Sunday, June 13, 2010

Finally the purple elephant in the room is out

So after reading my blog on Lauren, you are probably wondering what you can do to help.

JUST ENJOY HER. Please don't treat her any differently than you would with any other child. We want Lauren grow with confidence and high self esteem that she can do anything she sets her mind to achieve.

A good friend of mine the other day told me a story of a disfigured child who didn't know she was disfigured. Growing up, her family and friends treated her all the same, as if she looked perfect. When she grew up, only when she went to school did she get approached with the question "why do you look like that?" She would answer confidently, "look like what, this is the way I just am". Another good friend gave me the advice of "when you go back to work and look back at Lauren's 1st year, what will you remember? Will it be the countless appointments, the tears, the disappointments, the sadness?" I answered YES. "Then you are not enjoying her" She then remarked that she will always remember Lauren's as being super smiley. I guess what she said really hit me. So I try not to stress and enjoy the things all moms should enjoy such as the first day she found her toes and they made it to her mouth, the first time she reached for something with her hands, the first time she ate solids.

So just enjoy her. Play with her. Smile with her. Interact with her. Please don't test her. Please don't "observe" her or "study" her. I know its hard not to as we all try and understand her needs, but let's leave that up to the experts to do, although I do catch myself watching her at times too and wondering. I can show you some simple exercises or positions that you can do to aid her muscle strength while you are playing with her (as you can see, I squeeze in physio wherever and whenever we can!).

Some of you have know tidbits, some of you have known for awhile, some of you are finding about all this right now. Don't be afraid to ask us questions. We'll be happy to chat. Its actually good for us to talk to people, it helps clear the air and gets things off our chest. You know me, I like to be open and honest. The past 10 months has been a roller coaster of emotions, but I think we are now at the point of finally being able to speak aloud and acknowledge the purple elephant in the room. There were so many times we wanted to say something, but unable to cope with the information ourselves, you can imagine how difficult it is to share the news with family and friends. We didn't want disappointment, judgement, or grief. Of course I wish things had worked out differently, and wonder countless nights what went wrong. But the truth is, this is the way it is, there is no point crying over spilt milk. It is what it is. So let's just move on and help her, enjoy her and grow with her.


  1. You said this right. Life is full of surprises and no one knows what is around the next corner.

    Lauren’s current situation is a chapter in our lives. It will evolve and tomorrow we will be given more information, challenges, satisfaction and explanations. But you must not look at her any differently from your other daughter. Kayla is changing everyday also; she is evolving, posting new challenges, worries and satisfactions every step of her live and ours. Lauren is just doing them differently.

    Your friend’s advice to you is very wise: ENJOY your family and your life. We have to be happy and “live” with what we have. It is difficult to be contended when one of your kids has known and unknown problems, but SHE IS ONE OF YOURS and she is loved by everyone. She is also one of ours.

    Mom and I know it has been a very hard and tiring few months for Stephen and you but you both have to hang on. Your family, Lauren, Kayla and Stephen need you. We are here to support you today and every step in the future.

    Tomorrow is another day of our lives.

  2. Thanks Mom and Dad for all your love, support and words of wisdom and faith through all of this. We really appreciate everything you have done for us.

  3. As I read your blog, I can't help but get a bit teary eyed. It's not because I'm sad, it's because I am so proud of you and Steve. Both of you have showed so much strength and courage the last 10 months. Lauren is a beautiful gift from God that is going to teach all of us many life lessons that will make us better Mothers and Fathers, better sisters and brothers, better cousins, better Aunties and Uncles...better people. When I look at Lauren, I see a happy soul looking back at me and my heart swells with love that only my niece sweet little niece Lauren can do.

    We are all here for you, and we love Lauren so much. If there is anything you need, just let us know and we will be there for you in a heartbeat.

    Keith, Caralen and Breanna

  4. Thanks for sharing Kate. It must've been hard writing this, but I think we'll all appreciate what you and Stevie have been through much more now with this knowledge.

    When we look back, I'm sure we can all point to a time in our lives where we were the purple elephant in the room, but in the grand scheme of things we're all individuals who grow at our own pace and act our own way.

    What's important to remember is that you'll always have the unconditional love and support of family and whatever curveballs get thrown at you, rest assured that we'll always be there for you.

  5. This is a beautiful blog Kate! You and Steve and great parents and both your girls will turn out amazing. It sounds like Lauren is doing well - she's such a happy child! Can't wait to meet your girls when I visit T.O again!


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