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Posts tagged ‘hyaline membrane disease’

In Search of a Way to Tell This Story

Today is a special day for me and my son. It’s his birthday so the other post I have written will have to wait a day. I woke this morning knowing I had to write about him.

18 month old in Taiwan.

18 month old in Taiwan.

It’s really hard for me to come to grips with the idea of my child being 47 years old. In the blink of an eye he went from being a tow-headed mischief-maker to a shiny domed, salt and pepper bearded mischief-maker. Some things never change. This man who is my son, lights up any room he goes into and makes people smile. His patience is legendary. I don’t know how many false cuts he had to make on molding to get it just right, but not once did he lose his temper and walk away. Nor would he if someone else had done it.

The work just never ends

The work just never ends

The story of his birth is one I have tried to write many times. I’m going to attempt it again with my new writing group next year. The sum of it is we almost didn’t get to keep him. He was born with Hyaline Membrane Disease, also called infant respiratory distress. As soon as he was born, they put a gas mask on me to put me to sleep. I didn’t see him for 10 days

The prognosis was grim. No oxygen right away meant likely brain damage and possible or probable death. I was a very young mother. It was beyond my scope to understand but I knew one thing for certain. If I was going to lose him, I wanted to hold him or at least see him. They threatened to tie me to my bed to keep me away.

Many hours had passed from his birth to when the doctors came to tell me how bad it was. I can promise you that if I was being told I would be tied to my bed, the drugs had long since worn off. My in-laws were called to come back to the hospital to be with me and help me cope.

After the bastards doctors left my room, I did what most mothers would do in this situation. I prayed, hard. When I got to the point of the prayer of acceptance for whatever outcome was handed me, I had the most profound spiritual experience of my life. It changed me, and my outlook. When the in-laws arrived, they thought I was nuts. All I could do was pat MIL’s hand and tell her my son would be fine. I was comforting her. I was unconcerned with the diagnosis of brain damage, though we sometimes still question that with some of his antics. I was certain death was not on that day’s agenda.

oops. Can I leave them this way?  Naw.

oops. Can I leave them this way? Naw.

His birth taught me many things. Our children are on loan to us to love, nurture and release. They are a gift, not a possession. At any moment we must be ready to release and trust. I know of many women who have lost children; infants or adult children. I understand their pain. That day changed me from a religious person to a deeply spiritual one.

Dancing around the molding to paint it.

Dancing around the molding to paint it.

He has dimples where our Angel kissed him to remind us of how much love there is in the Universe. I learn from him daily what love really looks like. He holds my hand to make sure now that I don’t fall like I did when he was young. His kindness and honesty inspire me to be a better person. He makes me the envy of many mothers on how he makes sure I know I’m loved and appreciated.

I won the lottery with both my children but today is his day and his story, told to the best of my ability in fewer words than I would like to use. I could get quite effusive here.

Happy Birthday son of mine. Let there be so many more.

Have you ever had a spiritual experience that changed you?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself