You Can Persevere in a Life Unplanned


Once upon a time, over seven years ago, I conceived a little boy. I had an IUD. This was not the plan.

That little boy was born, let’s call him Pickle. He was born quickly and without any assistance from any qualified professional. He was caught by his father, in an inflatable kiddie pool, in the master bathroom of his family’s house.

This was definitely not the plan.

But that was just the beginning of life unplanned…

Pickles popped out to us, I held him in my arms and checked over my new bundle of joy. He was breathing, he did seem a little stunned…as we all did. He cried, I felt relieved and then I saw those little feet (metatarsus adductus).

Hint number one, that this baby…this beautiful little baby, is not like the others.

And hint after hint, our little Pickle tried to tell us he was different, that hat he needed some special help. Breastfeeding was a true challenge. I still to this day don’t know how we made that work. Milestones were being missed. Little things started adding up to big things.

By nine months we were in Early Start (more on Early Start to come in the future), by a year old we were seeing specialists (Urology, Neurology, Genetics, Orthopedics). No answers.

Being undiagnosed is hard, if you are still in that place.

My heart knows your heart. For two more years we did all the therapies, we did all the things, but little Pickle still wasn’t catching up and we had no idea why.

At three, we got to a point where we were referred to a Pediatric Developmental Specialist. I walked in and literally (this is not one of those false literally’s added for fun), I LITERALLY said to this doctor, “The only thing I am not worried about is autism.” AND ladies…we walked out of that appointment with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

This was most definitely also not in the plan.

Flash forward three+ years later to today, I remembered that moment. It was like it just happened. AND I just thought…isn’t that a summary of life?!

We walk into things with expectations, and we walk out with experiences we never saw coming.

So, we got our Autism diagnosis, and then the next month we received our genetic diagnosis. And a SLIGHTLY (but only slightly) clearer picture for the future was presented to us.

It was not what I had planned. And in the years after his diagnosis, I lost myself, I found myself, I persevered. And here we are!

My “only thing I’m not worried about” led me here.

Life unplanned led me here.

And I am so happy to be here!

Pickles is healthy and happy but just a different kinda kid. Our family is healthy and happy and just does life a little different.

I love sharing my journey, connecting with other moms who get it, and even helping them persevere and find their way to their goals.

Just because you walk into life and get handed a set of circumstances you weren’t ready for; doesn’t mean you can’t persevere too.

Written by, Lacey Akins

Hi I’m Lacey. I am a special needs mom and so much more! I help other special needs moms persevere through adversity, prioritize goals and thrive in life. I love to share my journey and connect with others. You can follow us at Life Doula Lacey on Facebook, Instagram, Tik-Tok and Pinterest.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

Kate Swenson

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