It is has been 6 years since this amazing, energetic, strong willed, curly red head of mine has been on this earth. Sometimes I wonder what God was thinking letting go of this angel to allow me, someone full of flaws, to be his mama. I was chosen to be his mother, the good, the bad, the ugly, and of course the blessings are all mine (and my husbands) to share with this growing boy. My son, Teak.
He did not come into this earth as most children do. He was born with Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele. I find it so fitting that the month he was born, the month of October, is Spina Bifida Awareness Month. SB is not something that is widely known or even heard or talked about in one’s day to day, however, there is not a day that goes by since June 14, 2010 (the day we found out) that I do not think about Spina Bifida. My son doesn’t “look” like he has Spina Bifida nor does he act like, heck, he barely understands he has it. It can be and is a very debilitating disability. Teak was supposed to be in a wheel chair. He was not supposed to run, jump, climb, or even walk without some kind of brace.
The day he was born was such a blur yet I remember it so clearly. I was exactly 39 weeks along and we had a scheduled C-Section early in the morning. Our nerves were so intensified by the worries, the what ifs on that day, yet, we were about to be new parents so excitement illuminated over the negative feelings. We knew the whole experience would not be like a typical birth but on the flip side, it was going to be our own experience. Something special to us no matter the road bumps we were about to go over. When looking back on that day, so many emotions surface. Since we knew beforehand, we were able to mentally prepare ourselves. Once that baby boy was outside of my body, I knew that my role as mother wouldn’t parallel a normal mother role.
My son was rushed to Dell Children’s Hospital within hours of his birth to prepare for the intense surgery that would close up his spine. I had to put my trust in God and the doctors as well as the nurses who would take care of him. I had to put trust in God to keep our neurosurgeon’s hand sturdy. I knew my role as mother meant to take care of myself, push through my pain as though I had none because it would not even compare. Pumping milk, walking, sleeping…those were included in my most important things to do for the first two days of my son’s life so that I could get to him. Get to my son and hold him, then nurse him, then wait until he heals enough to take him home.
As soon as you hear the word Spina Bifida when you are pregnant, it is purely devastating and simply crippling. Your world crashes down around you like a crumbling building in the middle of downtown. You truly are not sure what is up or down and are just thankful that your feet make it flat to the floor as you walk. The days following are not much better, however, as a week goes by then another week, you begin to build your dreams back up for your child. The building is not going to be the same, it will definitely look different, however you now know it will be like no other. This difference in your child is upsetting at first and then you begin to see it as a blessing in disguise. With me and Chad, we immediately began to look to God for help and security of what was to come. Our faith became stronger as well as our marriage. Sometimes, I wonder if that was part of the purpose of our beautiful son, to strengthen our marriage and our faith in the Lord. To hold strong in his promises that he will always provide. That it is his will for our lives to live abundantly although it may not look the way we originally expected it to look like or look the way the world has taught us to see how an abundant life might look.
This child of mine is amazing. He is so full of life. Friendly, never met a stranger. Always ready to go. He loves people and people love him. He is creative and thoughtful. Kind and forgiving. He is part of my life’s purpose and I am especially grateful.