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Mother of Three as an Amputee



Once I became a mother, I knew that is what I was meant to be. As a child, whenever asked, “What do you want to do for a living?” I always struggled to find an answer. I truly wanted to be a homemaker. However, that wasn’t the most economical path. So, I went to school to become a dental hygienist. This allowed me to balance my independence and motherhood. Initially, motherhood hit me like a moving truck. I had three kids in three years, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Although I carried and birthed them, I give my husband a ton of credit because together we are a great team. Between the late nights, tears, and diapers, there is no way that we could have juggled two jobs and three kids under three without teamwork and perseverance.

 

In the early stages, I loved holding my babies as they slept. Being away all day as a working mom, I craved this time in the evenings. We would snuggle, watch cartoons, play games, and read. Having them happy and in my lap is exactly where I wanted to be. Things were good. I was the mother that was frantically racing into work right on time, sharing with my coworkers the crazy stories of the morning like how my kids got in the car without shoes, how a waffle got thrown across the car, and what choice words may have come out of my two-year-old’s mouth. It was entertaining and I enjoyed the bond I had with the women I worked with. Then one day everything changed, and it was almost all taken away.

 

Being diagnosed with sepsis, surviving, losing my hands and feet, then having to learn life again was a gigantic setback in my life. I had to learn how to be a person again, as well as a mother. Motherhood, I think, meant more to me than being a person. My kids were the reason that I survived, they are what I fought for, they are the reason I fought to come home from the hospital as soon as possible, and they were the reason I chose to get out of bed every day. I wanted to be the mother I had always dreamed of being despite my circumstances. It was hard. I can’t even describe how hard it was to not be able to do some of the things I used to be able to do. But with the help from family, friends, and other mothers, my children were shown all the same love and care.

 

My children were young and quickly learned when they needed to help me. They had no choice but to become independent sooner than other kids. We try to find a happy medium between being a child and understanding my limitations. Looking back, I think I mostly remember the good times. My children were happy kids. They loved me and were helpful. They showed up for me when I needed them. Sometimes I feel like they are the ones mothering and teaching me. Becoming a stay-at-home mom allowed me to participate in all the dreams that I had as a child. I was able to take my children on adventures, experience new things with them, and teach them what I think is important in this world. Motherhood is such a gift, and it scares me to realize how quickly it can be taken away.

 

I do my best to teach those around me what it is like to be an amputee as well as a mother. I just want to be seen like every other mom even though my physical appearance is drastically different. I believe that most clichés about motherhood are true. We have this perfect, picturesque idea of how life should go, but it nearly never seems to quite turn out that way. Some of my well-thought-out plans got thrown out the window almost immediately. Like most new mothers, I believed I was going to do all the “right” things. I quickly discovered it takes everything you have to just keep your sanity and what works for one child doesn’t necessarily work for another. Each child, situation, or household is different, there’s no playbook or map to this child-raising thing. I understand that everybody has different views on raising their children and I respect that. Motherhood has taught me that what works for one is not always best for another. Although very much the same, all my children are very different and have their own specific needs. I never would have thought that before. Although it drives me crazy and is sometimes a thankless job, there is nowhere else in the world that I would rather be. I am thankful for my children and family and all the things they have taught me about myself.  

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