Aw Hell. I tried to take Kristen’s advice (left on one of my previous posts) and do something fun for myself tonight. My options were limited since Niksdad is at work and I have no babysitter. I thought I would take a nice little trip down Memory Lane and put together a video montage of Nik to share with you all.
Well, I only have about 3000 pictures to go through (all digital, thank goodness!) to edit down to something anyone besides me would be willing to sit through. Having done some of that —I made it through Nik’s first year, the toughest one due to all the hospital time and surgeries —and my program crapped out! Argh!
Even worse, as I went through those early pictures, I could see photo evidence of things which were only hazy recollections before. So hazy, in fact, that I wasn’t even sure I remembered at all. There in the midst of all the sweet photos of Nik sleeping (well, he did sleep quite a lot, like most babies do), Nik’s incredibly long eye lashes, Nik’s baptism in the hospital (the night before open heart surgery at the age of 3 1/2 months), and the myriad medical professionals who became honorary family members after our seven-month stay —there it was. Pixellated proof that Nik HAD been more social and made eye contact. Evidence that Nik DID have appropriate facial expressions and reciprocal smiles and laughter. Proof positive that Nik even had the ability to raise a spoon to his mouth when he was a year old. OK, granted, on that front he didn’t make much progress with intake, but the skill was emerging long before it disappeared again.
And that was all in the first year of his life.
Oddly enough, rather than being upset by the loss, I find that I am comforted in the knowledge that Nik DID those things and I have faith that he will do them again.
Of course, it makes me wonder what events or circumstances may have led to the changes. I am fairly certain that it WASN’T VACCINES. Nik never had an adverse reaction to any of his shots. Besides which, there are actually other medications I am more concerned about than those. Reglan, for example, which helps with motility, has been suggested as having significant neurological side effects after prolonged use, especially in small children. (Um, gee, do you think two years on the stuff during a critical time of development could count as “prolonged use?”) Or there may be some effects from repeated doses of steroids which Nik required to help him get off the ventilator in those early months. Or the anesthesia from his numerous surgeries, or the antibiotics he’s had pumped into him nearly every month since he was born. Oh, wait, those were all the things we had to do to KEEP HIM ALIVE.
Would I change a thing if I could? Darned tootin’. But we did what we had to do to keep our precious miracle child alive; Nik was the most wanted child on the face of the planet. We’d tried and tried and lost a couple in early stages. If I had known then what I know now, would I have done everything the same? YOUBETCHA.
So, here I sit strangely comforted by what WAS, cloaked in the possibility of WHAT CAN BE. It’s an interesting dichotomy.