Childhood Ignorance, and The M…

Childhood Ignorance, and The Mother of Stone.”There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ’em all away from you. That’s never possible.” -Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird    My mother nearly died during childbirth with me, giving birth three months early through an emergency c-section.

She had a stroke and got terribly ill during pregnancy. I spent my first three months of life in the NICU in the Children’s Hospital, desperately grasping for life, slowly gaining my health enough so I could leave the hospital. After my mom had me, the doctors had told my mom she was to be done bearing children. They also said if she were to have another kid, she was putting her own life at risk and that she could die.. When my mother found out she was pregnant, with my younger brother, she panicked. She was terrified of what the doctor would have to say.

My brother was conceived  because of a botched vasectomy on my dad’s part. Once the doctors told my mother everything was going to be ok, if she were to follow what they say,  she was a little more relieved and followed through with her pregnancy. All I could remember was her going to doctors, and coming home a few days later with Alexander my new baby brother. I  watched the front door open. My mother was completely drained and weak, and you could see it in her eyes. In my mother’s arms, I saw my new little brother. My three older sisters, and two older brothers and I ogled my new younger brother all night, with his squishy little face, and small petite frame from being born prematurely.

 My father decided the following day he wanted to take the family out to a restaurant to have a day with us, but he said he didn’t know when, just soon.   The next week or so I was super excited, and being three at the time, everything was an adventure.  We were going to a “fancy” restaurant all together as a family, to a three-year-old anything that’s not McDonald’s is fancy. We all get into my dad’s enormous, yellow suburban and we drove into town. When we get there I see a huge sign on top of a building.  I couldn’t read at the time, but I remember it being large and glowing in red. My mom told me it said, Red Robin.

As a young kid, I was extremely excited to go inside this new colorful place. After eating for a bit my mom needed to use the restroom, so she took me and my new brother into the restroom with her to wash us up a bit, and to change Alexander. My mom was changing Zanders diaper, and before she knew it, I ran out of the stall. I was crawling on the floor in the restaurant’s bathroom.  She quickly tried to button up my brothers snap in the crotch, rushing to try and get me off the filthy floor, but I had already shoved my hands in my mouth. She helped me wash my hands and clean me up some. But even with all her efforts to clean me up, within the next twenty-four hours, I was horribly ill.

I was so confused about what had happened.  I remember having the best time at the amazing new restaurant, but when I woke up at three in the morning, I felt so horrible and  I couldn’t keep it in. I ran for the restroom but fell short and vomited all over my mom’s room.  She heard and ran to help me. She put me in the bathtub, so I wouldn’t vomit everywhere. She thought it was food poisoning from the restaurant at first until it didn’t stop. My mom started crying as I barfed into the bathtub.

I was barfing nonstop, and diaper after diaper.  I couldn’t keep anything in. Two days into it, I was rushed into the hospital. A huge needle was shoved into my arm and I didn’t like that.  I thought I was already going through enough but now the doctors wanna shove this thing into me? I tried to pull it out but the doctors apparently didn’t like that either.  I saw my mom’s eyes swell with tears once the doctors said I tested positive for Rotavirus. My mom was told that “Rotavirus is an infection usually starts within two days of exposure to the virus.

Initial symptoms are a fever and vomiting, followed by three to seven days of diarrhea and continues vomiting. The infection can cause abdominal pain as well.”     I was in the hospital for about a week, but the days felt longer.  Fluids being pumped into me along with medication, I ended up losing a total of eight pounds from barfing everything up for that time.  Being only three at the time that was a lot of weight to lose.     I  was crying nonstop, and everything hurt. If I wasn’t vomiting, I was trying to calm down.

My mother was there for me the whole time, even with my brother being so new. Being so small and losing so much weight, I didn’t know what was going to happen to me. I thought I was going to die. I was petrified, and so were my parents. After a few days of medicine and fluids being pumped into me, I was starting to show signs of recovery. I wasn’t barfing by the sixth day and the doctors decided I was ok to go home. I was so glad to be home.

My mother put me to bed with large fluffy blankets and gave me a ton of apple juice to keep me hydrated. I was starting to feel better but I was definitely drained and weak from losing so much of my body weight. My mother, as I think back now, was such an empowering woman for being strong through all these hardships. Especially right after giving birth to my brother.  When we are young, we really don’t think that anything will happen to us.  Our parents try to protect us, especially when we are inexperienced in the world and in what pain and real fears are, but my mother couldn’t protect me from this. She couldn’t keep the bad guys away when she couldn’t even see them.

I learned more from this looking back at it rather than when I was young and experienced it. My mother and father were there for me the entire time, and I greatly appreciate that now. They were strong when I couldn’t be, facing the fear of death possibly being right behind me.  Even though they had their jobs, their lives, and the rest of my family to take care of. They still managed to keep a balance of it all. I see my mom as a superhero for all she’s done for my family and me, and especially after what happened when I was three, plus all the things she’s done from then to now. My father was definitely a great man and tried his hardest to help my mom and my family; but my mother, I thank her, for staying strong.

My mom  is the strongest woman I’ve met. She is my rock, staying strong even when she has the right to crumble. My mother has had the greatest impact on my life, she is my happiness. Her heart and determination and love for her family is something I can only hope to achieve in my life.   

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