Happy birthday, sweet child

Happy birthday, sweet child

Tomorrow (specifically evening), Speedy turns 8 years old.  It’s hard to believe from his rocky beginnings how far he has come.

This was a child who nearly didn’t make it- when I was 25 weeks pregnant, my husband and I were in a car accident.  The van slid on black ice across a T-intersection and went off the other side, over a 12 foot drop.  First our van went, and then we watched in shock as three more vehicles slid through the same intersection and were airborne overhead (and luckily off to one side of us).

I spent four days in the hospital with internal bleeding, and there was great concern over whether we’d need to leave our hospital to be transported to a facility with a neonatal intensive care unit.

Speedy had other plans, and decided to stay put until he was full term.  Whew.  Unfortunately, the damage caused by the accident also caused him to be under great stress during labor, and I found myself watching a nurse who was watching the monitors.  “Come on”, I implored her to just tell us what was wrong.  The doctor arrived, and went pale when she saw how low his heart rate was. My husband and I all but begged her to just tell us straight what was going on, and she breathed a great sigh of relief when we said that of course we would agree to the cesarean section.

Some amount of time later (I really haven’t the foggiest- those medications they give you are spectacular), my husband was telling me that his first child was here and oh he’s so amazing and beautiful.  What I didn’t know at the time was that he was grey and not breathing and definitely not responding.  My poor amazing stoic husband, after so many years working in emergency medicine, knew exactly what was happening and wouldn’t tell me. Not then.

It wasn’t until many hours later that I would be told the tale of my not really alive baby who they revived.  And even now today I recall the shock and the pain of being so close to losing him.  Twice.

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I have to think that with everything he’s been facing for the past few years that there must be some connection between in utero trauma and his trouble with emotions, attention, and many other things.  And we’re starting to explore ways to support him best, keeping in mind that we may never know if this impacted him at all.

At the end of the day, I see this amazing child, this champion of friendship who loves with his whole being, who smiles with his whole face, who throws himself body and soul into everything he does.  He wants everyone in the world to be his friend, and he wants everyone in the world to be happy.  And what an incredible gift he is to us, to the universe.

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Photo credit: Rachel Philipson

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