Sunday, June 5, 2011

Three years

This time three years ago, I was in route from Cartersville Medical Center to Northside Hospital in Atlanta via ambulance. My youngest son, Matthew, was born today. Born into sickness and pain and uncertainty. I look back at my first born son's birthday and think of that day with such fond memories, immediately thrown back into the warm fuzzies and feelings of awe and wonder as we became parents for the first time. No one can describe that feeling until you feel it - seeing your first child born - wow!
Once I found out I was pregnant with our second child, I was over the moon. I couldn't wait to decorate the nursery, look through baby names and see how William reacted to my growing belly. Well, we didn't get the nursery painted and ready until Matthew was already 6 weeks old. I looked up names with special meanings that would "look good" on a grave marker. I had to get help from the doctors to have a "baby bump" showing in my belly. This pregnancy that I was excited so excited about did NOT turn out how I had expected. Being told terminate your pregnancy by three different doctors and even told by "well-meaning" family and friends that "maybe it just wasn't meant to be - don't intervene too much, God will heal him in heaven", it just strengthened my resolve to get Matthew here alive.
Then he arrived. I didn't feel the joy and peace I had felt with William. I feel sad to admit that. :( I felt relief I got him here alive. I felt grateful he was in good hands with the hospital staff. And I felt scared about the medical procedures, tests and surgeries he was facing his first few days of life - nearly 2 months before he was even supposed to arrive.
I met Matthew via a polaroid picture. The doctors telling me all his lab, ultrasound and intervention results. I had no clue what they were saying - it was a different language to me at the time. His lungs were small, his bladder was huge, and his kidney didn't function even a small percentage. I cried; I cried until I met him face to face the following day when he was on his way to a more intensive care NICU that could handle his needs. I saw him and all the torment that was bottled up inside started to dissipate.
He was here. He had made it. And I would make sure I gave him his re-birthday. A day to be born again into health. I would make sure I fixed whatever I had messed up when I was making him in my body. I know I'm told often it wasn't me...but I still can't shake that. I still feel tremendous amounts of guilt of what he has endured because my body failed me, failed him. But now he has his re-birthday; his new kidney; his new life. And we are able to celebrate three years with our son. Three years that started off with so much anxiety and now filled with so much happiness.
Happy birthday to my Matthew. My heart and soul. My miracle. My precious, strong fighter.

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