Apologies, yet again, for missing last week. Work and life in general have been super crazy. I’ve skipped the last two weeks of Explaining Spina Bifida because I’ve been too busy/distracted to write anything worthwhile. I will be picking that back up this week and promise to post all about NICU stays next week!
This past Friday, Donovan turned one. So naturally, I've been thinking a lot about the last year of my life.
Finding out Donovan would be born with Spina Bifida after 34 weeks of thinking he was “healthy” was shocking. We didn’t know what to expect. I’ve never known anyone with a disability, much less Spina Bifida. But after working through that, and meeting him and watching him grow over the last year, I would not trade him for a “normal” baby. Not ever.
I will never say that I’m glad he was born with Spina Bifida. Because I know it’s nothing that will go away, and he’s going to have more painful surgeries, and therapies and tests, and I don’t like that he has to deal with that. But the every day stuff? It’s a blessing.
So many people have commented what a happy baby he is. Now, I know he’s a baby. And that he really has no clue that something is “wrong” with him, or that he might be a little different. But I just have to believe that he is always going to have this big smile on his face, and not a care in the world. He appreciates the simple things. He is so innocent. I hope he stays like this forever.
As far as what he’s done to me…what hasn’t he done? He’s taught me to be patient. To be extra kind to those who struggle. To be an advocate for those who can’t speak for themselves. And most importantly, he’s taught me that my faith is so much stronger than I thought it was.
When I told my doctor I didn’t want any prenatal testing because I didn’t believe in termination and did not want to even have it as an option, lest I question my beliefs, I meant it. I still think that was the right decision. Who knows if I would have had such faith if I had actually had a say-so in the situation. But when you find out at 34 weeks, there is nothing left but prayer. It’s all that’s left when you have the best doctors, and the best hospitals and the most supportive family. None of that can make your baby okay. Only by the grace of God has Donovan done so well.
I was worried we would reach a year and still have lots of questions floating around concerning his health. But, thank God, we do not. Donovan is now 100% stable in every area. He wont ever stop being followed by his doctors, but his appointments are spaced out by six months, instead of two weeks. There are no impending surgeries.
Everyone says a baby changes everything, and it’s true. But Donovan changed everything for the better. My faith is stronger. My marriage is stronger. My family is closer knit, and I am a better person.
With all its trials and tribulations, this past year has the best of my life.