8 years ago, in the early morning hours of April 25, 2006, my life changed irrevocably with the words, "There's nothing more we can do." I had watched them working on my son, praying for a miracle that I believed would come. Jerry understood before I did, and tears began to stream down his face. I grabbed his hand and shook my head. I started to shake uncontrollably. I said, "No. Not yet. Hold on." I don't know who I was talking to. Jerry? Myself? My son? The God that I believed was just and good up until that defining moment? It doesn't matter because no one could save him.
Statistics vary, but the survival rate for 27 weekers that are 2 weeks old is something like 95%. We are the 5%. We are the worst-case scenario. The truth is I will never truly know how many miracles I have been given in my life. My two beautiful living, breathing children. My husband. But beyond that--I'll never know how many car accidents were averted by delaying us for five minutes. How many potential hazards in our bodies have healed themselves. How many times God has intervened on our behalves. I believe in miracles, and I know I've been given at least a few in my life so far. Hopefully, I will live to see a few more.
Today, I can't help but dwell on the miracle we didn't get. Today, the life we should have had plays on an endless reel in my head. There is no stopping it. After 8 years I don't even try to stop it anymore.
Matthew...Your family loves you and we think of you always.
Monday, April 21, 2014
Hello again friends! Life has been so busy, I've been reduced to reading blogs on my phone, which doesn't encourage commenting or adding posts of my own. This is my first post in 2014; I just discarded the New Year's post I had languishing in my drafts folder. I think we're past that now. Things have been crazy, of course. The more time that passes, the harder it becomes to log in and do a quick update. The updates aren't that quick after a couple of months fly by, and I honestly have no idea where to start or what to cover. Still, I'll do my best.
- How is everyone? I've been reading, but not commenting much. I've come to the conclusion that something really gets taken away from the whole blogging experience when the interaction is lost. I miss commenting! Hopefully after I finally get this post up and running, I'll have time to drop by a few places and say hello.
- ...It's April. I hate April. I don't know why it insists on coming around every single year. I wish I could say I'm better at it than I used to be. I'm not. I wish I was able to celebrate his birthday, at least. Instead, over the last few years we have been reduced to just surviving the month. Just getting through the days. Around this time of year, I am just surviving. Not really living. Not really enjoying my life.
- Our little guy turned 1 on March 18th! No infants around here any more! I like to squeeze him until he laughs and say, "Baby refill!" but technically I can't say that now. My little dude has never spent a single second of life considering himself a baby. He is a force of nature. He is everywhere. I think I say this about every stage, but I am particularly loving this one. The same can likely not be said for Roo...he is constantly up in her grill. He follows her endlessly and is starting to really get in the way when it comes to her elaborate games. She will be trying to create a game using every doll and stuffed animal and trinket she owns. He will lurch in like a drunken sailor and demolish everything in his path. It must be frustrating for her, but I continue to be amazed at her tolerance. She adores him and makes him laugh louder than anyone. It is such an unexpected gift to watch the sibling love between them.
- Roo is finishing up her last quarter of Kindergarten. I am definitely ready for summer! She seems to like school most of the time. She is a little perfectionist and sometimes needs extra support when it comes to her schoolwork. She gets frustrated when she doesn't get something perfect the first time and needs to be reminded not to be hard on herself. I'm told she gets this from me. Uh-oh.
- Speaking of "Baby refills" I am in full-on worry-mode when it comes to the subject of the Imaginary Future Baby. My heart hurts so much when it comes to this topic, you guys. I cannot begin to cover it in a bullet-pointed post, but I am really struggling over this right now. It hurts when you have a child missing from your family. It hurts when you know your body isn't going to produce the babies you wish it would. It hurts to feel like you aren't done having kids, but you are terrified to try again. Ugh. To be continued. If there's anything I blab about consistently here, it is babies.
- I made a job switch. Well, added a job anyway. The Option B hospital hired me to the Medical/Surgical floor. I am just finishing up my second week of orientation, and I'm getting my butt kicked. There is so much to learn, the commute is awful, I'm exhausted, and I miss my kiddos. I think I could love the job eventually, but it's hard to tell from here. Between living in the middle-of-nowhere, my family-building challenges, and my struggles to build a career I feel really overwhelmed some days. I actually kept my old job in the tiny rural ER 2.5 hours away and have switched to a per diem position. I'm planning on continuing to do one weekend a month down there in the hopes that I will acquire the experience between my two jobs to get the job I really want close to home in a few years.
- Did I mention that the Option B hospital is also the hospital where Matthew was born 8 years ago? Nope, I see that I didn't bring that up in my last whiny job post. Well...I am now employed in the hospital where my firstborn's premature birth left an indelible mark on my heart. My first night of work, I floated over to the OB unit to watch a couple of babies whose mamas needed rest. I stayed away from the delivery rooms. One of the nurses I recognized from both Matthew's birth and T's premature labor scare last year was on shift. She stared at me for a minute as though she was trying to place me. Then she said, "Are you from here?" I said "No" and left it at that. I know I'll probably have to fess up eventually, but for the moment, it's April and I just want to get through. I knew that conversation was beyond what I could handle for the moment. The nurse continues to be friendly when I see her, but I know she is trying to place where she knows me from still. When I walked back into that hospital last year, she knew who I was immediately from my basic verbal history over the phone. She and I talked a lot that night about what happened all those years ago. Every nurse, doctor, health care worker inevitably has cases and patients who mark them for life. Situations that you never forget. It was clear to me that I was one of those cases for her. The only reason she cannot place me is because she is seeing me as a nurse and not a patient now. Such a small, crazy world. There was a time I left that hospital and never thought I'd return. Now I work there. I don't always know how I feel about that.
- I'm still taking classes towards my BSN. I've slowed the schedule down so much that I'll likely finish about 2025, but it still feels pretty busy to me. Right now I have 3 weeks left of class before I take my summer vacation. I really didn't want to be bogged down with school work when it's Roo's first official summer break. We have some serious summer plans in the works and I don't know which of us is more excited.
- I hope everyone had a great Easter! Jerry, the kiddos, and I drove 500 miles to spend the holiday back in our hometown. It was lovely to see people and catch-up with old friends. We still miss living there so much. Life can take some crazy twists and turns so it's good to sort of touch base with people who knew you when you were an awkward 14 year old.