Sunday, February 22, 2004

My sister is pregnant. She's due in September. I wonder how my nephew will react when he'll hear he's about to be a big brother. He'll be 4 years old by the time the baby is born, and since he's making a lot of progress maybe he'll even be happy to have a brother or sister. It might even be good for him.

When a person is pregnant, the expecting parents as well as their close family, always have certain worries about the baby. Will it be healthy? Will it have some terrible disease that cannot be detected during pregnancy? There is a lot of anxiety as it is, but when you already have one child with one of the unthinkable disorders, the anxiety is even greater. The odds aren't lower now because you already have one child like this. It's a whole new pregnancy with exactly the same chances as the previous one - and while hopefully the next baby will be normal, you still have a chance of another sick baby, and not necessarily with the same illness. Sometimes you might even fear the odds are even more against you, when there's a chance of the illness being genetic. But I'm optimistic, though still anxious. I'm fairly certain this time around, I'll learn how it is to be an uncle of a healthy niece or nephew.

Don't get me wrong. I love my nephew. I find him adorable. I've seen him grow almost every day of his life. In a way, I have a feeling that I had a greater infuence on him than I would if he were not autistic. The time I spent, both before and after we found out he's autistic, and still spend with him, being a fun and crazy uncle, constantly telling him how cute he is, contributed to the fact that he's making a lot more progress than most other children born with his condition. It takes a crazy family to cure an autistic child, with the addition of proper professional counciling of course. Thanks to all of us, his adoring parents, grandparents, uncle and aunt (my sister's side of the family only - my brother-in-law's family doesn't live in the same city and they don't see them much), he's going to be as normal as possible. I really feel like I'm taking part in saving his life.

The next baby better be healthy though. This whole savior thing is so damn tiring!

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