April 1st. The day I had been eagerly anticipating for what felt like eternity.
The day was quickly filled with nervous anticipation and a flurry of phone calls being made trying to make arrangements.
This was happening.
It was the day I was going to become a mother of two.
I was ecstatic. J was over the moon. Eli knew something was about to change and was so cute and excited and he didn’t even really understand the reason. But he knew something special was going to happen!
One hour I was home with my oldest son and 1.5 hours later I was holding my newest son in my arms.
It all went down better than I ever could have anticipated (see here). I rocked labour and delivery. I was already joking about how delivery #3 better go down and I hadn’t even left the delivery room yet.
Little did I know what the coming weeks had in store for me.
I would be tested more than I ever dreamed. My son would be tested more than I ever wanted for any of my children.
The days after April 1st should have been some of the happiest days of my life but it was filled with worry, sadness, joy, tears, and grief. Lots of grief.
Grieving the life I thought my son was going to lead. Grieving the life I dreamt of for myself. For my children. For my family. But to be honest, mainly myself. Grieving the ignorance my sons and our family is surely going to face. Grieving the hard road we were dealt.
To say I was mad at the world was an understatement. I felt robbed of an experience that many others (including myself) got to experience in the past. I was lulled into a false sense of security after all these Doctors and Specialists telling me my baby was healthy and passed each prenatal test. But, little did they know there was a genetic syndrome lurking beneath the surface ready to reveal itself to the world on his birthday.
Knowing before would have helped, but not changed anything. We couldn’t fix the gene anomaly but I wouldn’t have been shell-shocked during the first weeks, even months, of his life. I would have known. I would have been able to prepare instead of sitting bedside with my iPhone googling all the terms I heard that Doctors and nurses mention. I would have been able to learn at my own pace instead of having everything thrown at me in a matter of days and weeks.
Google is a scary place, but it was a necessary evil. Through Google I did find an amazing, supportive community or two. At first it was too much to “see” that far into advance, and to be honest it still is some days, but the successes are right there for me to see. “These” families had the biggest smiles. They were happy!
I wondered how this could be.
I had no idea how hard it could be or how people accept their new reality. I marvelled at the other parents who were at peace in their lives after having it completely turned upside down in the blink of an eye. A completely unexpected blindside. I honestly thought I’d never get there. I’m still not there but I’m a lot closer than I was 5 months ago. Slowly after the 4 months since we’ve been home the love for Noah has overshadowed the obstacles and the delays, letting the light through of the many blessings that is going to be our journey. This isn’t to say I love him more now than I did during those days, because I have loved him with all my heart from the very beginning. I am just able to look past the negative feedback loop I had running and see the beauty of this journey.
This is not to say that I still don’t grieve or shed tears because that would be a lie. I do. I probably always will. It will be an ever changing process. Some days I will feel higher than high and others I get knocked down on my ass and kicked in the proverbial gut. But I will take each victory and scar and display it proudly.
So the thoughts about what should have been have changed. I now know all I need to about what should have been. These questions and those musings have stopped. Noah is “what should have been” and he is everything he was made to be.