Monday, April 18, 2011

The Silver Lining

Every dark cloud has its silver lining, or so they say. Having a sick child was difficult, but it does have its moments.

We got to enjoy every milestone with David.

Reaching: The first time he reached for an object he actually moved his neonatal doctor to tears. That stands out in my head because it is the only time in my life I have seen a doctor cry. She was the doctor who delivered the news to me about him being "75% brain-dead" and we had taken him back to the Neonatal ICU to visit after his pediatrician appointment. She put her stethoscope in her breast pocket to pick him up and he reached in her pocket to grab it. She cried (and me being me, I teased her!).

Walking: I can remember the absolute joy we felt the very first time he stood up. It took us all by surprise because he wasn't supposed to crawl, let alone stand. It was exactly 108-days between the time he first stood up and the time he took his first step. (I recorded both events, and in this instance, life is definitely stranger than fiction since he stood up on his "birth" date and took his first steps on his "due" date.) For 108-days we watched him trying to repeat his stand-up feat and at his "Due Date" party, he stood up AND took a step. It was totally awesome.

Seeing: See earlier post. Years later and we are still reliving those moments.

Reading: "Yo! Yes?" was the very first book he ever read. We trained him to read "Enough Inigo, Enough" but he had his own ideas. We spent months teaching him words, phrases, and sentences and then one day on an airplane, he picked up the book "Yo! Yes?" and read it cover to cover. He was three (3). [He is his mother's child, after all.] He wouldn't read again until he was five (5).

Eating: After one year of NeoSure ($90 per week!) and three years of Gerber Stage II foods (mixed with oatmeal or rice cereal), we didn't think David Bear would ever eat solid food. [Anyone who wants to judge us harshly for not preparing organic healthy foods should just graciously BLOCK yourself from reading my posts rather than suffer years of retaliatory abuse.] We'd become accustomed to carrying jars of Apple Sauce and Gerbers Sweet Potatoes. The Gerber folks were so totally AWESOME that they used to send us coupons for free jars of baby food and rice/ oatmeal cereal every month! But the August after he turned four, he decided he liked bacon. That was the very first solid food he ever ate. I recall it so clearly because it was the very last bacon in the house and years earlier, I got rid of my dog because after putting up with his shenanigans for months, he ate my bacon and egg sandwich right off the table. I still miss that dog. So glad I learned from that lesson and we kept the boy, who now does not eat bacon. Or oatmeal. I'm sure it's just a phase.

So many more firsts, each one which took longer for him to master and thus gave us more time to enjoy the ride.

The Basics
When David Bear was born a team of doctors surrounded him. Due to our great medical insurance, the hospital kept me in the hospital as long as they could. Compare that to my friends who were kicked out of the hospital within 48-hours after birth. I just can't imagine that, but you can.

Before the hospital would allow us to take David home, we had to learn infant CPR. We had parenting classes on how to care for our sick child -- how to bathe him, change him, feed him, hold him. Did you?

When he came home, they sent someone home with us the first night. You?

Despite our income they provided us 40-hours worth of in-home nursing care per month. How much time did your healthy child receive?

For the first eight years, we could get a same-day appointment with any of the nine specialists that were caring for him? How did your child do?

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise”

Oscar Wilde

Life is what you make of it. Embrace the positive.

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