June 15, 2016

Crossing The Biggest Milestone: A 3 Month Tribute

We have come across a very big milestone in Aiden's life.

During one of our many visits to Maternal Fetal Medicine while I was pregnant, we had a conversation with one of the doctors that has been sticking in the back of my mind since Aiden's birth. After a two and a half hour, extensive ultrasound, I tearfully sat through another conversation about how his diagnosis was "lethal" and we should consider terminating him. But this particular day was a little different. It was a new doctor this time, much younger and much more sympathetic to our situation. As she went over the diagnosis for Aiden and we once again heard the words "on average lives for three hours"; she followed it by saying, "in some rare instances they can live up to three months of age. But not very often, and those three months are very rocky and they usually go downhill and deteriorate quickly."

As I said before, and as I'm sure you could imagine, that sentence has been stuck in my mind ever since it came from the doctor's mouth.

I cannot tell you how many times I have thought and wondered if he was only going to make it to three months of age. We have had many scary days that seemed like he was following that path precisely. In his earlier days, I have seem him turn black as his heart rate plummeted a dozen times. And each time a tiny thought would enter my mind of, "Could this be it? Is he one of the few to make it to three months?" I almost lost him that weekend when he was having heart failure and his lungs collapsed, and I pleaded with Heavenly Father to let him get past that three month marker. I have seen him in a medical coma, his body not even breathing on its own and in such a deep sleep he appeared to be gone. I've clutched his little hand during these moments, whispering to him to "keep going". Even on his good days the thought of 'three months' has weighed on my mind, but I've never wanted to admit that number out loud. I'm not superstitious, but I almost felt like I would jinx things and saying it out loud would unravel all the progress we have made.

Three months ago today my Clive Aiden was born. And he's once again proven doctors wrong.

I don't know if I could ever adequately describe how proud I am of this little boy. It almost seems a little silly to be so boastful about an infant, but he has accomplished more in his little life than anyone I know. And he has taught me more about life in these three months than my humble age of 27 years has given me.

He has taught me how precious life really is. Even every second of every day is meaningful and full of opportunity to do good. He has taught me that my priorities were out of order, and that I need to take time to enjoy the quieter moments and not be so busy. And he has taught me the value of life. That the quietest and most unique people around you are often the ones that have the most to say. That there is no such thing as a disability, only your ability to make the best of your situation. And that there is always value to the lives of everyone around you, even if they have a disability that makes their value different then our own.

He has continually knocked down every barrier a doctor has placed before him, I can't believe this one-of-a-kind kid gets to be mine, and I look forward to our future. I can only imagine what he will continue to show and teach me as we enter this very different world together.

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