This post could easily be called “a look at our nearly three years of parenthood.” I know some moms who would not share this day with their husbands for their life, but thankfully Jessica is not like that. We both feel that we would not be as good separate. We would not be complete.
Our parenthood has been crazier than anyone can imagine, unless you’ve been through it. We’ve seen more ups and downs than a roller coaster ride, and we’ve been through more stress than most married couples, not to mention parents, will see in their entire lives. If they’re lucky, it will stay that way.
Namine was born with (primarily) three problems: double-inlet left ventricle heart defect, Pierre Robin sequence, and caudal regression syndrome. These, of course, left other problems in their wake, such as a cleft palate, a smaller airway, scoliosis, hernias, and club feet. Doctors assured as that Namine would almost definitely not survive birth. Even if she did, we were warned, she would likely not survive the first month of life. She did both those things, and much more, but not without help.
Namine had to be intubated immediately after birth in order to be able to breathe; it was later decided to give her a tracheostomy, a breathing tube, which she would keep until September 2010. She is still catching up to her peers in talking, but she learns fast, and loves to talk. She will ultimately need three heart surgeries in order to sustain a normal lifespan, of which she’s had two. She has an echocardiogram scheduled in August, and they’ll determine a rough timeline of when the third will be needed. She’s had club foot repair surgery, and has therapy several times a week to build up the strength and endurance to walk. She needed a stomach feeding tube because she could not eat or drink on her own. She’s had two craniofacial surgeries – jaw distraction and palate closure – so that she can eat and drink on her own, and she no longer uses the g-tube. And Jessica herself has not been without, um, excitement, either. Her c-section was botched, which led to multiple infections, ultimately a reopening of the wound, and a wound vac. Trust us. Not fun.
All of that sounds so nice and neat when I put it in a paragraph like that. But nothing can convey the time, the stress, the worry. The time in the waiting room alone, not to mention ER visits, clinic appointments, dumbass nurses (no offense to present nurses reading this, hopefully you know what I mean). It has been one heck of a ride, and we are thankful that God has brought us so far, and enabled His child Namine to become so healthy. And not just in being able to get rid of the trach – in just a week and a half (or so), she will be getting a hernia repaired and her g-tube removed. And Jessica, thanks to good doctors and therapists, is getting better and stronger as well.
So yes, I am just a husband and a dad. But I am the luckiest man in the world to have two incredible, strong girls. Luckiest of all, because I am loved by the two most amazing girls ever.
Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours, too.