Sunday, February 27, 2011

How Did I Get Here?

Nine months ago today, my life changed dramatically and irreversibly. One way was joyous, and is reflected in her name, my daughter Emeline Joy was born. After several emotional years my husband and I, finally, became parents. Emeline was the realization of a dream I'd had for what felt like forever. Like millions of other parents I had very distinct ideas of how it would be. And (shockingly!) I soon figured out raising a tiny, virtually incomprehensible human was nothing like I planned. 

I know that many of the challenges I have faced over the last nine months are not unique. However, they feel slightly more complex and daunting than the "typical" adjustment to parenthood because I am literally going at it blind. 

Losing my vision was certainly not part of my plan - birth, life, or otherwise. However the birth of my daughter will always be explicitly linked with the loss of my sight. The medical story of how this happened is long, complicated, and will be described in detail in further posts. The bottom line is that I am now legally blind. 

Sometime last August I was referred to the Michigan Commission for the Blind,(MCB) an organization that is providing me with continuous support as I navigate my new world as visually-impaired. They are committed to assisting me in the adjustment of my vision loss. Additionally, they also reassure me that while my life has been altered, it does not have to be compromised.  However, while I love a "can-do" attitude as much as the next guy, I am not entirely convinced yet. Time will tell.

So where am I? Tangibly, I am currently sitting in a hotel room in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which is the temporary home of the MCB Training Center. I will be here Monday - Friday for at least the next four weeks. While I am here I will be learning personal adjustment skills and adaptive technologies that will prepare me for returning to work, and of course for my most important role, being a mom. 

Needless to say, being away from Emy will be the most challenging aspect of my stay in Kalamazoo. (Although sharing a hotel room with a stranger for a month might be a close second.) However, I will stick it out, and will be writing about my stay, the nitty-gritty details of the medical traumas that brought me here, as well as anything else that might be on my mind. (Fair warning: I'll probably mention how much I miss my daughter a million times, and may even mention missing my husband once or twice.) 

Thank you for coming on this journey with me. Your support and encouragement means so much to me.