Yesterday my son Benson turned 7 years old. I can’t believe he’s already 7. Every year around this time I start reminiscing about not only his birth but the years leading up to his birth. We wanted to have a family early on in our marriage. But we soon found out it was not going to be as easy as we thought. For years we struggled with infertility and it was incredibly difficult. There were so many tears, so many words thrown out in anger and frustration. It was a challenging time for us. But finally, 7 years into our marriage I became pregnant! Telling our families was a magical moment for us. We all had waited so long for this to happen. He was so prayed for and wanted not only us, but all of our friends and families. He was everybody’s miracle!
The pregnancy was hard. I was SOOOOO sick! And when my due date finally rolled around he was quite happy right where he was at. Then at 40 weeks and 5 days, he finally decided he was ready to greet his very over eager parents. Unfortunately, where even 5 days late he was a perfect 7 lbs 5 oz, his head was about 110% on the charts. And he decided to turn that massive head while in the birth canal and get stuck. The doctor tried to turn his head with no luck. But after 3 hours of pushing (and a very embarrassing barf out incident) he wasn’t budging and his heart rate was starting to fall. I was given a series of options and I begged the doctor to just get him out safely. Finally he was delivered with the help of forcepts. And not a moment too soon. He was purple and his cord was wrapped around his neck twice. I learned later his first apgar score was a 1. I can’t tell you how terrifying it was to not hear him cry when he came out. But a fabulous team of doctors and nurses got him breathing again in a few minutes. And I can’t tell you the rush of emotions that came over me when they finally put that little miracle baby on my chest. It makes me tear up just thinking about it. We only got to hold him a few minutes and then they had to take him to the nicu. He had a rough time for a while. Because of the forcepts delivery he had palsy on one side of his face. Not only could he not latch but he couldn’t even suck from a bottle. We had to feed him from a tube and I had to pump constantly. I came home from the hospital so exhausted. Because he had bruising from his delivery he had to be under the lights for a full week. But he hated it and would scream unless somebody was touching him. The bruises and palsy eventually went away and he started nursing better. But I wasn’t getting enough milk in and I couldn’t figure out why he was always screaming. It took us 6 weeks of non stop crying for us to figure out why. But finally he was growing and was happy. He brought us so much joy. Every first was so exciting and I loved it.
When I was pregnant we spent a day with my mom’s side of the family. My uncle and his wife had a son around maybe 6 or 7. This kid was mean! He swore at his mom, ignored all the rules, etc. His mom later told me that he was their miracle. They weren’t supposed to be able to have kids, but they got him. I remember thinking with my naïve mind that he was a waste of a miracle. It was a very stupid thought. Benson is sweet, loving, and so much fun. He’s super active and rough. He’s all boy! But he’s so sensitive too. When people make fun of him or don’t include him he hurts. And sometimes that hurts turns to anger. And then even though he is being bullied, he is treated as the bully. He had a terrible summer last year. The people who he had spent his entire life being friends with him didn’t want to be his friends anymore. Its ok, kids grow and evolve. They change their minds and their likes. But all of the sudden his friends didn’t like him. They silently bullied him and picked him apart. I held him so many times as he cried and it broke my heart. But because of the way he reacted to his pain nobody saw the hurt he was feeling. He was always left out and isolated and didn’t even feel comfortable playing in his own front yard. So he spent a lot of time in our house, watching the other kids play from the window. And I’m ashamed to say this, but to make peace I sometimes didn’t take his side. I feel terrible about that now.
This boy is amazing! He’s so intelligent. He continues to amaze me everyday with the things he can do. He has so many dreams and aspirations. And he cares so much for people. Last spring a friend of his gave him a dollar bill. He knew we were struggling to find a car for our growing family in our price range and offered his dollar to us for our new car. He has a huge heart! So on his birthday this year I vowed to be a better mom to him. I promised to look out for him better and let him be a kid. He is so special, and I promised to always remember that. Benson is a miracle. He is our gift. And those people who can’t see that are missing out. I will never lose sight of that again. I love you Ben!