I am a mother of 3, 2 boys (15 and 12) and a daughter (age 6) who has Selective Mutism also known as SM. I hadn’t heard of this before, had no clue about it but have recently decided to start blogging about our journey. It’s a topic which needs attention and the frustration and helplessness that accompanies it leaves me with little room to vent or talk to anyone about it. So I’ll do it here…
My birth experience
My daughter was born on 24 March 2010, a very exciting time for our family. She is my third child and baby sister to her two older brothers. I was induced with my first son and expected a normal delivery but because of complications, I ended up having an emergency C-Section. My next two babies were scheduled for the same type of birth because of this.
Just after midnight, my water broke. A feeling I had never before experienced as all my deliveries were scheduled a few days before my due date. However, my daughter had different plans for us and proceeded to wake me up to a beautiful (though confusing) experience of my water breaking. I had it all…contractions until I could no longer take it. For anyone who doesn’t know, most c-section births do not afford the mother the experience of water breaking or contractions. Having experienced both, it’s definitely something to be viewed as “missing out“.
A call to my gynaecologist left me with instructions to go to the hospital and he would call ahead. I was scheduled to check in at 5:30 am with my C-Section scheduled for 7 am.
At the hospital, I was monitored with my pain being controlled and eventually delivered my 3.42kg baby girl, as scheduled.
A very special friend had given me a rose plant a few weeks before the time. The day we brought Kathryn home, the first rosebud appeared…it was so special.
Her primary care
I asked my cousin, who was unemployed at the time, to come and live with us and take care of my baby (3 months old) when I went back to work. My daughter had interaction with other family members but shied away from them most of the time. She would cry hysterically the minute anyone other than myself, husband, boys or cousin picked her up. We wrote this down to her just being too used to my cousin, whom she spent the majority of her time with. The one difference with her was that the first 2-3 years, she would just scream. I mean a high-pitched scream which would literally leave me wondering when she would pop a blood vessel. It concerned me but there was no getting her to stop the behaviour…it was just odd and very embarrassing especially in public. Looking back now, being around other people, didn’t exactly stop her doing this. She didn’t attend daycare either as the boys did from the age of 1.
I wonder if I had, in fact, sent her to daycare like the boys, would she have learnt to overcome her fear/anxiety of talking in front of or to others…