And then, the pain grew. I would go to Wal-Mart, proud mama I was, with my baby in tow. And naive little me learned a hard lesson. As I would get groceries, I would notice people walking by my buggy and slowing down for a second. I was happy to show off my beautiful baby until I realized that these admirers were not smiling and cooing at Christian. Some had a look of sadness on their face. Some would mouth "Poor baby." Others would look at him with disgust or unbelief on their face. Some would get brave and ask "What's wrong with him?" Little children would walk by and ask, "Mommy, what is that?" or "Where are his eyes?" The first time it happened I wanted to run out of the store, forget my groceries and go home. But I didn't. I fought back the tears and finished shopping. I tried explaining Christian's condition to people. I tried conveying to them that this was my precious son. But most people couldn't stop staring long enough to hear. After that, I promised Christian that when he was old enough to understand, he would never hear anyone say anything negative about his appearance, at least not without some recourse. I could not imagine, and still don't, why people who looked at Christian saw his disability first. Why couldn't they see Christian? Why couldn't they see how beautiful he was? Why couldn't they see that he was my baby and I loved him? I still don't know the answer to those questions.
And then, the pain grew. A lot of people were pregnant at the same time as I was, so obviously, everyone was having babies when I was. The difference was, their babies were healthy. Their babies were born two weeks after Christian and they were already home from the hospital, while I sat at Vanderbilt with my 4 week old. Their baby was learning to smile, Christian didn't know what a smile was. They would get pictures made of their baby. I was too scared to get professional pictures because of the reaction I expected from people in the photo studio. They were taking their babies out and having fun and enjoying them. I was taking Christian to the doctor three times a week. They were crying cause their baby had to get shots. I was holding my baby down three times in one week to have blood drawn. I just wanted to be normal. I just wanted to have a healthy baby. I just wanted Christian to smile. I just wanted to not go to Vanderbilt today. My heart was broken because I didn't get to do the special mommy things, or enjoy those first precious days with him. I didn't even get to hold him until he was two days old. I was too busy going to doctor appointments, changing out gauze's, running feeds through a machine, giving medicine, prepping for surgery.
|All of us in the holding room, waiting for Christian to be taken back to surgery.|