Was it Scary When I Was Born?

I don't think about it often.  I actually can't even recall the last time my mind drifted back to the Cardiac ICU.  But there are times.  Times when I am not thinking about hearts, surgery or even Kalvin for that matter.  A coworker may apply sanitizer to his hands, as he has done a thousand times before, but this time the smell hits me just right and instantly I am transported to my baby’s bedside in the Cardiac ICU. 

 
I haven’t thought about it,  the room.  The sounds.  The smells.  In a long long time.  But in an instant,  I am standing there and I can see it all so vividly.  I can feel it all.  It all wraps around my entire being like a warm cozy blanket.  This is the room where I first became a mother.  This is the room where I first held my baby.  This room provides me comfort and peace.


The walls were a warm golden color.  The monitors beep as the pumps move up and down.  The smell of sanitizer and antiseptic linger in the air.  And He is there.  In a diaper.  A diaper that only serves to provide him with some dignity, but also reminds us all that He is just a baby.  Just six or seven days old.  The memories are not sad ones.  They are not scary ones.  Yes, there are some of those memories scattered in. But what I remember are the incredibly beautiful moments that stole my breath away. They are the moments that make up my baby's first weeks of life.


Kalvin's sitter is expecting a baby.  It is a very exciting time around our house, but it has also inspired lots of questions about babies.  Easy ones and hard ones.  And on this particular morning, I can see Kalvin has something on his mind.  Something seems to have him quite concerned.  He works up the courage to ask me, but I am so not prepared for what he asks:

"Was it scary when I was born?"

I pause.

Come on girl,  think.  Think.  How do I answer him so he knows how magnificent and wonderful his birth was.  How his birth brought us on a journey that would change our lives forever, for the better. I took a deep deep breath and... 

Oh Kalvin, when you were born it was a little scary.  But it was also a very happy time.  Daddy and I had waited such a long time to have a baby and we were so excited for your arrival.  We also knew that Children's Hospital was going to help us bring you safely into this world.  We were very very excited to finally meet you.

Kalvin's first breaths of life.  Weighing in at Ten Pounds even! You can notice he has a bluish tint to him.

He wasn't convinced. I could tell this was really upsetting to him. "But it must have been so scary. Not a happy time", he states.

He is clearly looking for reassurance that his life brought happiness with it.

It was scary.  It was.  But you know, Kalvin, some of the best things in life are the things that scare you at first.  Like going to school.  Getting married.  A new job.  Or having a baby.   All of these things make you a little scared when you first think of doing them, but it can also be even scarier to think of not doing them.

If you never braved going to school on that first day, you would not know how much fun school really is.  If you never took that first scary step onto the soccer field,  think of all the fun you would be missing.  Life is like this all the time.  You have to stretch yourself.  Step out of your comfort zone a little each day.  This is part of what makes life so rewarding.

When you were fist born, daddy and I both cried tears of joy.  Pure joy.  For you were our first baby. Our little love. Our very own beautiful baby boy.  That is all we cared about in those first moments.  You were so beautiful and you made us so happy just the way you were.  

We knew what had to happen next. We knew we had to hand you over to the talented doctors right away so that they could keep you safe.  And that was a little scary.  As they wheeled you over to Children's Hospital, Daddy was right there with you the whole time.  And we were happy.  We knew exactly what was going to happen each step of the way and we knew Children's was the best hospital in the whole world to take care of you.  We knew your were an incredibly strong little boy. 


There were moments during your surgery and after your surgery when we were very scared.  You were our baby boy.  But for every moment of scariness, there were more moments of pure joy.  Pure happiness.  Because you were our baby boy.  And we loved you so very much. 

"There is a great deal of pain in life, and perhaps the only pain that can be avoided is the pain that comes from trying to avoid pain.” (R. D. Laing)

Sometimes you come out of those scary painful moments a different person.  A better person.  A happier person.  Those scary moments can make the happy moments that much happier.  Does that make sense?


As we celebrated Kalvin's ninth birthday, we celebrated how much happiness he has brought to our family.  The light he adds to everyone he meets.  How excited and eager we were to meet him.  How blessed we felt nine years ago and how much more blessed we feel today.

Happy Birthday my sweet sweet Kalvin!

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