I was in a hospital bed, hooked to a million machines. I can still hear the soft whirring interrupted by loud beeps.
My son was born into this world at 4 pounds 4 ounces 30 weeks gestation. My little boy who was supposed to be Avery Marie, but surprised me and came as Rhodry Aidyn. Born with red hair and big blue eyes, he was perfect.
Every year on this day I'm reminded of how far I've come, how amazing it is that I survived today. I was 18 when I went into labor early due to a grand mal seizure. I was eclamptic but had not been diagnosed. The ambulance took almost 20 minutes to get to my location and then it was another 30 to the hospital. I remember being sick on the way there and crying realizing I may not get to say goodbye.
I was given Pitocin and told I needed to deliver immediately (this was 2 pm on March 11). I slipped in and out of consciousness as I was given an epidural and taken to the delivery wing. Mostly, I slept, a wonderful side effect of the seizure preventing drugs.
And then, at 6:15 Rhodry Aidyn was here. Safe, crying, perfect.
Both of us struggled. I was released 5 days later only to be rushed back to the ER when I passed out at a feeding in the NICU. About 2 weeks later I was re-released and a week and a half later Rhodry (also called Rady affectionately) was able to come home.
We had frequent visits to the hospital though. He struggled with eating, then caught a cold, and around 4 months developed Impetigo (a nasty skin infection, if you've never had it I pray you never do). After being released from the PICU from the Impetigo, there was progress. He was eating well, sitting up, beginning to thrive. But two months later he would pass away in his sleep.
I don't want to focus on his being gone today though, I was to talk about what he did while he was here.
He repaired the relationship I have with my mother
He brought my dad and I closer
He laughed (a huge feat for him after being on oxygen for so long)
He sat up
He held a bottle himself
He wore the right size (he was smaller than the preemie size when born, so when he made it to the 3-6 month size I was overjoyed)
He slept through the night
but most importantly,
He made me a mother.
I'm an Angel mother. Even though he's not here, I will always be a mother. Because of him I now know not only how to type one handed while bottle feeding with the other, but also what I truly value. Like how I'd rather treat the problem holistically if possible first (I still can't get over just how many antibiotics Rhodry was given in his short life time) and that spending time with those you care about is far more important than a TV show or concert. Rhodry taught me to celebrate life, each moment, every feat--no matter how small. He taught me to love unconditionally, and to have no judgement. He showed me just how lucky I am. I hope that if you knew him, you look back on today not with sadness, but with joy in the things he showed you and try to make tomorrow even better than today.
This year I have decided to do something different in honor of little Rady. In August I will be sponsoring a rising pre-k child, supporting him or her throughout the year. Please, if you get the opportunity to make a difference, take the opportunity. I may not be able to change the world, but I can change one child's life, just like my child changed mine.
This is the last photo I have of Rady, two days before he passed away.
Look at him go!
And his memorial picture taken by his lovely Aunt Leah
And a smile to go out on :)
In love and light,
PS Some of the dates on the photos are wrong, I know. I'm one of those technologically challenged people and could never figure out how to reset the date or time haha