31 January 2011

Expecting Adam

I have just raced through the book 'Expecting Adam' by Martha Beck in one sitting.

Uncharacteristically putting aside 'Therapy Time With Vera' and Daen's cries to finish it.

As I have found with most books that truly grab me by the collar, no one introduced me to it.

It was stumbled upon.

I was on a usual library round gathering boardbooks for Daen.

But one day, for no reason at all, I thought, 'hmmm, maybe I should read a book about motherhood, read a book for Me'.

One of them was called 'I Love Being A Mom'.

After a quick read through the collection of mothers' anecdotes, one essay stood out: It was by a mother recounting the experience of expecting a Down Syndrome baby. The twist was that both she and her husband were Harvard graduates. Read: Highly intellectually driven people being told their son would be 'retarded' (the word she uses).

Often times I've scouted for books on special needs parenting, hoping to find something to identify with, to gain some sort of catharsis for the journey I had gone through with Vera's birth, but the search never turned up anything close.

And now, after almost 3 years, I find a book that speaks about a time which I still have yet to fully talk about - when I was expecting Vera.

I opened the book, but in fact, it has opened me.

From it has sprung a reservoir of new thoughts and realisations about having Vera in my life.

Suddenly, the 'loose ends' - the part of Vera's story that has so far been in cold storage, all dash and cram themselves into the short term memory box of my brain.

I found myself with a tightness in the chest right from the start of the book. Midway through, it felt increasingly like I couldn't breathe. Reliving the emotions of the prenatal period was getting too much to bear. Then, once I got to the part when the diagnosis was revealed to the parents, the catharsis began. I shall not spoil the story for anyone, only to say that there was a line in the book that hit me with a boxing glove and a tequila shot of tears.

I've been anticipating, 'Expecting Adam' for a long time coming.