Oh my boy (wrapped in a carpet; he loves this...don't ask me why!)
I can't even begin to tell you, truly, how great it is to be this boy's mother. That he has reached 28 months old; no event of serious illness or threat to his life.
I spent my whole pregnancy waiting, waiting and waiting for something to go wrong - a miscarriage; it was the obvious first choice in the list of 'things that can and will go wrong in my life.' It seemed destined, written and totally unavoidable. Then his birth; I believed I would die in child birth, that life would go on for everyone else and I'd be dead and buried. When none of that happened, it seemed unequal and so I waited for the scales to balance; I counted out the days, weeks and then eventual months in which we'd been blessed to have no serious events.
A year passed and then I began to breathe easy...and when I did he got sick. So sick that he couldn't lift his head or properly respond. There was a spotty rash. I kept telling myself it would be fine but I packed a hospital bag as Bryan took Roman to the doctors, just in case. Then the phone call where you know what's happening but respond as though you don't; we had to go to hospital and then I cracked. Tears, panic and anxiety. Bryan laughed at me, told me to get a grip and I don't know what I did but I was glad there was a phone line separating us at that moment ;). You see these tears were tears I'd been holding inside for years; knowing that something awful lay in wait to claim his life. He'll be fine, he won't die, I told myself this over and over but I don't know if I believed it.
My brother (Roman's uncle) had meningitis, you see. He got infected when he was around the same age as Roman was last summer. One doctor told my mum she was being over anxious, that he was fine, it would pass. He got progressively worse. I don't remember his sickness, but I remember the recovery my brother had; strawberry milkshakes, long bus rides to hospital, the children's ward seeming like both a sad and happy place to be and the times where people were nice to me, the healthy one.
Before his recovery there was a grim period where he was hanging onto his life by a thread; where his remaining life was broken down into a prognosis of hours left. I can't imagine a life without him now, but it was a possibility then and I don't know what my life would be without my brother, Roman's uncle, in it. And likewise I didn't know how to handle Roman's illness when it hit us, I didn't know how to be with a child in hospital - it was all new and terrifying to me. I didn't know whether to tell my parents, because of what happened with my brother, but I knew if I didn't tell my mum she'd be upset. "Everything's fine, but," I opened with this line because it would hopefully stave off any worries they might have. "Roman's in hospital. They've found a rash, he has a temperature and they're doing some tests." My dad answered the call that night, my mum was working and wasn't even in. I saw this as a blessing in disguise.
Roman began to get worse; more tired, confused, upset and he seemed in pain. He wouldn't nurse or eat anything - he'd just cry if I tried him on the breast and would cry if we gave him food. His nappies were dry, yet his skin was clammy and warm. They gave him medicine, in a little syringe, which he had no problems taking. He slept. They took blood. He slept again and when the doctor arrived to tell us we could head home - and the tests had revealed no serious cause for concern - Roman was laughing for the first time in days. We were told to call the hospital if things got worse at home, given a card with the number of the ward on it for that very purpose and then soon after we were leaving. I was relieved, grateful and about ten times lighter that night.
I never take life, this one life we all have, for granted. I might procrastinate or have lazy days but I never go to bed dreading the next day. I never lie down in bed and question why I had Roman, because I always know the answer. He's meant for our family. I chose to have him. Through his life, I've learned so much. Not all of it extreme exquisite joy, but most of it has been wonderful. Sometimes it's been hard, a lot of the time I've had anxiety that somewhere, somehow, something will go wrong but I'm happy to be proven wrong, I'm happy to know that he'll reach old age. I'm so thankful, and hold him a little tighter, to have him living and breathing and in my arms (when he allows it) every single day.