Tuesday, August 13, 2013

When The Cake Is (Bitter) Sweet (Part I)

My son M was born on Saturday, August 14, 2004.

The labor itself was uneventful but M made his debute into this world still and silent. The details get fuzzy for me.  I can only remember fragments, like in a dream.   

I remember the room suddenly becoming silent.
Many more people appeared in the room.
There was quiet chaos.
Someone said it was a boy.
A mask was placed over M's face and air was forced into his body.
And then M was taken out of the room.
Mr. A went with him.
I lay in the bed, still bleeding, scared and alone.

They had taken M to the NICU.  Apgars were poor.  His lung collapsed.

There was a problem with the epidural and I had become much more numb than I should have been.  Hours would pass before I was allowed to get into a wheelchair to see my son.

He was connected to wires and tubes. Machines hissed and pumped and beeped.  I would not be able to hold him for another day so  I held his tiny hand.

Doctors kept coming into my room to talk to me.  I wasn't able to process any of it. My head hurt.

People knew I had gone to the hospital to deliver and I knew they'd be waiting to hear the news about the birth of our second child.  I told Mr.A to call our parents and tell them what we knew so far.  I didn't want any visitors and told him to tell everyone that.

I laid in that bed, on a plastic mattress with scratchy sheets and tried to make sense of what was happening.

On August 14th 2004, my world suddenly changed.

I became the parent of a child with special needs.

There is a sense of guilt and a bit of sadness when I think about that day.  Sadness that I never got to experience a single moment of 'normal' with my son.  Worry began with his first breath.

And guilt that I cannot say that his birth story is a happy one.  

Guilt that his birth is so unlike Miss J's.  My girl, who made a slow and stubborn entrance into this world. My girl who arrived alert and wide eyed and wise.  When she arrived elated grandparents cheered and Mr. A cried and I felt like I already knew my girl.  When she arrived the exhaustion of a thirty one hour labor suddenly disappeared and I called everyone I knew to tell them my news.  When she arrived, the joy was palpable.

Guilt that when my son was born the only emotion I felt was fear.

1 comment:

  1. So difficult, yet these special children make us appreciate all of life more than we ever did before. Life will never be the same. It will be more difficult, yet better. God bless you. <3