By the time you read this, tomorrow will be today. SO, I'm typing this as if it is today (tomorrow.) Get it?
Today (April 21) my third born is 4 years old. How can that be?
I can remember, before I had children, when adults would talk of time flying faster and faster. I would hear the words of grandparents, "Enjoy them while they are young; those moments go by so fast."
Truer words have never been spoken. I am heartsick that my third child is already 4 years old ~ a mere 9 years from being a teenager~ a short 12 years from having his driver's license ~ a brief 14 years before he may leave home....if I let him.
I've been a mother for 8 years. In that amount of time, he will be a "tween." (whatever that means)
My little boy was planned when my DH got his new job and we knew we would be a bit more financially able to care for another human. As with the other two, there was really no turning back once the decision was made. It seems that I have been blessed with fertility. And by that I mean that friends joke about dh brushing up against me and I end up preggers.
ANYWAY, we thought of another baby, and within a few weeks, we knew number 3 was on the way. Ultrasound revealed another boy. Though some family and friends might have felt brief disappointment on our behalf, my hubby and I were thrilled to our fingertips. ANOTHER BOY! He would be named after his great-grandfather.
His delivery was the easiest I had had up to that point. We induced in order to be sure that DH was there for his arrival. I had drugs....I'm not ashamed. Shoot....I'd do them again now if they only allowed some sort of home set-up for an epidural :)
**This is where the men who read might want to stop. The women will be OK. This is personal and somewhat graphic so if you are weak...GO AWAY!
I had my water broken at 9-something. I was given the choice of an epi at 3 cm. The drug-dude would be in surgery for awhile and I knew that by the time he got back, I would no longer be friendly. SO, we decided to go ahead. The only bad thing is that it made me sick...sick...sick. (I stopped counting my puking sessions at 6.)
When it came time to push, I was told to push for a count of 10. Being an old pro...and not feeling a darn thing, I was happy to oblige. The nurse told the doc that I would be ready shortly. I was told to push for another count of 10...which sounded something like this:
"ONE....TWO....THREE....*beep.."DOCTOR J!!!" TEN! STOP PUSHING!"
While waiting, I felt the pressure of a little one coming into the world...through no pushing of mine...he was just ooching out. (Now I know that "ooching" might not be a real word, but please....it fits.)
The doctor came in and said, "Do not laugh, cough or sneeze." (I added to myself...."or vomit. Cause if I do, this boy will fly across the room.")
The room jumped into overdrive. Things flew around. The doc wheeled up on her stool and said, "Give me a little push....give me a little push. You just had a baby." With that, she plopped my 8 pound 8 ounce writhing lump of goop on my belly.
I was immediately concerned when I noticed that his right ear wasn't formed. I was told to not worry...yet. They wanted to clean him up and check him out. I saw the doctor push around on his skull. My precious boy.....my baby....had something wrong with him.
Minutes later, he was taken to ultrasound. It seems that when the outer ear forms, that the gall bladder and kidneys grow. The big concern was not his little, malformed ear...it was the problem that was more than likely inside.
Our hearts dropped. After an easy pregnancy and a very fast and easy delivery, my baby was now a special case that had to be checked out.
I felt guilty. I had had a bad cold when I was about 4 months pregnant. I had taken quite a bit of cough medicine....all given to me by my doctor, but still...what had I done to my child? We found out later that nobody knows what causes it.
We were so thankful when we found out that his insides were all what and where they should be. But the matter of his ear....what was wrong with it, anyway? Suddenly my few appointments became more as we were dealing with a child who most likely had hearing loss.
Hearing tests showed that his good ear was 100% normal. We were thankful for that....but still had no idea how to refer to his ear. We were referred to an ENT. We were so scared. We have never really had to go to specialists before. Suddenly, we needed an ENT....we had to get out of our comfort zone...get away from the few doctors we knew. The Lord, I KNOW, heard our hearts' cries and our minds' fears. Our ENT, referred to us by our pediatrician, just happened to be one of my best friends from high school - someone I could cry in front of; someone who could hug me; someone I could get upset with and still find the answers and the comfort that I needed. THANK YOU, GOD!
It took us awhile to remember, and start to learn about, microtia atresia. Basically, it means that my son has a "little ear" (microtia) with no ear canal (atresia). The hardest part for us is what he will have to go through within the next few years. He will go through about 4 surgeries in which his ear will be rebuilt and a canal will be drilled. His speech and language are developing as they should. The only issue he has is that he can't really hear "in stereo." If you walk up behind him (or from the side where he can't see you) and speak to him, he has to look for the sound. He doesn't locate it as quickly and efficiently as others.
Here is a site that tells more about it... http://www.pde.com/~kazemir/
Shortly after we found out what we were dealing with, we took him in for an ABR. (Now don't ask me what that stands for...I don't remember...LOL...as I say that, my hubby, and my ENT's wife are yelling at the screen, hoping I'll hear that it means.....?????) Anyway, it's the test where the little wires are stuck to his noggin with glue-type goop. He slept in my arms while the computer did its thing. After about 40 minutes, the audiologist said, "I think I have enough." We took in a big breath as she stated, "He DOES have hearing in that ear." THANK YOU, GOD! (Do you see how we keep getting blessed in this time of uncertainty?)
We have learned so much since his birth. We have grown a lot, too. God really dealt with us on our issues of guilt and personal pity. He used our ENT, who had wisdom in dealing with me...a near hysterical mother. The ENT said, "This is not a life-long, nor is it a life-threatening disability. You deal with it for a few years. You fix it. You go on." WOW!!! Isn't that something?
Four years have gone by. Nobody really notices his ear. What they do notice are his dimples. They notice his curly hair and his long eyelashes. I hate to say this about a boy, but he is pretty. He is one of the prettiest children I know. He is lovable and huggable. I love my boy....the cute way he asks for "chocking milk;" the way he loves to eat his "tarTARts" in the morning; the way he runs to the bathroom every time he hears water running, just to take a "baff" or a "showla."
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LITTLE MAN!
I thank God for you. You have taught me so much. I pray many blessings on you as you go out each day. I pray protection over you. I pray for healing for you...in general health and in your hearing. I pray that I continue to learn to be the mom that God wants me to be for you. I pray for God's hand on you as you grow and live as a child of God. I pray all these things in my mighty Saviour's name!