Two years ago today, we walked out of Kluge Children's Rehab Center at UVA, a family of three. As much as I remember about the day Brenden entered the world, it is perhaps this day that brought the situation into reality. For weeks, Jonathan and I just wanted to go home. I walked out our front door when my water broke, and hadn't been home since. I was sick of the constant fury of doctors, nurses, students, social workers, PT's, OT's, and seemingly a thousand other people who just had to see my son. Brenden made it through surgery, a five day stay in the NICU, and of all things, he just wouldn't eat. He was scheduled for surgery the following Thursday to have surgery for a G-tube.
I will never forget the Saturday night of that Easter weekend. Jonathan had taken the night shift, I went to our room to make an attempt at a good night's sleep. At 11:27 pm my phone rang. I saw it was Jonathan and immediately panicked...something was wrong. Without so much as hello, he said "Brenden just finished his whole bottle." Confused, I asked what exactly he meant by 'his whole bottle.' 85 ml's, no way! He had never taken more than 20 or 25. Jonathan assured me that yes, Brenden had just taken his whole bottle. I hung up the phone and cried. My grandmother told me that morning that they were praying for an Easter miracle, and we had just experienced that very thing.
5 days later, we were sent home. And I was suddenly terrified. What if something went wrong? For twenty five days we had doctors and nurses two steps from our door. Whatever we needed, whatever questions we had, any fears that we felt, there were 'experts' to come to our rescue. When we got home the fear turned to happiness and it suddenly dawned on me that this little 7 pound miracle was completely dependant on me. I was finally able to enjoy my baby boy, no leads, no machines, no alarms. Just my baby. I was finally able to focus on being a mom. Sure there were constant thoughts and fears of the unknown, but it finally seemed like Brenden wasn't just the patient with Spina Bifida. He was my son.
When he was 5 hours old and I got that dreaded call to hear the news that he was born with SB, I doubted my ability to be the mom of a child with special needs. I remember always thinking that it takes a really special person to care for a child with special needs. But now, 2 years later, I know that God has blessed me with an amazing little boy. Brenden has taught me so much and has brought so much joy to my life, as well as the lives of many others. While I am not always confidant in my abilities as a mom, I know that I am doing the best I can. I can rest assured knowing that am giving Brenden every opportunity that he deserves. Brenden, who just happened to be born with Spina Bifida, is already making a difference, at the ripe old age of 2.