Wednesday, September 23, 2009
One year ago today...
Leigh and I started a blog. Here's how it all started.
I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately... It's been exactly one year. One year ago today my life was flipped completely upside down. Seriously, I can recall the day's event as if I were watching it on a 52" HD TV. It's still that vivid in my head and will be one of those events that stays with me forever.
I remember the hours before the ultrasound feeling so excited!! To the point I couldn't concentrate on anything, I couldn't sit still, I was just soooo anxious to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. Admittedly, my fingers were crossed for a boy :) Finally it was time and Leigh and I made our way to the doctor's office both very anxious yet giddy. This was going to be great...and it turned out it was, the ultra sound nurse confirmed what I had been hoping...A BOY!!!! At this point the smile on my face extended passed my ears, and Leigh was the the same, tears of happiness from us both.
We left the office practically walking on air, we were SOOO HAPPY. In fact, at the time, it was one of the most emotional highs I ever felt. Throughout all the excitement we found that we were pretty hungry, and what better place to celebrate than a local Wendy's!! haha. There I was paying for our Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers when Leigh's cellphone rang and she said "Huh, it's Dr Lagrands office...I hope nothings wrong" After the conversation on the phone the only thing we knew was that they wanted to go over the ultrasound images with us. That's all they would say. At that moment my heart fell onto the floor of that Wendy's. (I still can't and might not ever return to that Wendy's, even driving by it, I get a weird feeling).
I remember returning to the doctor's office and having to wait in a room, the very room that 20 minutes earlier I had feelings of complete blissfull happiness. That feeling was gone, and wouldn't return for a long, long time. I was praying so hard that it was a technical error, like something went haywire with the ultrasound machine and they lost the results and we'd have to do it again or something. I was praying for a "Hey guys, sorry to have you come back, but these stupid PC's crashed again and we lost some of your ultrasound images...we gotta get a MAC." type response from the Doctor.
He opened the door and with the ultrasound in hand, he almost immediately spoke the words no parent wants to hear,
"This is not what we want to see." That's what he said, those exact words, I'll never forget them... ever. He then started showing us the ultrasound and talking about how my sons head was shaped like a lemon and that this was a sign that he may have spina bif-a-something. I didn't know what he was talking about and felt the inside of my body and head erupting into the most horrible fear/panic/hurt/anger I have ever felt. I remember the print off he handed me explaining what spina bifida was, and on it was every possible horrible/awful thing you could imagine. I still couldn't make sense of it. He explained that he didn't see a hole in the spine, and therefore we'd have to go to another specialist to look closer in the morning. He assured us that whatever it might be, this would not be a "normal" baby. I remember holding Leigh tightly trying to comfort her, trying to be strong, wondering how we were gonna care for a baby like this.
Devasted. Afraid. Scared. Angry. Pretty much every emotion that didn't involve joy or happiness we felt that afternoon. My darkest day.
The next morning we went to the specialist where she gave it to us straight.
"Your son has spina bifida." It was confirmed. It was our new reality.
A year ago today we were told our baby may never walk.
A year ago today we were told our baby may have brain damage.
A year ago today we were told our baby would have bladder and bowel issues.
A year ago today...we were given the option to terminate the pregnancy.
I cant even begin to describe the emotions I feel when I start to wrap my head around the possibility of living my life without my son, and the fact that the option to give up on him came up so "casually" from the doctor. Ughhh, it gives me a stomach ache just thinking about it. Speaking of stomach aches, I had one continuously for months after finding out about Grey's spina bifida. It just lingered with me everywhere. I wanted to feel normal again. But as with most things, time heals. And this was no different. The feeling of despair and anger slowly turned to hope. Hope is a powerful force, more powerful than I realized.
If I were to measure the amount of growth I made in this past year as a person I'd say it crushed the Richter scale. I was knocked down to my lowest low and had to rebuild. I kept some of things in me, but dropped a lot of things that were getting in the way of making me a better version of myself.
And so I sit here today watching my son (a son whose head isn't shaped like a lemon, and a son who doesn't have brain damage) crawling, laughing at his winnie the pooh piano, playing with his mom, and it makes my heart burst with love!!! I thank God every single day for my family, and for His perfectly crafted gift to us, Greyson Neal Gibbs.
thank you all for your love,
Andy, Leigh, Grey