Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How It Should Have Been

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Most times I'm able to live in the present - meaning I get up and see Noah and our lives with him for what it is, and how it is.  I breathe in the beauty of it, and exhale the pain all at the same time.  Nearly seven years later after Noah's catastrophic birth injury, I cope and manage in all the same ways that most parents do when they have been dealt this type of life altering hand.  But occasionally, there is that moment when you see something that triggers a that glimpse into how your live would have been... how it could have been, how it should have been with better labor and delivery care.   That's the hard part, because Noah's life had the chance to be very different.  This didn't have to happen to him.  And like thousands of other babies who suffer the same outcome, it didn't have to happen to them either.  

I was in a store parking lot, on the phone but put on hold dealing with the bank because they reported my card as stolen by mistake which left me with no form of payment for my purchase until they reversed and corrected their error.  While on hold, clearly annoyed that the bank left me in a pickle when by reporting my card stolen when I was holding it my hands I seen a family walking across the parking lot.  Hand in hand, and two boys that resembled the ages of Noah and Luke.  I think it was the walking holding hands part that got me the most - no, I know it was that part.  Sure I can hold Noah's hand in his wheelchair, but not side by side walking, I'm pushing from behind.   It isn't how this was supposed to go, we should be just like that family holding hands walking side by side into a store - together.   Noah should be talking and running, playing and learning to ride a bike without training wheels.  All these things.  All these precious things that were stolen from him. 

Suddenly the bank reporting my card stolen didn't matter so much - although someone did come back on the on the line and did indeed fix it.  Perhaps maybe it was God's way of putting things in perspective so I shifted my focus from being so annoyed.  In recent times I've been going back to that place in time a lot - Noah's birth and the events that proceeded afterwards in relation to assisting with future news and video publications surrounding the issues of what families face when it comes to pursuing the causation and root of an underlying medical injury.  I always go back to it on my own anyway periodically even when I'm not openly discussing everything with others -  it's just been necessary to do it a bit more frequently than usual I suppose. 

And I recognize to a large degree I will never in my lifetime possess the truth about Noah's birth.  Haunting still that I have no memory of the moment he was born.  And I do try.  I try often, to fight remembrance despite anesthesia.  And I have no one to tell me even, since Noah's daddy was barred by the hospital from being with me during delivery.  All I have is this dream of those two children in Eskimo hooded snowsuits making snow angels side by side.  Just a dream.  The only thing I can remember about being asleep. My soul feels like I'm missing time.  I don't know if that's how everyone feels or not that has undergone surgery, or if it's just me because I associate a traumatic experience along with it.  But, it's is a sad thing not to have a memory of the moment your first child was born, you can't help but want to remember.   I wish that something could recover that lost time, I'd likely even try hypnotism if I thought it could work.  I want to know so badly.

A journalist recently asked me the question "where do you go from here."  I don't know that I even gave the best answer to that.  In some ways you're a bit stuck in this place of not knowing.  I'd like to believe that there will always be a greater purpose for my pain, and that the only thing left now is to help others so they don't have to follow in my footsteps.  To make things better for those who inevitably will come after me, new babies, new moms and dads, new tragedies unfolding.  Some of the best advocates I've ever known have risen from a place of great despair and crushing heartache and grief, and I really should be no exception to that.   Strong mentors and spiritual guides have also learned lessons to pass onto others by the roads and paths life has given them.  Exposure of the truth has the potential to open doors to change with this discussion and exposing how families are treated when there is an adverse medical outcome.  Noah's story deserves to be told.  And I'm so grateful that someone wants to acknowledge and shed light on what happened to us and what we underwent was real. 

Will it all ever stop me from every now and again seeing a picture of how it should have been?  Probably not.  But, maybe my voice will someday help another mom from ever having to sit in a parking lot staring at a picture of what she believed her family's life would be like.


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.