April is a busy month around here. Both of our children’s birthdays are in April, only 3 days apart.
Well, one year and 362 days apart.
We celebrated Caroline’s birthday on Sunday, and today is Mac’s special day.
And every year around birthday time, I find myself looking at photos, and my heart is overjoyed.
I loved being pregnant. I loved everything about it. And being that Mac is my first child, I would talk to him from the very moment I found out I was pregnant.
I would hug my belly.
I would ask him what he felt like eating; if he wanted any juice.
I would cherish every kick, and I couldn’t wait to hear his little breath in my ear.
The day before Mac was due, I found out he was growth restricted. He hadn’t grown in 2 weeks. He needed to come out immediately. My doctor stripped my membranes and Sean immediately drove me to the hospital.
When Mac was born, full term, he weighed only 5 pounds, 2 ounces. He had a low blood sugar, low calcium, and a high bilirubin.
And for some reason, we were discharged 48 hours later, only to return, via ambulance, 3 hours after we had gotten home.
Mac’s breathing was intermittent, and his temperature had fallen to 96 degrees. And I remember sitting in the ambulance with Sean and Mac, looking out the back window at my best friend driving right behind us, reassuring me, blowing me kisses.
I was clutching Mac’s teeny hand saying “Stay with me, Sweet Boy. Stay with me.”
Once Mac was stabilized in the E.R., he was transferred up to the NICU, where we were met by a wonderful doctor who kindly told us that Mac would need to be in his own room in the NICU as he was considered contaminated by leaving the hospital, then returning. The NICU became our home for the next 10 days.
He was hooked up to several tubes; received 2 EEG’s, 2 EKG’s, 2 spinal taps and a series of other extensive X-rays. At first, the doctors were doubtful that Mac would make it. He suffered seizures and other imbalances.
Sweet Boy persevered. He started getting stronger. I was so afraid that since he was away from the other babies that he wouldn’t get as much attention, but I was wrong. He stole the nurse’s and doctor’s hearts. The nurses dressed him in cozy sweaters with matching hats. Colored him a special picture and hung it on his door. And Mac went from his life being in question, to he gets to go home.
And it hasn’t been an easy road for him. Things that are found to be easy for a main-streamed child are very difficult for Mac. All gross motor skills are a challenge.
But he is a happy child. And healthy.
He’s a day dreamer, just like his Mama.
His imagination sores.
More than anything, he works so hard at everything. Hard work is all he knows.
And he is happy.
Because of his determination and willingness to chance, he is my inspiration.
He inspired me to chair an annual triathlon raising over $200,000 for the NICU, and he helped me cross the finish line.
I look in his eyes and I see determination. And promise. And an eager heart.
It is Mac’s undeterred strength that pushed me to follow my dream, and start my blog.
With every year that passes, Mac gets stronger and smarter. His heart is so true and innocent, and that warms this Mama’s heart.
And with that, I will sign off today with a song that Mac and I sing together every night.
You are my Sunshine, my only Sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my Sunshine away.
Happy Birthday my Sweet Boy.
I love you.