Sunday, April 26, 2009
May 10, 2009
This May 10 will be the first Mothers' Day that I get to buy Heidi as an actual mother. In the past, we've bought each other small gifts on Mothers' & Fathers' Day in anticipation that we would be parents someday and the simple joys of giving a gift. Even though we have too many animals, we never got into the gift giving thing from pets.
So here I am, a real dad now trying to decide what would be most encouraging and appreciated by Heidi. It actually isn't hard to come up with a list - there are a million things I could do for her or get her. I guess the hard part is still coming to terms with the idea that I have a son and that he is still alive.
Several weeks ago, Janie gave us the DVDs of all our pictures from the birth up through the hospital stay. It was so cool going through the pictures of labor right up until after he was born. On one side, I got to see things I didn't see before; what the firemen were doing when they came and such. On the other side, it was almost like reliving a nightmare. I was so excited when he was born! Minus Brandi checking his head as he was crowing, I was the first person to touch him. I got to feel his squishy little butt, even though it was all bloody. :-) It was so amazing; I'll never forget it. I'll also never forget watching his motionless body lay on the bed while the midwives were sucking blood from his lungs and doing CPR. I remember he cried but then stopped. I remember being at Riverview where the doctor told me he probably wouldn't make it until the St. Vincent's NICU Medics got there and the fear that I would be alone with my dead son while Heidi was going to another hospital, planning that we'd meet her there. I just kept thinking to myself "I got to hold him more than she did; she is his mother." I don't exactly know what that thought meant, but it kept going through my head. I remember finally seeing Heidi at St. Vincent's and crying with her in bed while family and friends visited. I remember doctors telling us he had a couple of hours left and that there was nothing else that they could do. I remember being told by a doctor that we could turn the machines off whenever we felt it was the right thing to do.
But then I also remember that he didn't die after a few hours; he improved every day and responded well to almost everything. I remember every single doctor not being able to explain how he was improving or how he was okay. I recall being counseled about all of the possible issues we would face as he grew up, if he made it up - but here we are and most people would never guess anything ever happened.
Now I will get to remember that he rolled over for the first time this past Thursday, and that he peed on the carpet tonight while he was 'airing' out from his diapers. I'll get to remember his smiles, giggles and coos.
So even though it will soon be Mother's Day and it doesn't have anything to do with me, it is still difficult. In January, I had prepared myself to support Heidi during Mother's day and holidays through the year as we grieved not having our son with us. Now May is approaching and I will get to celebrate and honor Heidi as a mother with Edmund. Almost four months ago we were told he would die. Now, he is rolling over and celebrating his wonderful Mom on Mother's Day. I can't seem to get my head around this. He is just a little fighter; he is his mother's son.