Thursday, April 28, 2005

When Life Gets Good...

You know, some days I forget that I'm the mom to an immunesuppressed kiddo. Life is good in our house. The only reminder of the transplant that is ALWAYS there for me is the ONE medicine Anthony takes. That's right. Fourteen months post transplant, Anthony is only on his Prograf.
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The other reminder is his cute scar. I love that scar. I kiss it every night. If it were not for that scar, my son wouldn't be here. That scar means he had a transplant, and that the transplant saved his life. What could be a better reminder than that scar? I know that there are parents who rub their child's scar vigorously with Mederma. I stopped doing that in June of last year. Why? Because I want that scar there. I want to see that scar every day. It's not a bad looking deal, either. It's just there, and it's a light peachy color. Ask Anthony where his belly button is, and he'll show you (albeit reluctantly). Ask him where his scar is, and he'll pull that shirt up so high, you think he might choke on it. He loves showing that off, and I want it to stay that way.

Anyway, back to my original reason behind this post. Life is good. Anthony is healthy. Why am I sad? Believe me, 98 days in Omaha, and then a two day (at least) stay at the local Children's hospital here in Louisiana from August through December 2004 was enough for me. I'm not sad that Anthony is healthy and doesn't need that seemingly endless run of sedation, biopsies, NG tubes and eating therapy.

I do want, though, that special bonding we had. That when he didn't feel well, he'd crawl into Mommy's lap and snuggle. That he couldn't go to sleep at night unless Mommy was there holding him (or crawling into that damned hospital bed with him). I wish he could be healthy and still want Mommy all the time. At 17 months, Anthony has learned that he can be independent. He doesn't need Mommy (or Daddy) to read a book to him...he can look at the pictures alone. He doesn't need Mommy to feed him...he's really great with the hand to mouth coordination. He doesn't need to be rocked to sleep...I just put him in bed at 8:00 every night and he's asleep within minutes. Heck, he's even showing interest in potty training!

And then, there it is...always in the back of my mind...how long can this last? Will he go into rejection again? Will he eventually need another transplant?

I have a hard time sometimes, trying to separate my "Anthony thoughts" from my "normal thoughts". And I find myself not being able to concentrate on my "normal thoughts". Anthony's better...when will his mommy be?

6 Comments:

Anonymous Monica said...

Oh, Laurie, you have a toddler!!!! Don't mourn too much that your little boy 'doesn't need you'....kids pull away at that age, but after they are totally certain they have established their independence, they tend to draw back in a bit more. What lies ahead is great stuff, too...sure, he will never be as dependent and snuggly as he was as a baby, but it is so much fun to see our little ones learn to verbally express themselves. It is neat to get to see how their minds work as they grow older and are able to share the world with us through THEIR eyes and their observations. What lies ahead is different...but it, too, is wonderful!

It kind of sounds, too, like maybe you are afraid to let your breath out and enjoy the good times of health now, for fear that if you really start enjoying that, you might jinx it all and lose this season of blessing. (Or maybe I just analyze too much!)

At any rate, I think ambivalence is normal any time we see our relationship with our child changing. I'd say give yourself permission to mourn the passing of his baby-hood...but not so much that you miss the joy of seeing your little man begin to emerge! (I think you would be feeling like this EVEN if your son had never had any serious health issues. At least I have felt it as my healthy (LAST baby for our family) has asserted her own independence from me. I think, too, it is hardest to lose the babyhood of the really SNUGGLY babies in our lives. My youngest has always been my most snuggly and loving...and I have sorrowed more over losing the intimacy of the mother-baby bond with her than with my other children.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Moreena said...

I'm not sure when these thoughts go away, Laurie. 3 years out and I still have some thoughts that I would consider a little on the crazy side. However, I agree with Monica that this is also normal toddler stuff, and normal Mom feeling wistful at the end of the snuggly baby period. Not crazy at all.

I love your comments on Anthony's scar! Eating the shirt, indeed! I never put anything on Anni's scar. I think it would have been a completely lost cause. Her scar is huge after being reopened so many times. They did try to follow the same line, at least, but it didn't always work out. But it is an important part of her, and at least for now, she loves it too!

6:49 PM  
Blogger Sarahlynn said...

I never put anything on Ellie's (heart surgery) scar either, and I kiss it too. It comes all the way up to the hollow of her throat, so it will always be slightly visible, but it is (already!) a faint, pretty scar.

11:12 PM  
Blogger none said...

Oh Laurie, it gets even worse... My son has a bad tummy bug since yesterday.

Tonight he woke up, and did he come to his mommy and tell her that his tummy hurts and that he needs a glass of water? (crying would have been suffient too. :)

No, he got up, puked nicely in his little bucket next to the bed, poured him self a glass of water and went back to bed...he´s just 4 for pete´s sake. If he keeps this up I´m going to start feeling completely unnecessary...;)

Arrrrrg!

9:13 AM  
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