Blake · Family

What she needs

I’ve had an amazing relationship with Blake since the day we met. I have a great relationship with Kenley, too, but things were different when she was tiny. I was a first time mom; nervous and trying to do everything perfectly. With Blake, I relaxed a lot more and just kind of went ‘with the flow’, as they say. Kenley has always been a little bit more independent. Some of that is because she doesn’t have physical challenges like her sister, but it’s also more her personality. Blake has wanted to be in my arms, non-stop, since the day she was born. In the hospital, she cried every time we tried to put her in the bassinet. That was much different from Kenley, who took a 5 hour snooze in the bassinet on her first night! Blake has slept next to me, in our bed, for all 7 months of her life. Her spot for nap time is right on my chest. Nursing calms and comforts her. She prefers me over pretty much anyone else. iphone Sept 2015 to April 2016 1348

Before we realized something wasn’t right with Blake, I started to get frustrated because she always wanted me, just me. Why wouldn’t she let anyone else hold her? Was I doing something wrong? Was I one of those moms who would leave and their baby would cry nonstop? I tried hard to get Blake to start taking naps in her crib before I went back to work. She never slept more than a little bit at a time. At one point, I really felt like I was failing her, because she couldn’t do anything without me.

Deep down, though I knew she needed me. I mean, REALLY needed me. At the time – I didn’t know why – I knew it was more than her just not wanting to sleep in her crib or being a ‘spoiled’ baby (although I am not really a believer in “spoiled babies”).  I never pushed too much, even when friends or family suggested she was too old for naps in my arms or needed to get used to time without me. Something inside of me decided I was going to give her what she needed, even though I didn’t know why she needed it.

As soon as Blake was diagnosed with SMA, things other than her muscle weakness made sense: the nursing difficulties, sleeping issues beyond typical for a baby her age, seeming uncomfortable in a position after a short period of time, wanting to be held every second.

When I think back and as I look forward, I’m so glad Blakey can rely on me for her comfort. I can communicate with her in a way that no one else can. It is a privilege to be that comfort for my sweet baby. I don’t think twice about holding her.


I love it. I cherish it, so much. She’s getting a little heavy since she’s almost 20 pounds now. I’m getting a workout!

It’s shitty that it takes something like this to make you realize things on a different level, a much bigger, more important level. There’s no point in criticizing yourself when it comes to what you do for your children.  I always loved holding Blake and doing all the motherly things we do for our littles. There were times I was tired, frustrated, or felt like I wasn’t doing the right thing. Now I soak up every single thing I get to do with her and her big sister.

7 thoughts on “What she needs

  1. You’re a perfect Mama with your “littles”. You care for them exactly the way YOU feel is right, and that makes you their absolute, one hundred percent perfect for your babies.
    I’m very, very proud of you.💖

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I look forward to your posts. This one exudes an amazing sense of peace. Maybe it’s the beautiful picture. I always want to know why and my question now is why are the most important things we learn in life so often accompanied by such pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your gift of such insight into your babies world is so touching, Stephanie. Blakey and Kenley are yours and you are theirs…perfect match! xxxooo


  4. I found your website through my cousin’s wife who started following your journey on Facebook. It has been many years since we’ve spoken Stephanie, but you’ll always have a place in my heart. Thank you for being courageous enough to share your story with us. Family, friends, old friends, strangers..we’re all rooting for you and your family. The bond between you and your girls is beautiful. They are lucky to have you as their mama ❤


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