The Unknown is a Gift

On Monday my daughter, Sage, turned six months old. In many ways six months with Sage looks very different than I thought it would when I was pregnant. If I didn't know better I would never guess that she was this old. 20120307-195004.jpg

Sage isn't doing any of the things my son was doing at six months old. In fact she's not doing some of the things he was doing at three months old. When I focus on that, or the microcephaly, or the appointments with neurologists, or all the many unknowns and what-ifs, it's easy to freak myself out and get overwhelmed. And then this thought comes to me...

The unknown is a GIFT.

Uncertainty teaches us to be present in the moment.

When you walk in darkness, you have to be present and extra aware of each step you take and each step forward becomes something to be celebrated. That's a little how I feel today.

We have no idea what Sage's functioning is going to be ten years from now or even six months from now. We still don't even have a complete diagnosis yet. That lack of knowledge is frustrating at times, it raises fears that may (or may not) be needless, but it also gives us a heightened awareness of each step in her development.


With my son developmental changes happened so seamlessly and quickly that I regularly didn't even notice them happening. For example, I have no idea when my son found his knees and feet, both of these things probably happened around the same time with out much awareness from me. But, with Sage it's not like that. With Sage everything is slowed down. I know that she started to "find" her knees and hold them bent in the air about a week and a half ago, but hasn't found her feet with her hands yet.

Yesterday Sage had her first early intervention therapy session. For me, it was an amazing, truly a beautiful experience. Our FRC (family resource coordinator) taught us a few different ways to position Sage to give her the best advantage and help her to work on both flexion and extension. It was amazing to see how Sage's little body responded to these minor adjustments and suggestions. She reached for things and grabbed at things more than I have ever seen her do before. Our FRC also did a little gentle acupressure/massage on her and it was beautiful to see how quickly my little hypertension baby responded and relaxed.

Little changes, the most minuscule of milestones, are noticed now. I have to live in this day and celebrate what she can do today, because her future development is still so uncertain. And so each time I am tempted to freak out over the unclear horizon I look at my little girl again, because when I really look at her and she looks back at me with her trusting smile, we are just mother and daughter in this moment, this day. The microcephaly melts away, the uncertainty disappears and all I'm aware of are the triumphs of that day, the little things she did today, which for her, aren't little at all.


Having a daughter with special needs is bringing a new slowness and awareness to my parenting. And I hope that walking through this will teach me a new slowness and a heightened awareness for all areas of my life.

Rejoicing in the journey,

Bethany Stedman