We all know where babies come from. But I like to think that there is a giant field filled with babies who are waiting to know their families. I like to think that Jesus walked down the field and scooped up Hayes and just stared the most loving glance that has ever existed. Jesus held Hayes and said I have the perfect family for you, a Mom and dad, and 2 big sisters. You will be so loved. They will protect you. You will lead them on a journey that only you can do.**
When I was a little girl, I often imagined what my life would look like being a Mommy. I always wanted to be a Mommy and have lots of kids (what was I thinking?) I dreamed of swinging my kids and laughter, lots of laughter. What I didn’t know… was that my Jesus had a different dream for me.
The beginning of the day of our 20 week ultrasound was actually pretty perfect. I just had a job interview and was offered the job on the spot. As soon as I left the job interview I met my husband at the Ultrasound clinic. I was on cloud 9. We went back for the ultrasound and the tech was talkative at first and asked about our other children. I don’t remember at what point but at a distinct point she was quieter and more focused. The tech left to go make sure the Dr didn’t need anything else. We just waited in the room. And waited. And waited. Then the Dr came in with the Tech. I remember hearing the words “Spina Bifida”, “ I am so sorry”, “ We will call your OBGYN”. I felt like I was in a nightmare and I couldn’t wake up. This isn’t my life. I just cried and cried. The nurse showed us to the back door so I didn’t have to walk back through the waiting room in my blubbering mess (or she didn’t want me to scare the other patients 😊). I remember walking to the car and we didn’t say a word. Heartache. This wasn’t our plan. I remember calling my Mom and telling her and we both were not sure exactly what we were dealing with).
The next few months were full of Dr’s appts, ultrasounds, getting the team at AR Children’s and UAMS ready and grief. The next 20 weeks seemed like a thunderstorm. Grey, anger, and so many “why me, why us?” I was scheduled for a fetal MRI to see if my baby’s back was closed or open. The clinic wanted me to know that if I didn’t want this pregnancy then we would need to abort before we would receive the MRI results. Even in the midst of my heart grieving, I knew this baby boy was mine. I knew we would need him as much as he would need us.
And then the day came that our baby bear was taken via C-section to protect his back opening. I wasn’t afforded the luxury to hold him, kiss him, nuzzle his sweet-fresh face. I was able to rub his sweet cheek through an incubator. I couldn’t see him for 2 days and when I was finally released, I was so anxious to get there. Hayes just came off the operating table to close his back. He was fully sedated. I was so scared, mad, tired, and really sad. I remember going back into the family room and just collapsing on my Mom and just sobbing. Oh my heart needed that.
I would like to jump forward 3 ½ years. Hayes is absolutely thriving. There are things Hayes can’t do but let me share what he can do. He can count, he is working on his ABC’s, working on his colors, and eating and drinking like a big boy. The most important thing that Hayes does, is he loves. Hayes loves his Hadlee and Haven, and of course his Mimi and Mawmaw.
I didn’t ask for this journey. It was handed to me and I accepted. It is hard. Just when I think I am past being sad, the sadness comes back. I am working on accepting the loss of a son that I thought I would have. I think this is crucial for me to accept what is. I am working on accepting the loss of having an all-star football player. I am accepting the loss that my son wont run down the to me and scream "mommy". That is ok. Hayes has taken me on a new journey. Hayes happy smile and brave heart have touched so many, including mine. Hayes doesn’t complain. He just takes what may. Hayes is my hero.