baby

Sarah Hocking became a mum. Nine days later she went blind.

Twelve months ago, we were about to be dealt a blow that  would change our lives forever.  However, the nine days leading up to that were pure euphoria with our son Archer entering into the world.

During these nine days, time stood still…

Our beautiful little man turned one this week.  What a year it has been.

blind parenting

Archer at two days old. Source: Jill Gregg. 

I know for me, at times, it has been very overwhelming looking back at all that we have accomplished in the last year.  At significant moments in life, time stands still and memories come flooding in.  At significant times during the week, Cam and I have had conversations that go along the lines of… "at this exact time a year ago, I was going in for my CAT Scan to see what was going on in my brain."

"At this time a year ago, I would have been in the ambulance looking at the digital clock near my bed, not knowing that that was the last time I could make out a digital clock without straining my eyes.

"At this time a year ago, I was lying on the theatre table crying tears of joy, seeing our baby being lifted above the surgical drapes."

blind parenting
ADVERTISEMENT

Rocking Archer to sleep. Source: Chris Epworth Photos

That moment in time was an amazing moment.  And for the next nine days that I had left of vision remains clearly cemented in colour in my memory.

I remember every conversation, every visitor, the pure euphoria felt holding my baby for the first time, the sleep deprivation, but wanting to stay awake just to stare at Archer, and take in the shape of his little lips, his wrinkly grandpa forehead, his deep blue eyes which have since, I have heard, turned brown, every crevice, the colour of his skin.

I am so grateful for those moments.  Although it was a whirlwind nine days with trying to take in the news of my tumours, much of that news was overshadowed by this little miracle who I live every moment for.

blind parenting

Archer playing with his presents. Source: Chris Epworth Photos

So as I reflect back a year down the track on that nine days of my last moments in time of seeing colour in almost full dexterity, they are happy memories.

Even though I wish for my vision to come back, it went out with a bang and on a high so I will hold onto that.  I may not be able to see the colour of Archer’s eyes, or the finer details in life, but I can see enough to see his face light up when I am up close, I can hear his infectious laugh and giggles, I saw the first time he rolled over, the first time he crawled,  sat up and took his first steps.

I didn’t miss out like I thought I would in the early days.  How lucky am I?  I am very affectionate with Archer as this makes up for my lack of vision.  I  am always stroking his hair, holding his hand, stroking his chubby cheeks… He reciprocates with lots of affection back.  Although right now, he is learning to be gentle.

ADVERTISEMENT
blind parenting

My first attempt at making a themed Hungry Caterpillar birthday cake. First time with fondant icing. Pretty chuffed for a blind chick. Source: Chris Epworth Photos.

Archer has thrived in his first year and has been, on the whole, a happy baby.  He goes to anyone, is outgoing and social, loves reading books (and ripping them), loves to dance, show off, anything that has wheels, loves blocks and his walking cart.  He eats everything I make and in large amounts.

With the stress that has gone on in our house-hold, he has blossomed into a happy, funny and beautiful little man and I am so proud of Cam and I for getting through it.

An introduction to parenthood is tough on any relationship, it is not all roses like I fantasised it to be.  No-one tells you how hard breastfeeding is, how hard sleep deprivation is, about the amount of body fluids deposited all over the house…. We have had it all!

I have cried over spilt liquid gold, spew, wees in the face and poosplosions!  How hard is teething?  But I wouldn't trade all that.  Cam and I have got a laugh or three every single day, even on emotionally and physically grief stricken days.

What a year Archer Jack Hocking!  Mum and dad thank our lucky stars every day that we have you in our lives.  The love for you is so deep and special and you make us feel so complete.  Happy Birthday Little Man xxx

This post was originally published on Sarah Hocking's blog Blind Intuition. It has been republished here with full permission. 

Feature image courtesy of Chris Epworth Photos.

Light blue and pink butterfly illustration. You click, we help. Shooting star illustration.

Mamamia is funding 100 girls in school, every day.

So just by spending time with Mamamia, you’re helping educate girls, which is the best tool to lift them out of poverty.

Thanks for helping!

Light blue and pink butterfly illustration. Girl with pigtails sitting at desk writing in notebook. Row of four books.
Three hands holding books
00:00 / ???