Thursday, June 6, 2013
My 4-year-old miracle
I remember looking in at my fragile little baby roo in her little plastic home and thinking about what laid before us. I just wanted to take a peak into the future and see what was waiting there. Would I be a mom mourning her loss forever? Even the thought of it made me want to throw up. Or would I someday have to worry about trivial things like staying up all night with a crying baby or worrying about her not eating all her food? Oh how I wanted to hear her lusty cry! You truly don't know what a sweet sound that is until you don't hear one.
I remember praying so fervently for her to live. I vowed that I'd never ask for anything ever again, but that just proved I was a liar since I've asked for plenty since.
Most days, looking into the future was too draining. Plus all the doctors told me was that they didn't know if she'd come out of this completely unscathed. Sure, she'd probably live...but that wasn't a guarantee and what problems awaited there if she did were unknown. They gave me good statistics but judging by the statistics of having a micropreemie with a birth defect at 20 years old I didn't trust "statistics" anymore.
Their advice: Take one day at a time. Never trust a preemie. Take two steps forward, one step back.
And so I danced the preemie dance.
Even though it was one of the hardest things I've had to face in this life I'd do it all over again to have my little bug. There are a lot of things that her early birth has taught me. One being that life is a complete miracle. Every breath we breathe is a miracle often overlooked. I remember feeling guilty having perfect lungs, most times forgetting I was even breathing at all. One of the nurses told me when Jayda was born that every breath she had to take was like taking one through a straw. It seemed cruel to make such a tiny thing work so hard.
Right after birth
The guilt I felt was unbearable.
I think we as human beings are often too hard on ourselves. I often look at how egocentric Jayda is. For a 4 year old thats only developmentally appropriate. Everything is from her perspective. Everything is her fault. Everything revolves around her. In a lot of ways I think we never outgrow that egocentrism. We often take guilt and put it on our shoulders even when it shouldn't be. I imagine that really bugs our Heavenly Father. But here we are loading those bricks of guilt and shame on our backs day after day.
I've often imagined what would have happened had I lived 50 years ago when she would not have survived without medical intervention. How I would have had to watch my little baby slip slowly from this life. What would I have done? What would I have felt at that moment? Where would I be today? All questions I'm glad I never had to find the answer to, but guilty there are others that have.
We as mothers, take a risk. Not just when we are pregnant but each and every day we are a mother. There are so many terrible things that can happen to take life quickly away. In a few seconds everything could change. Thats a constant reality and a constant fear every mother faces. It's risky to our emotional wellbeing. On one hand, our kids are our greatest joy. On the other, losing them would completely shatter our world. Yet we all take those risks because the reward is just that fulfilling.
I would say that I feel so blessed that she is my daughter but I won't. I feel like that is a slap in the face for every mother that isn't blessed to have their child. That somehow they weren't enough. That somehow God loved me more. I don't think He works that way.
Today I watched as my little girl was more concerned with party blowers and balloons than breathing. I watched as she wanted nothing to do with her food. Most days that would irritate me but today I am grateful that thats all I'm worried about.
Happy birthday little bug. You are my little walking...err mostly runnning miracle. I'll take every day I can get.
Yesterday at her first day of gymnastics.