Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The Day that Everything Changed
"Experience is the teacher of all things." -Julius Caesar
When people bear their children, the feeling of one's life purpose sinks in. This new creation, is now the reason for one's existence. I felt it when I had my first daughter, Isabella, and as I was being wheeled into the delivery room for the second time on May 20th 2007, a month earlier than my due date, I knew that the next few hours would define who I am and who I would become for the rest of my life.
After 4 pushes, Taylor flew out, her two strong cries bounced off the walls in the delivery room, but then fell silent. I handed her to the doctor and told him she wasn't breathing. This would be the beginning of what would be the most emotionally painful experience of my life.
The fact that she is alive is a miracle. For her to be able to survive for so long with hardly any lungs is something that I give thanks to God every morning. I will not get into the details that followed, because she is here, alive and well. The obsessive play-by-play details that ensued after she was born and the months she spent fighting for her life in the hospital is more of my own issue, since she was the one who did all the work. I could only pray, and touch whatever part of her tiny little body that didn't have any tubes connected to it...her feet.
Anger, despair, frustration, but most of all, the pain and sadness from my soul that only a mother can understand, filled those eternal days in the waiting room, and the unbearable nights back in the hotel room. I wanted to know why. I wanted to blame someone. I wanted to blame myself. I wanted to blame the doctor. I wanted to blame God.
There was just no way for me to claw my way out of this deep hole, and all I could do was wait. I would agonize over the fact that my sadness had no place since Taylor was the one fighting. I could only give her strength, instead of focusing on my weaknesses. But how? I was an empty shell.
Every experience during those months, with my family by my side, with the families of the other babies, with the doctors, was an unexplainable moment in my life, and perhaps was the reason that I would never see life with the same eyes any more. The life that I had taken for granted so many times, would be the one that I now cherished in every moment and in every second.
It was during these moments, that I regained my faith in God and I what it is to pray. I do believe Taylor is a miracle, a direct message from God, and although the lesson has been extreme, I do believe that perhaps I would have never learned so much had this never happened. How could I? It is as if a rite of passage was laid out before me with no other option but to take it.
The raw painful feelings of those months and of the day she was born still surface from time to time, but have formed a special place inside of me that ironically fuels my strength. I know that her road ahead is long, and the mountain of struggles to climb will require a lifetime of dedication, strength and patience. But in the pool of her deep blue eyes, I can see the spirit of God who will help her every step of the way, illuminating the path. And it is the Love of our family surrounding her that will carry us up to the top.