My Christmas Miracle

Today is my youngest son’s ninth birthday. He’s still at that wonderful age where they still think “you rock”, but are old enough to clean up after themselves and get themselves dressed (though boys don’t like to change their clothes – they’d wear the same thing for a month, I’m sure!!)

He is my Christmas Miracle. He is quiet and solitary. He is my “detail” man and my “safety bear”. He doesn’t like me to hug him in public, but will still give me the biggest hugs when I get home from work! When I get home, I always say, “Hello, my angels” and they both come running in for a hug!

When I found out that I was pregnant with him, I was, once again, shocked! (NOTE for all you parents out there: When your doctor tells you that breast feeding is NOT a good form of birth control, BELIEVE him/her!!) His sister was only a baby herself and I wasn’t sure I was ready for another one! Needless to say, they are 13 months apart!

We were at a point in our lives when money was tight, I was trying to work from home with the baby and the 9 year old, I was trying to keep a house in order (I’m not good at that!). I was exhausted to say the least when he was born.

Even while I was pregnant with him, he’d just quietly hang out! If it wasn’t for my huge belly, I would have forgotten he was there! I went in a couple times to verify that he was Ok.

We weren’t sure of dates (obviously) so we were going by the size of my belly. Regardless, that lad did NOT want to venture out into the world. I am quite sure that he was at least 3 weeks late! He was “fully cooked” when he arrived! I gave birth to a 2 month old baby!

The labor was hard and very fast. As such, the poor guy was in a bit of a state of shock – so much so that they whisked him away to the special care nursery for monitoring.

Here, he was very content. It was quiet and warm! So much so, that he didn’t want to leave!

What happened was that this child is soooo relaxed, that when he went into a deep sleep (often!) his breathing and his heart rate would slow down so much that all the monitors attached to him would ding and clang and bang and scare the crap out of everyone except him!

He didn’t even want to wake up to eat! He didn’t have to! He weighed 9 lbs 12 oz – he had plenty of fat to sustain him! The nurses tried to show me every trick in the book to get the lad to eat. He’d barely eat enough to get by! He just wanted to sleep!

Every day for 6 weeks, I would sit there in that special care nursery with this perfectly healthy, big baby boy and try to get him to come home! He wasn’t allowed to come home until he stopped that breathing/heart rate nonsense!

Of course, being so big and so funny, he got lots of attention in that nursery. They decided, oh he’s so large and he has these cute wrinkles in his earlobes, maybe he has this  or that syndrome? So, geneticists looked at him and asked us a million questions. He has undescended testes – let’s take care of that! He is so quiet and sleepy – is his brain functioning normally? Off to tests. Is he hearing us/loud noises? More tests. He’s not feeding much – more talks with special nurses. Etc. Etc.

I think they just all wanted to see him & hold him because he was such a quiet, cute baby!

Christmas that year, was a blur for me. I wasn’t thinking of anyone except him. Friends and family looked after the other two kids while my husband went to work. Our families came to our house and made Christmas dinner for everyone there so that I wouldn’t miss it. My baby had his 1st Christmas in the hospital with monitors attached to him. I was kinda emotional and exhausted at the time.

Finally, after much testing and discussion, it was determined that he was a perfectly healthy baby. He responded to caffeine treatment that, strangely enough, regulated his breathing and heart rate enough that he finally got to come home in January.

I, of course, worried constantly and kept him close beside me so that I could verify that he was still breathing! His first few months were like that!

Just before his first birthday, I plunked him and his sister down at the foot of the stairs after getting home from work one night. I was in a hurry, because the stupid phone was ringing. I ran down the basement stairs (that were right there) to answer. His sister toddled up the other stairs and just as I answered the phone, I turned to see him tumbling down the basement stairs!

It was horrifying when there was the sound of a something solid hitting those stairs when he reached the bottom! I rushed over to this hardly crying child as watched a huge lump form on his forehead! I was terrified!

I checked him over, he immediately stopped crying, so I figured, THANK GOD! He’s OK! We went up to put him in his high chair while I made dinner. He was a little fussy, but that was normal. After dinner, I went to change his diaper.

You know how you grab a kid’s ankles to pull him up to pull out the diaper? Well, as soon as I did that, he screamed! I thought, “Oh GOD! Something’s wrong with his leg!”

Off to Emergency we went! Sure enough, he had a hairline fracture in his shin bone! The world’s worst mother! So, he got a full leg little cast! The poor kid was just learning to walk! He would creep around the furniture or crawl across the floor dragging this heavy thing behind him!

Luckily, kids bounce back fast! He had that cast off in 5 weeks! He walked a little funny for awhile, but his body was young enough that it figured out how to fix that on its own!

If anyone gets sick in my house, it’s that kid first! But…he never complains, and it doesn’t really slow him down any. He is quiet and content to be on his own or with his friends. It doesn’t matter to him.

He’s the most easy-going child I have ever seen. The number of hours that boy has been dragged around and forced to sit at the various dance things his sister is in or cadet things his brother does. I am just amazed!

He was so quiet at one competition while the frantic costuming and makeup was going on, that I basically ran back stage with his sister and completely forgot about him. I left him where we were! Thank GOD again, that some of the dads were left behind as well, and they said to him, “Well, I  guess you’re with us buddy!”. Another worst mom ever award for me! He was plenty ticked at me though! He doesn’t let me out of his site now. He keeps a close eye out to make sure that I don’t ditch him by accident! Shame on me!

That is the rather long story of my little Christmas Miracle!

2 thoughts on “My Christmas Miracle

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