Hindsight is a funny thing. For me, I’ve found that as I grow older, I tend to look back more than when I was young. When I was young, I looked ahead – probably too much so and to my detriment. At this point in my life, I think I’ve got a fairly even balance between looking behind, ahead and living in the moment. Mind you, some days I disastrously dwell too much in one realm or the other. No one is perfect, after all.
Since the day I found out I was pregnant with Brendan Bjorn, I began a journal to him. I kept up the journal writing through Declan’s birth, but over time, I stopped. As I think on it, it was probably about the time I began to spend more time on social media! (Note: I should have stuck to journal writing)
15 years ago yesterday. 29 October 2004.
This was the day that Brendan Bjorn had his 4 week old well baby check up with the pediatrician. It was the day after he had an ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) hearing test which showed he was deaf in his right ear. I remember sitting in my car outside the hospital and crying my eyes out thinking how my baby boy was deaf in one ear. Hindsight, right? The perspective that the years bring us is priceless.
I remember the pediatrician sitting at his desk, me sitting in the chair next to it, and Brendan Bjorn on my lap. We started off discussing milestones – that dreaded word to most parents of children with special needs. At that time, of course, I didn’t know my son would have any special needs. Then we progressed to the results of the ABR. From there, to measuring his head, which had been noted at his 2 week appointment as being small. It had barely grown in the 2 weeks since his last appointment. Blood work was ordered to uncover the cause of the deafness and the microcephaly. And the journey began in earnest on this day.
12 years ago today. 30 October 2007.
I wrote: “Dearest Brendan and baby, today I had my first ultrasound with this pregnancy. I was so scared and nervous, but what a relief it was when the doctor said ‘and there’s the heartbeat.’ I could see it on the monitor! And then she turned on a volume switch and I actually could hear the heartbeat at just 7 and 1/2 weeks pregnant! You’re going to be a big brother, buddy! I love you both!”
May I never forget that moment or the feeling of sheer joy at hearing Declan’s heartbeat for the very first time.
Today. 30 October 2019.
As I turn the pages of that early journal, I am reminded at how so much happened in the 3 years between those dates. And as I look around me today, seeing life as it is in this moment, I am reminded at how so much has happened in the 15 years since that pediatric appointment with the 4 week old baby Brendan Bjorn on my lap.
I’m going to keep striving for that balance of looking ahead, remembering what has been, and living in the present. I might not always get it right, but one thing I do know is that those moments which are to become cherished memories will continue to present themselves along on this special journey of ours. And isn’t that the real beauty of life?