This coming Saturday will mark Six Months since I took Em to her riding lessons with contractions 4 minutes apart, drove myself to the hospital (the long way) with contractions 2 minutes apart, stopped to fix my makeup before checking in at L&D, and re-enacted the birth scene from Knocked Up.
Six Months since I was afraid of the green muck when my water broke, since the NICU staff attended the birth. Since my husband didn't get to cut the cord and we didn't get to hold Jackson until he was almost fifteen minutes old, and Six Months since I didn't mind because he didn't aspirate any meconium and he was ok. Six Months since Mike, my OB and I were all momentarily taken aback that the baby projected to weigh in at almost ten pounds checked in at 7 lb, 11oz. And six months since I marveled at the wide eyed gaze of a little tiny boy with huge hands and bowlegs. Six Months since so many tiny little landmark moments I'll never forget.
That means that 19 days after this coming Saturday will be another Six Month Milestone. Six Months since the phone call that separated the world that existed before that moment from everything that has happened since. Since we met our champions at Cook Children's Hospital, became intimately linked with the CFF. Six Months since ...Cystic Fibrosis became the vernacular.
In coming to terms with Jackson's diagnosis, I've cycled and re-cycled through 'stages of grief' again and again. I've dealt with what I recognize as some irrational trains of thought. One particularly illogical coping mechanism has been the thought that if he made it to Six Months without and infection or hospitalization, he would be ok. That would mean his case wasn't terribly severe and life as we know it wouldn't end. I'm fully aware what a faulty ideation that is, and yet, it's lodged itself in the back of my head all this time. And here we are, on the cusp of passing that irrational benchmark, and waving it in with more questions. We've made it this far. Not only that but we've exceeded all medical expectations. My impatient nature is barking at the door of the Six Month Milestone, asking....what now???
I want to know what's going to happen. Truth be told we still don't know the severity of Jackson's case, the only thing that will tell is time, time, and more time. We know we've been beyond lucky so far. There is no way to know what the First Winter holds, and right now we're bluffing. Staring down cold and flu season with bluster and bravado, holding hands with the unknown, and simply moving forward.
What I do know is this: every time I think about how fortunate we have been and continue to be, I choke on my own tears. Every day of health, every time I realize how long it's been since I heard a coughing fit, every single normal developmental milestone my son passes like a bandit on the run sends sweet, hot little reminders dripping off the tip of my nose and splashing daintily onto the keyboard.
I can't pretend to bargain with the future, and I don't care to wallow- or revel- in the past. As usual, I end my post by swallowing up the present and being reminded that each passing moment is a lesson in both gratitude and patience.
“One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.” (Author Unknown)