When I started to write this essay, my first instinct was to write, “I believe all things happen for a reason.” Once I started writing about my son I realized my belief is in the power of love. The love I have for my son and for the love God has for all of us.
My son was born premature. He weighed only 1 pound and 11 ounces. For so much longer, he should have been warm and safe inside my body. I suffered a placenta abruption, which means his placenta started separating from me and I hemorrhaged. He was so tiny and frail when delivered by emergency cesarean section. The hospital didn’t have the resources to care for a critical infant, so within two hours of the delivery he was transported to one of the largest Neonatal Intensive Care Units in California. He stayed there for 143 days. During that time my faith was tested to say the least. At the time I couldn’t understand how God could allow this child to suffer. His heart and lungs failed him three times in his first two days of life. He kept fighting, and God spared him. That is when I knew, he would do something great in this world. Each time the doctors and nurses brought him back to life. I remember asking my husband, “What are we going to do?” He said, “If he wants to fight, we fight.” Ever since that day, we live by that mantra.
Before him, I was a type “A” personality. I could be impatient and intolerant. Now my life is made up of “wait and see.” With every milestone he achieves, great or small, I couldn’t be prouder if he won an Olympic medal. I took things for granted, not anymore. These are the lessons I have learned from my son. God blessed me with this child to teach me these lessons. This month marks his 5th birthday. He has been through 14 surgeries and lives with a list of diagnoses too long to share. But overall, I can say my child is happy. When he looks at me, I know he is saying, “I will be OK.” He can not tell me in words, because he does not speak. He can not run to me and hug me, because he can not walk, but when he leans towards me, I know he is saying, “I love you too.” In my heart, I know that my son will continue to develop even though his therapists are satisfied if he just “maintains.” If I love him enough he will do it. I believe in the power of love.
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