy was a thing that unfortunately just happened... could it unfortunately just happen again?

Would I ever be able to mentally deal with reliving the same heartbreak?

When I had Ryan I had to quickly grieve for the life I once thought we would have for Him but at the same time be truly grateful and accept the life he was given.

I don’t want the health of another child to be ripped away from them the same way it was with Ryan.

Is it selfish to want another child when my whole life is already dedicated to Ryan?

I don’t want Ryan’s mummy and daddy time to feel as if it has been stolen away in order for him to gain a sibling.

These are constant questions I taunt myself over.

I had always thought when Ryan was 2 or 3 years old that was when I would plan another child and then when that time came I realised that life wasn’t going to be that easy.

What happens if Ryan unexpectedly needs to go to the hospital at stupid o’clock at night? How could I function in a day if Ryan doesn’t sleep at night?

How would it be possible to care for a newborn and him at the same time?

Or how would I even go outings myself with a pram and wheelchair because I am pretty sure pram isn’t made to attach to a wheelchair?

Could I ever adapt to what they call “normal life”?

I would constantly have a syringe in my hand looking for an NG tube to feed the baby.

However, when I watch Ryan adjusts so well around other children in his nursery settings and how much he enjoys watching them play and then interacting with him, I start to think it would do him the world of good.

What if a brother or sister would bring him on leaps and bounds? It would mean he would have a best friend for life. Somebody who is always going to understand him and have his back.

Somebody who will always want to look after him if anything had to happen to myself and his dad.

Selfishly I do also want to experience the things I have missed out on with Ryan.

I want to hear a little voice calling me mummy. I want to get a tight hug that doesn’t involve me physically taking their hands and sitting it on my shoulders.

I want the crazy chaos of picking up toys, cleaning dirty food stained faces and running about after them because they are touching ornaments they aren’t meant to be touching!

I want to go to the park when it’s sunny and see at least one of my children enjoying the slide.

I want to see a little boy or girl look at their brother and tell them they love him and watch Ryan look at them.

Smiling because that’s his way of telling them he loves them too.

Does this make me a bad mum?

Should I be jealous that I haven’t ever got to have any of the things I just mentioned?

I don’t know what our future will hold, maybe a brother or sister isn’t meant for Ryan. Maybe I’m a one-child kinda woman, maybe I will have a football team full of children.

All I believe is what is meant to be will be and only the future will tell.


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