My little Sadie. Something is switching over in me. Slowly but surely I feel more present with you rather than hovering anxiously somewhere above you constantly gauging your calorie consumption, your development, your size, your very essence.
Up until too recently you’ve been more a sum of your lack of met milestones, un-gained ounces, therapists’ concerns, doctor visits, possible syndromes.
I admit, I am a natural worrier. I’m Jewish. I was born this way. From the time my DNA was formed, I probably started worrying about being born, I’ve never been good with change.
I worried about your big sister fairly constantly when, in retrospect, there wasn’t much to worry about. With you, there’s certainly been cause for concern. You are “globally delayed” they tell me. As if they need to tell me. You need speech therapy. Isn’t that funny? You aren’t even a year and a half and you will soon be receiving speech therapy because the doctors are concerned you “have no words” yet.
My little Sadie. There is no diagnosis for you. You were an IUGR baby. That means you didn’t get the proper blood flow from your cord and you didn’t get the proper nutrients from my placenta (rather your placenta). To add insult to injury, you developed a fungal infection in your esophagus which made it painful for you to eat for your first few months. Is any of that the reason that you are well behind other babies your age? To be honest, we just don’t know. Will you eventually catch up? Like a Magic Eight Ball all signs point to yes but, we don’t know for sure.
Isn’t that the craziest thing? We. Don’t. Know. I can Google “small baby” all day -every day if I choose, take you to a developmental pediatrician or four if I choose, have you genetically tested if I’m curious. But in the end, I still won’t be able to predict your future. That thing I absolutely have the hardest time tolerating, that thing that crawls into my chest and squeezes so tight I have trouble feeling anything but fear, that thing responsible for the self protective walls going up, that thing called The Unknown, is now something I have to partner with for the long haul.
But there is plenty of positive, you are progressing and that’s the part that’s finally starting to sink in. A couple of weeks ago, your physical therapist said you may not walk for a few more months. But guess what, you started walking a week later. You walk all the time now. In fact, you love to push your twin sister who outweighs you by seven pounds around on your princess push toy. You also babble like a motherfucker. You surprise me every day.
My little Sadie. After all my vacillating we went ahead and got you the g-tube and everyone including me was hoping there would be some miracle growth spurt. But you stayed on your own special curve. As Randy would say, “You’re doing your thing, dawg.”
And I am grateful to be along for the ride. I’m grateful to be a part of your life. I’m grateful to be the mommy of a very special little girl. I’m not waiting for a miracle anymore because, as downright corny as it sounds, you are a miracle. Your grin lights up my whole world. Even more so because you were unhappy for so long. Yeah, I sound like one of those dippy ass Blue Mountain greeting cards. So sue me. I’m just learning that your difficulties make you even more amazing. Your smile is unrivaled. My favorite song is your maniacal laugh. You hate baths. You love books. You are fascinated with trying to climb into the refrigerator. You are so over vanilla Pediasure. When you open and close your hands along with my sorry rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I feel like I won a hundred dollar scratcher lottery ticket.
This is something brand new for me, Sadie. We are both facing challenges within ourselves. And you are handling yours with aplomb. I could learn a little something from you.
My little Sadie. You are not “not on the charts.” You are uncharted territory. Waiting for me to discover.
H, if you are reading this, it sucks that sometimes it takes someone losing something/someone so precious to realize what you have. And how fragile and unpredictable it all fucking is. I dedicate this to you.