The story of a boy….well, he was much more than that to me……
Before I begin; let me say that this post will most likely not be funny. And it might contain information that upsets you and not in the usual way with offensive language and politics…..but in a human, sad and guttural way. I may very well ramble at times and for all of these things: I am genuinely sorry.
I shall begin with yesterday, a conversation with my Dear Husband (who, incidentally, does not normally clean or decorate the house):
After hanging a newly acquired (but really too large for our dining room) painting:
DH: Ok, now what are we going to do about this stuff on the buffet table?
<said buffet table is cluttered with candles and plants that block the too large painting>
Me: well, how about if we take these plants off and just leave these candles?
DH: Ok. Well how about this <rearranges candles, puts candles from dining room table onto buffet table>
Me: No, it’s still too crowded. Hey I have the matching one to this candle on my dresser
<goes to get matching candle~ like we need MORE stuff to figure out placement of>
DH: No, still too crowded.
Me: Well we could take some of the stuff off the bottom of the shelves and move some of the candles down there.
DH: <incredulous look of crazy> Really?
Me: Yes, I can take (Dear Angel Son)’s box and find a new home for it
DH: Are you SURE? <look of sympathy, empathy, shock~ maybe all three>
Me: yes, I am sure <reassuring squeeze of DH’s arm….and said box quietly relocates to my dresser for the moment>
You see the importance of this box, it’s contents and memories that have been displayed in our dining room for 5 long years, is unparalleled. We have held this box in a high place of honor. The way many people hang pictures of their children….you see this box contains pictures and memorabilia from our (Dear Angel Son)’s brief but profoundly powerful life. Cards that people (many strangers to us) sent us, letters I have written to my son every year on his birthday, pictures of us, of his sisters, his brother and two aunts with him as we gathered together in that hospital room 5 long years ago. The significance of moving the box was not lost on my husband or on me.
To tell the story of a boy I must first tell you how he came to be.
DH and I had tried for 7 long years to have a baby. Many tests, surgeries, medications, procedures, thousands of dollars and so, so much heartache later we attempted our “last shot”: invitro fertilization. Now I don’t know how much you know about IVF, but let me just tell you NO woman or couple would subject themselves to this grueling and really ridiculously expensive procedure unless they truly and with all of their being want a child. Our first try was a ROCK STAR success….We had our DS who is now 7 and he absolutely saved our lives and marriage.
On a brutally cold Valentine’s day in February of 2007 (after further tests, procedures, medications money and TIME) we set out, in the middle of a raging blizzard that closed schools and highways alike.
Side note: I have the BEST driver in the world for a husband. I don’t think I could have gotten out of the damn driveway and I white knuckled it all the way to Cleveland even **with** him driving. But he is a solid as granite and with the calm patience only a saint can have: drive us there and home safely he did.
We were off to Cleveland for what in the IVF world is referred to as a “frozen embryo transfer”. You see I mentioned we had a rock star success on our first cycle: not only did it result in a miracle son it also left us with 6 frozen embryos with which we could try again to add to our family at a mere fraction of the cost (and pain) of the initial IVF.
The folks at the Cleveland Clinic (after several crazy jokes about the raging blizzard and the “frozen” state of the tri-state area) showed us on the screen the two embryos that had been frozen at 5 days of fertilization 2 years past and just yesterday had been removed from cryogenic storage and had continued to multiply and grow and were pronounced to look “beautiful”. Modern MIRACLE Medicine here folks. I have a picture of the microscopic embryo~ one of which would grow to be my second son. I laid on the cold table in the sterile OR, watched via sonogram the transfer and I prayed. And I prayed. And I prayed.
A week later well before we were to find out that the transfer had been successful: my Dear Son (almost 2) had a febrile seizure. We found him in his crib, unresponsive, blue, not breathing. We had no idea at the time WHY. Being medically trained I began CPR on him and instructed DH and DD#2 to call an ambulance. By the time paramedics arrived he was breathing again ~ I remember the ride to the ER like it was yesterday…..TALK ABOUT PRAYING. I remember bargaining with God (which I think is pretty common in these situations)…….I remember praying (paramedics probably thought me deranged) I remember praying so hard and being so terrified.
I said to God: I do not care if I ever get pregnant again: just PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t take my son. Several scary hours later it was determined that DS had had a febrile seizure~ his temperature on the way to the hospital was near 103 (he was not at all sick when I had put him to bed the night before). I remember on Monday at the pediatrician’s office for a follow up saying to the doctor “that was the worst weekend of my life”……
.turns out I had spoken too soon.
Coming next: The Story of a Boy Part 2: The Joy