i don't know if i would have thought he was our boy if i hadn't found out by blood test after 12 weeks of missing my period that i wasn't really pregnant after all...

.

newly married for the second time....i wanted Bobby's baby...love with a woman is all tied up with everything that marriage can bring....we were silly wabbits that way.......

we were adults about it but very disappointed....not being able to give that final gift to eachother...that 9+ months of sillyness...and expectation...him listening to the heart beat with his ear pressed firmly in the right place....both of us knowing..... because we were working in the medical field that all he would hear was the umbilical cord swooshing......

just anticipating rubbing baby's little foot.......counting every finger and toe....

because i was older it would have been a high risk birth.....

and our boy was a high risk newborn too

i was at his delivery...a big boy...a 38 weeker...who came suddenly after his father beat his mother unceasingly in the abdomen to make her loose the baby....because of the stress..... Mickey...the name i gave him......deficated and all of the fluid inside was filled with dark green slime...slime that he was breathing.....

causing all the sequele that took him from a newborn being suction vigorously....having an Apgar of 4.....at 3minutes...chemically resusitated....put on a ventilator...ventricular tap for brain hypertension...pulmonary hypertension....tension pneumothorax (chest tubes)....up on the vent settings....put into a phenobarbital coma to save the brain...ECMO...extra corporeal membrane oxygenator....... waiting in the wings.....nothing....even prematurity can be more difficult to manage to a sucessful outcome.......

he wasn't my boy then...only a patient who needed my most relevant care....

each day his condition worsened.....a few days later his back was arched because of the pressure on his brain.....he was black all over...his arms and hand reaching stiffly into the air.....

HE DIDN'T STAND A CHANCE....

7 days later he was alive....the black disappeared.....and a pale flacid child lay on the bed....silently fighting for his life....still on phenobarbital but the high numbers were coming down on the tap and the vent....

one day as i was pulling an arterial blood gas on his umbilical cord shunt.... one of his hands lifted and reached over and grasped my baby finger.....i laughed about that with Bobby later....yep...he was giving me a message with that tightening on my baby finger....

i began to whisper to Mickey about it after that...."so you have a plan my little lad....you think you can win me.....court me with that tiny hand".....

i knew his dad was in jail and his mom only visited twice and didn't want him after she heard all his complication and all the problems he'd have because of them...

each day as he improved we talked...and i stroked him .....the first time he smiled i called the nurses over to see......my best friend Maggie said "Nan....your on a risky path here....don't get your hopes up".....but of course she was preaching to the choir.....and i was out in the baby shops buying the cutest things for him to wear....he soon became the best dressed boy in the NICU

later as he responded to me as he would a mother .... the nurses huddled in the corner and in low voices said that Mickey...for now they were calling him that too....was getting better quickly with a mother's love....but they still worried about me......

Bobby began to come to visit his maybe son.....i sat in the rockin' chair with Bobby standing behind me smiling having the family polaroid taken....one for his bed...one for us....

the neonatatologist had a conference with the would be parents...Bobby and i.......carefully going over all the pro and cons....

no pros....all cons....

we knew them all anyway...

GRIM.....THAT WAS THE NOTE ON HIS CHART

.......it was a harsh Medical Prognosis...rarely written without cause.....

the adoption worker thought because of our special medical expertise we'd be the perfect adoptive parents

when he was 4 mos old and well enough to go home we showed up at the nursery to pick him up....but he wasn't there.......his natural parents had been allowed to take him home....they'd changed their minds about adoption....

i sat in the rocker and cried for an hour...as if my own child had died or been taken away...he was my child you know....for 4mos

they named him Richard Jr after his father who tried his best to kill him....

two years later i saw the 3 of them in a supermarket...he was beautiful....he didn't recognize me...but his parents did...and lowered their heads and hurried on......

Mickey was mine for as long as he needed me....could the universe be any kinder?

he had the mother needed..... and i had my last son ......

maybe it was because i'd been without loving parents for so much of my life....maybe it was because Mickey was such a tough little customer.....maybe it was the typical mother thing "that he captured me in the snare of his large smiling eyes"......

for every mother knows that phenomena....the overwhelming synergy of eyes that lock onto the other's eyes....never to unfocus from them......it's a forever thing........

once won...there is no undoing this locking......and the tendrils begin to flow out to bind the connection....we were just beggining....but a gift was exchanged...before the inevitable loss.....

BUT NO ONE WALKS AWAY WITH NOTHING

Mickey and i had knitted together a beautiful memory

THAT'S HOW THE UNIVERSE WORKS

More like this:

Comments

nan shartel July 24, 2011 @ 2:56 p.m.

thx babydoll...yoga friend....bless u...namaste

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clrsa09 July 25, 2011 @ 2:08 p.m.

Motherhood comes at us, sometimes unbidden, sometimes ravenously sought after, but always leaving that same, eternal mark that we have, at some profound level, mothered. How blessed are we? Beautiful story. Thank you!

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nan shartel July 25, 2011 @ 4:34 p.m.

i'm so glad u appreciated it clrsa09

thx 4 reading it ;-D

and thank you!!

0

Caltona July 25, 2011 @ 7:20 p.m.

Nan,

This is a spectacular, beautifully raw piece of writing. I like to think I'm a tough nut, yet... You just shattered my shell. Thank you!

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nan shartel July 25, 2011 @ 8:25 p.m.

Caltona...a real compliment from a REAL writer not a shotgun writer like myself

as a yoga freak i think of myself as a woman of spiritual elasticity...always able to be stretched too far but still have perfect recoil

it take a special kind of resilience to go "in for a penny in for a pound" in situations like this

let's just say it became a lesson in stamina.....;-D

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Caltona July 25, 2011 @ 8:38 p.m.

Don't go selling yourself short, Nan. You've got a gift (call it "yoga," if you like) and your words have meant a great deal to me.

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nan shartel July 26, 2011 @ 1:51 p.m.

great thx Caltona...of course i would like to think our comments have impact

i do think where the heart is concerned "the pen is mightier than the sword" ;-D

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David Dodd July 26, 2011 @ 3:07 a.m.

She's pretty awesome, isn't she Caltona? Can't wait to lure her down here for a poetry jam in Baja.

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nan shartel July 26, 2011 @ 1:48 p.m.

gracias tanto David… que amaría hacer eso si podría encontrar alguien para mirar a Bobby

in so many ways Refried u r my writing hero!!!

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K. Aitken July 26, 2011 @ 9:07 a.m.

Oh Nan. Oh! Nan!

Life is a beautiful gift isn't it? Bless you.

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nan shartel July 26, 2011 @ 1:53 p.m.

it's a dadgum celebration Isadora...and blessings right back atcha!!!

and u keep on writing cutie!!! ;=S

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