The Brightest Light
That’s what they had finally diagnosed me with as I laid in the hospital bed on my birthday, a week after giving birth to my first child.
My kidneys were failing… My heart rate was high…and I had a low platelet count.
I couldn’t comprehend what had went wrong. Was it the missed diagnosis of preeclampsia turned postpartum preeclampsia that had landed me in the emergency room the day before, or was it due to a possible botched cesarean.
So many things went through my mind as my doctor told me that my 1 week old baby girl would have to leave the hospital ...they had allowed her to stay with me when I returned to the hospital.
What did they mean by get my affairs in order? Why were they sending my immediate family in one by one. I remember my sister telling me that I was really sick, and that she and my mom would be taking Eden home with them. What was happening?
Just four days prior, I had left that very hospital feeling nothing but joy as I held on to my happy and healthy newborn baby girl. She was perfect in every way. I was so happy that after being monitored twice a week for the last 7 months ...my baby had arrived healthy.
I recalled them taking her away immediately after my cesarean. Eden was having minor breathing issues. They placed her on oxygen for 2 hours and then returned her to me. She was so dainty and beautiful. She was more than I could ever imagine and my heart could not have been fuller. All I ever wanted to be was a mother ...and right before I gave up hope ...it happened. Much later than I had planned ...but she was there ...in my arms and so very perfect. I would not allow her out of my sight.
Now I was being told that I may not make it home. That after only 1 week of being a mom ...my gig might be up. Who’s cruel joke was this? They wouldn’t even allow her back to the operating waiting room for me to say goodbye ...that was it.
The last person I spoke to before returning to the operating room was Eden’s biological father.
He would be taking full custody of Eden.
After writing out a will ...I was wheeled off to the operating room. All I remember is waking up in a glass box with the curtains wide opened to my dedicated nurse.
It was so eerie.
I could hardly find my voice and was unable to move my body. I spent 22 days in ICU ...they were the darkest days of my life. It took days to sit up alone and weeks to walk alone ...and even then ...my heart rate would not settle down. I just wanted to make it home to my daughter. I had not held nor seen her in person in 3 weeks. She wasn’t going to remember me. I was on the verge of a complete meltdown. What kept me going was knowing that Eden was counting on me. It is still what keeps me going.
I made it home.
From that day forward ...I refused to be without my daughter. I developed attachment issues ...I still have them. Haven’t been able to deal with that. Because life was not done with me yet.
Three months later, Eden’s biological father left our lives ...he had his own personal wars going on ...nothing to do with us ...but it affected us the same. I felt betrayed ...he had promised to be there. He said that he would never leave one of his children and that Eden would know him. He told me that he would still be there for her once he got settled …I guess he forgot. The last thing she received from him was a forehead kiss. I’m not the type to chase anyone for what is right. I knew that I would do whatever I had to for my daughter, and so we carried on.
One month later, shortly after Eden turned 5 months ...she was diagnosed with Achondroplasia Dwarfism ...how had all those doctor’s missed it? I was so overwhelmed and afraid for my daughter ...what did this mean for her future? I felt as if I had failed her somehow. Maybe because the doctors made it all sound so limiting and scary. I didn't know anything about it. My only experience with meeting someone with Dwarfism happened when I was a child. All I could remember is my sister being terrified. I didn’t want that for daughter, I couldn’t imagine someone being afraid of such a beautiful and amazing soul.
When I told her biological father about the diagnosis, his response was ...at least we know right?
That’s all the support I ever received with that.
As a mother, I felt it was my duty to at least try to establish some type of relationship with this man and his biological child. I wanted my daughter to know that I tried.
I want her to know that I left the door open for him to know her. I want her to know that sometimes people let go because they are not strong enough to hold on. And just sometimes …they are doing you a favor. I want her to always go where she is loved and not force anything ...because she is love. The loss will never be hers.
Life went on.
I learnt all I could about my daughter’s diagnosis. With a lot of support from my mom, Eden’s Godfather, and Godmother, we pulled through just fine.
Eden is a healthy, happy and sassy toddler. Learning of her Achondroplasia diagnosis enabled us to give her the proper medical care and empowered us to do what’s right for her. We are still learning daily, we still have concerns ...but most of all we have joy. She is the brightest light I have ever seen and what a perfect blessing she is.
We are better because of her. I wouldn’t be the momma bear or the advocate that I am without her ...she snatched me from beneath the rock I had been living under. Eden Olivia is everything I could ever have hoped for and more.
Her diagnosis of Achondroplasia didn’t change her one bit ...it changed us and the people around us. It gave us a whole new family and allowed us to remove what wasn’t meant to be. People won't always be for you what you have been for them, and that's okay. Because those few people will be replaced with a multitude of people and support. Have faith!
Our blessings didn’t stop there. Thank GOD that I had learned a long time ago how to let go of what wasn’t meant to be ...to allow what was. On Eden’s first Valentine’s Day her Godfather ...my best friend, showered her with his time and gifts as he had done for all of her first holidays.
However, on Eden’s 1st Valentine’s Day ...my best friend and I decided to stop pretending that it was just friendship. We both knew that it was more ...maybe it had always been.
We are now married and a family of three. Eden will soon be legally adopted by her Godfather turned father. She is a total daddy’s girl and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. He is our perfect fit ...life is as it should be and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Eden will be three soon ...our house is filled with laughter, true love and an abundance of blessings. I am forever grateful.