Wil's Big Day

Three years ago today I went in to see my perinatologist for a weekly peek at Wil - it was more than a peek actually, he was monitoring blood flow in his brain for signs of severe anemia and checking on his activity level. This intense monitoring began when my ob/gyn discovered that Wil and I had a blood incompatibility issue going on. Or to put it more bluntly antibodies in my blood were attacking Wil and therefore making him sick. My visit on March 31, 2005 revealed that Wil was no longer safe inside my womb, the place where he was supposed to be most protected and nurtured until he was big enough and strong enough to face the world. He still has eight weeks left, this can't be good, I thought as the doctor was talking to me about his findings. My mind was swimming with questions and concerns but there was no time for any of that. He sent me, in my dazed state, to the main part of the hospital to be prepped for the OR. Oh, you mean, right now? Wil is coming out right now. I have to call James. And I don't want a c-section, I want to deliver naturally - okay, that isn't important. But surgery, now? What is the hurry? Can't I go home and pack a bag? See Luke and make arrangements for him? I don't have everything ready. And is Wil going to be ready? Will his lungs be mature enough to do their job? What is all this going to mean for him? All these things were swimming around in my head as I rode the shuttle to the building where I would be drugged up for surgery and meet Wil for the first time.
There were so many people in that delivery room. It was very surreal. My birth experience with Luke was quite different - me, James and the doctor. This time there was the surgical team, including the two anesthesia guys at my head trying to keep me from getting sick, and there was a large team just for Wil. Waiting and ready to pounce. And pounce they did. It was all eerily still. With all those people in the room it was oddly quiet, just murmurings and then. . . a little cat like cry from Wil. What a great sound that was! After allowing me a quick peek they wheeled him off to NICU where he would spend the next month. And then I puked. Awww, the sweetness of it all.
You know the rest of the story. If you are new here then this or maybe this will fill you in a little more. That day, 3.31.05, seems like yesterday and at the same time like a lifetime ago. We had a lot to take in the days and weeks following Wil's birth. We still do at times but the diet has changed and the ability to absorb it has improved.
On paper Wil is not too impressive. He is not yet walking, or talking, or doing the myriad of things that typical three year olds do. He has a hard time following simple instructions which landed him in the "extremely low" category of his recent psych evaluation for school. (Have I mentioned my irritation with these tests?) But, and this is a big BUT, in person, Wil is quite impressive in all the ways that count. He is funny, warm, loving, social, and works so so hard.
Three years ago I was pouring over books about Down syndrome, none of which were terribly encouraging or helpful, and wondering what my boy would be like. I confess that at times I even imagined him defying the odds, as if somehow the extra chromosome on every cell in his body would be overwhelmed by the amazing genes from James and me. Today those books are collecting dust on our bookshelf. I don't need them, Wil is teaching me all I need to know on the subject.
Wil has taught us countless lessons since he joined our family. The area where Wil is constantly challenging me is living in the moment. This is how he lives. He is in the 'here and now' like no one else I know. When he is angry he is angry and when that moment has passed he moves on with a hug or a silly dance or playing with his brothers or whatever. If something upsets him he expresses it, we work through it and then he moves on. With Wil there is no pouting, punishing, or lingering sour looks. I'm so grateful that the Lord is teaching me this big lesson through my little boy. It is one I will continue to be challenged with.
Wil is our "unanswered prayer," as the song says. Like most parents-to-be we prayed for a "healthy" baby and though not expressed specifically in our prayers what we meant was a typical child. I am so thankful that our prayer was answered differently than we ever imagined.
What he adds to our lives is not measureable or quantifiable. It can't be categorized or graded. It can only be celebrated. And that is what we did today. We celebrated our miracle baby!

For me?

I want cake. I want cake.

Mmmmm, more please.

Happy Birthday Wil, We love you!

Check back tomorrow for part II of Wil's big day - his first day of school!


Spitmonkey said...

Happy Birthday, Wil! I remember that day, too, Stacy - though probably a little less surgically. ;-) What a surprise it was for you to come and tell us that Wil was already here! And isn't it amazing what the kids teach us? Sydney teaches me new things every day - and you are absolutely right... the books, whatever subject, are pretty useless. But when we encounter a new experience it's our natural reaction to read read read. :) Love the "donut mouth" picture on the right column! Happy Birthday, Wil!!

toddandholli said...

Happy Birthday Will. I still remember the day you came out to join us. Todd and I had a fun time taking care of Luke while you were being born. We are so glad you are here and part of our lives. Kisses
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