I'm not proud of this, but during those first few weeks of Patrick's hospitalization, I spent a lot of time wondering why this baby had happened to me? I rarely shared this thought process out loud with anyone, but it seemed I couldn't rid my mind of these questions . . . Was I greedy to have expected that I'd have two healthy children? How is it fair that some families can have three, four, five healthy children and I just wanted two? And how about all those people who have kids and they can't even take care of them? [I became very 'judgy'. Again, not proud.] Had I somehow deserved this?
And then in an effort to make me feel better, I heard this a lot from some well-intentioned people: God doesn't give you any more than you can handle.
I never found comfort in that thought. Sure, I was handling it, I had no choice. But I sure as hell would have preferred a different situation. At any moment, I could have named 1,000 things I'd rather be handling.
But I wasn't given a choice. This was my baby and I wasn't giving up. I sat by Patrick's bedside, learning the language of Medicine, admiring the Grace of nurses, the vast knowledge of the physicians. Watching the room buzz with activity when a new Little One was born and brought into the Special Care Unit.
Out of nowhere one day a nurse I hardly knew said to me: Patrick is so lucky to be yours. He's really lucky to have you.
She stopped me in my tracks.
I looked at Patrick, with all of his 'accessories': ventilator, chest tube, central lines, catheter, ng tube, monitors.
I had had it all backwards. I was consumed with my own place in all of this. My own life getting flipped upside down. And it wasn't that I hadn't been thinking about Patrick -- of course I had. But I was so focused on how his arrival was changing my perfect little life. I hadn't stopped to consider the flip side. What if he had been born to another family? A family that couldn't/wouldn't/shouldn't take care of him? A family that didn't live so near to a world-class medical center? A family that would give up on him?
Maybe he was Lucky. But it seemed tough to pin that adjective on him. He didn't look Lucky. He looked like he'd been dealt a raw deal. And it seemed so unjust. So wrong. The antithesis of Luck.
But that was months ago.
Today I feel blessed by this child. So very blessed and proud to be his mother. I gave birth to this Miracle, and that fills me with joy, and pride. Patrick has taught me that patience does pay off. He has taught me that Life is immensely powerful, an unstoppable force. I have witnessed first hand that the human body has an incredible ability to heal -- physically (Patrick's), emotionally & spiritually (mine).
In less than seven months, I have learned that prayers do get answered.
Without a doubt, I am the Lucky one.