Wednesday, December 3, 2014

If I'd Only Known...

"There is a fifty percent chance your baby will be born blind, with mental and physical handicaps, if he survives at all."
The doctor's voice was somber and serious, but my husband and I just smiled and nodded. "If this pregnancy doesn't kill the baby, it will most likely kill you." I grinned at the well-meaning OB/GYN.
"I know."
I didn't really "know". I didn't have the quiet assurance that I was going to die if I had this baby. I "knew" all the statistics, facts, and projections for  diabetic, kidney failing patients who became pregnant. This baby however, would not end up one of their numbers. I "knew" that, as well.
It didn't matter if he weren't perfect. It didn't matter how hard it would be. I'd been through a premature birth, 12 weeks of bed rest, and a traumatic 96 hour labor with my oldest. I "knew" what to expect.
I didn't expect my Kaison.
He was born,ten years ago  today Dec. 3. He came  eight weeks premature, after a C-section in which I had seizures and ended up nearly paralyzed from an overdose of Magnesium, but he was perfect.
Even at four pounds and 15 ounces he was a fighter. The doctor tried to pull him out and he scrambled to the top of my womb to get away. His little underdeveloped lungs struggled to take in breath, but he screamed his head off anyway. 12 hours after his birth he popped his right lung and had to be put on a ventilator for another 2 weeks, but he never stopped trying to survive.He wouldn't eat as fast or as much as the doctors wanted him to, he was never in a hurry. He laughed, smiled, cuddled and played more than any of my other kids. I worked non-stop with my first baby to make sure he hit all his developmental stages. Mostly I worried non-stop. Not with Kaison. He was a light, a warm flame that seemed to chase away fear, worry, and my over-active, over-analytical brain. When he was with me, all the world stopped and waited for the two of us to just be. It was a peace like nothing else I'd ever known with another child.
Don't get me wrong. There are times when he refuses to eat anything but hot dogs and Cheetos. He cries and fights when he is sick and won't let me help him. He falls apart when he thinks he's failing because he's not as good as his brothers, but his flame never falters. 
Now its his tenth birthday and my little, angel baby is too big for me to carry around anymore. He's brilliant, funny, handsome, kind, sweet and a light like no other. All those years ago when all the doctors could see were statistics, probabilities and percentages, I "knew" he was so much more. Even though I didn't "know" what a treasure he truly was at the time.
The world wants you to believe what it "knows", what it can prove with numbers and calculations. The problem is...
There's no way to calculate how much one smile, laugh, kind word, or gleaming eye will spread joy, or  to whom. There's no way to guess or fathom the love, faith, hope, and peace your worst struggles will leave you with when you look back.
I wonder if I'd "known" really understood the long hours, hopeless terror, pained body parts and helpless tears which would go into the births of my children, whether or not I would have done it.
Then I have my baby curl up in my lap in front of the fire on a rainy morning. I smell the soap on his skin. I feel the smooth lines of his cute little face and I "know", I would. I'd do it all and more
Happy Birthday Kaison. I love you bud!.

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