Saturday, October 29, 2016

Before You

Before you, I didn’t know.
I didn’t know that this world of little broken hearts existed.
I didn’t know that some babies must fight for each breath and every heartbeat. I guess, I thought I knew pain. I thought I knew desperation, but who am I really kidding? I didn’t have a clue. How can you know until you’ve lived upon the precipice of loss and prayed that today’s crisis wouldn’t bring your whole world crashing down? 
Until you’ve lived it, you can’t know what it’s like for all of your hopes, dreams, worries and cares to be wrapped in such a tiny package that you have no control of. 
In the early days, when it became clear that we were not guaranteed tomorrow, I made the conscious decision to know every little detail of you. I’ve spent countless hours studying you with an intensity that can only be found in a desperate mother’s soul. Every aspect of your precious face is etched into my heart too deeply to ever fade. But past your sweet facial features, curls, and those precious little fingers and toes (that look so very much like your father’s) I know you like no mother should.
I know the harsh murmur of your tiny surgically altered heart and the pale sheen of your scars. I know if you’re cyanotic or acidotic with just a glance. I know your baseline capillary refill and what colors your skin should be but often aren’t. I can tell your fluid status by looking into your eyes and a gentle squeeze of your tootsies. I know your sweet little eyes focused and glazed. I know you in the pits of delirium and withdrawal. I know your medications, their side effects, and your new found allergies. I know the difference between contented punches and kicks, and those of delirium or pain. I know how much of a given narcotic you can handle weaned and at what frequency. I know your cries—because of frustration, withdrawals, anger, pain, or that which you save for times of crisis. 
Before you, I thought I knew strength and resiliency. But, once again, I didn’t have a clue. I associated sickness with weakness and frailty. How could I have ever been so wrong? Seeing you, and other little loves like you fight for survival, has taught me so much in life. You are stronger than I could ever imagine being and more brave than any legends of old. Though your odysseys are wrought with uncertainty, pain, and fear—you fight on via sheer force of will. You have endured more in your infancy than I shall ever, and yet you’re capable of love and sharing sweet smiles (especially when your daddy gives you Eskimo kisses).
Precious baby, because of you I have delved into depths of pain and desperation. I have felt true and utter helplessness and vulnerability.
But, I have also soared with hope and swelled with pride. I have learned to love wholly and completely, without regard to tomorrow's unknowns. 
Before you, I never wished to know of this world of broken hearts but here we are. 
And you know what baby? 

There’s nowhere else I’d rather be. 

**I'll update on Avelyn's status and the last couple weeks soon. A lot has happened since the last update! Between blog posts if you would like to check in on Avelyn's journey please follow my Instagram

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