I crawled into bed that night, 15 years ago this day on September 30, 2004, knowing that in the morning, by way of a cesarian section, I would finally become a mother after having had 4 pregnancy losses. I didn’t know the baby was a boy. I didn’t know that his brain had been ravaged by a common virus (cytomegalovirus) sometime during the first trimester, leaving it severely damaged. I didn’t know that all I had dreamt of would have to be let go of…modified, reshaped, transformed…so to fit into a life I had never imagined.
All I knew was that I was scared, but ultimately, I was exhilarated.
Tomorrow, October 1st, my precious son Brendan Bjorn turns 15 years old.
Over the last 7 years or so, each year I thought it would be his last. DNRs signed. Doctors telling me it didn’t look hopeful. And then again. And again. Yet, here he is! My first born son who has taught me the meaning of unconditional love, sacrifice, selflessness, and of life. As parents, we could only dream of teaching our children such all-important lessons. But it is he who has taught me all of that, and more. Truth be told, I’m still learning from him.
Another gift he’s given to me? Well, if it wasn’t for Brendan Bjorn being exactly who he is – how he is – I wouldn’t have had Declan. I was only going to have one child and carry on with my career path. That was the plan. But 15 years later, here we are in a place that wasn’t in my plans and living a life that certainly wasn’t part of the plan.
As the saying goes, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
Even though this journey has been, and still is, incredibly difficult much of the time, and even though I know how this journey with Brendan Bjorn will one day end, the ultimate gift given on his birthday tomorrow will be given to me: The gift of celebrating 15 years of being blessed to be his mother.
Happy birthday, angel boy!