So the Mighty has asked their readers what their greatest gift has been. I could say the laptop from my parents that I am typing this on. I could say my awesome phone generously provided by my inlaws. I could say a roof over my head and my family and friends.
While they are all AMAZING gifts, I have to say the best is my son. Yeah yeah, I know. You've probably all heard that before, but wait. My story is different.
I have been through 7 miscarriages. Yes, you read that right. SEVEN. The first one was about 16 weeks along. The other 6 were before 11 weeks. Spontaneous Abortions is how Doctors refer to them. I hate that term. I didn't CHOOSE to lose those babies. My body did, and it ripped my heart out every.single.time.
It got to the point where my doctor told me, I may never be able to carry a child to term. I was diagnosed with ovarian cysts at the age of 13 and struggled with them, but other than that, they couldn't find anything medically wrong with me.
Until Liam. Liam was conceived during Hurricane Katrina. Yep, you read that right too. No power for days, equals bored people! I found out on my brother's birthday that I was pregnant. I was scared to death.
I made an appointment to see an OB/Gyn. As soon as I told them of my previous miscarriages, I was scheduled to see a high risk OB/Gyn. I had every test under the sun. While we waited on results, I was told to take it easy. At 9 weeks I started to bleed and was rushed to the ER.
My husband and my best friend in tow, we waited for what seemed like hours, when it was merely one. They brought in an ultrasound machine. Here I am, feet in stirrups, a Doctor, a nurse, the US tech, my hubby and best friend at my feet. The Dr. is talking all hush hush. I can feel panic start to course through my body. My hubby and my best friend are standing there with their mouths agape. NO ONE IS TELLING ME WHAT'S GOING ON.....
Then I hear one of the most beautiful sounds in the world. I hear his heart beat. It sounds like a train roaring down the tracks. I am sent home on bed rest, and after going over all my testing, they tell me I have a clotting disorder. They send hubby to the pharmacy for aspirin and tell me to take it every morning until 32 weeks.
Aspirin! Aspirin saved my pregnancy! I went to a high risk OB/GYN weekly through my pregnancy. Hubby rented me a hospital grade dopplar, so I could check the baby's heart beat every day. I was on bed rest, and if I wasn't throwing up, I was chilling out.
When we moved from Alabama back to Pa, I had to find a new Dr. By this time I was 20 weeks in. The new high risk was quite a drive, as we live in a very rural area. So I only saw him every other week. Long story short, I delivered around 36 weeks. I became pre eclamptic and had to be induced. But other than that, it was a normal delivery and I had a beautiful baby boy to be thankful for.
He wasn't a Christmas gift though, he was actually my mother's day gift that year, as I had him just 2 days before. (Though we moved home in December and we drew a bow on my tummy and presented it as our gift to our parents.) I bawled like a baby when they laid his little body on my chest. I silently thanked God for this miracle.
So now you know my story, or at least part of it. If you follow us on facebook, you know my boy is autistic, struggles with biploar disorder, SPD, ADHD, OCD, ODD, and anxiety. You also know I embrace him and all his quirkiness. This is why!
I don't care if he's autistic. I don't care that he struggles with all these labels. (I mean, I do, but I don't love him any less.) I care that he is mine.
So when I hear people say they hate that their child is autistic, I get angry. Not because I don't think you have valid feelings. Let's face it, your journey is different than mine. I hate it, because I know there are other women and men out there who want nothing more than a child to love. We have that. We were given that blessing. Even though our journeys are hard, we still have them. We have something they long to have. We have something to be thankful for.
You see, my greatest gift didn't come from a store. It isn't a thing. My greatest gift is my son, and I will always treasure him. Through the good, the bad and the ugly days of autism and bipolar. He is my "Miracle Man!"