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An Unexpected Path: Two

Daria Mochan essays, Special Needs

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Two years ago a little girl was born. Not breathing on her own, she was quickly rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit. I didn’t know if she was alive until close to 30 minutes after delivery and for the next 41 days the hospital was her home.

Two years ago I didn’t know if my little newborn would survive. She was diagnosed with something so rare that doctors had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know if she would ever eat on her own. I didn’t know if she would lift her head, crawl, walk, see, hear, or talk.
Two years ago I was numb and in shock, my dreams of normalcy shattered. I was heartbroken by the loss of my imagined child, yet trying to pull myself together for the baby who was now my reality. I struggled, putting on a positive and brave face for family and friends, but behind closed doors I gave in. Tears of sorrow, anxiety, and fear flowed like a river after a monsoon.

Two years ago, Gia was born.

And two years later, things are so different.

She is much, much more than I could have ever imagined. Not only is she lifting her head and crawling, she is pretty good at finding her sister in a game of ‘hide and seek.’ After her intensive feeding tube wean, Gia is eating on her own. Surviving on food she wants to eat at a pace that is natural for her body. She doesn’t speak, but she communicates with us in her own way asking to be tickled or handing us a book to share with her. Gia has a tantrum when I take her out of her beloved bath or take away something she shouldn’t have. She has a wonderful laugh and loves to be kissed on the forehead. She loves cupcakes with homemade whip cream. We still have many uncertainties in our future, but I do know that she is a joy and an inspiration.

Gia is not that helpless little newborn in the NICU. She is no longer just a child with a 5-inch thick medical chart. She is a two- year old with special powers. Powers to bring our family and friends closer. To pull us into a very special world and connect with wonderful, supportive people. Powers to slow time and allow us to enjoy the present.

Powers to transform this mother into someone I didn’t know I could be.

Today Gia is two and I am oh so glad.

About the Author

Daria Mochan

Daria Mochan. Wife. Sister. Daughter. Pet Lover. Biologist. Photographer. She answers to many titles, but her favorite is Mommy. Daria spends most of her time as a mom to 2 wonderful girls, each very special in their own way. Follow Daria's blog, .

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