Thursday, May 20, 2010

Celebrating Miracles

Twenty six years ago,
I was waddling around the house -
my belly protruding with a ripe baby.

It was all a miracle from the start.

I should never have gotten pregnant
in the first place.
I had an IUD, which as far as the doctor's said,
was 99% effective.

It was only after I had sat in bed one night
and annihilated an entire package of Oreos
by myself, that my husband suggested I
might be pregnant.

And I was.

About my forth month,
I started spotting.
Not good.
I had two beautiful little girls
with no problem.
Why now? Why me?

I was diagnosed with placenta previa.
It meant that my placenta was covering
my cervix and that I would require bed rest.
It also meant a C-section.

But, as the miracle continued-
the morning they prepped me for my C-section,
the doctor decided to take a final sonogram.

It had moved!
My placenta was now safely in its dutiful place
and they sent me home to suffer labor pains
when the time came.

Unfortunately, my doctor was out of town
the day my contractions began in earnest.
His replacement was so afraid of the placenta thing
that he sent me by ambulance to a different hospital-
where they tested and prodded and poked me
till I was weary.
Four doctors merged to study my case.

It was then that they told me my sonogram
was troubling.

"It appears as though the soft spot on the skull has
grown together, thus keeping the brain from developing
correctly. His head is small, but his limbs are normal."


"Well", they told us, "it will be a child that you will
have to put in a home of some type. He'll be a vegetable."
And they advised my husband not to be present for
the delivery because the baby most likely
had an open spine.

"I've seen all my other babies being born," my husband said,
"and I'm gonna see this one, too."

While they drugged and induced me,
we had our share of tears.
A numb shock.
An aching fear.
A pre-loss.
A mourning for this unborn child of ours.

I remember seeeing my husband eyes.
His sweet, warm. comforting eyes
from above his blue surgical mask
as they delivered our son.

"Doc?" he cried, "He's okay, isn't he?'
And at the same time, squeezed my hand
and told me that it was a boy
and that he looked healthy.
And he told me everything was going to be okay
before I faded into a long sleep.

And our son Jake was okay.
He was healthy and normal and well.

The doctors- all four of them-
had read the sonograms wrong.
They had only taken one view.
One from ear to ear.
The head had molded a bit,
but was a perfect size from front to back.
There was no deformity, abnormalty,
or anything out of the ordinary.

Our son was perfect.

And, in my opinion, continues to be.

A year from now- next May-
he will graduate from the school
of Dental Medicine in Alton
with a doctorate in dentistry.  

Happy Birthday, Son.
You have brought us happiness and pride
and the firm belief in miracles.