Saturday, April 08, 2017
Today I am grateful for two miracles. My son and his wife’s little miracle, Alina is one year old today. One whole year. And what a bunch of stuff has happened in that short year.
The newly married couple were thrilled when they found out they were expecting. So were we. We thought we were all done being grandparents and then this blessing was announced. And not long after that a horror was announced. The expecting mom’s breast cancer.
Through voracious research I learned that it is not as unusual as I would have expected for a mom to get breast cancer while pregnant. The cancer had probably been there for a while, yet wasn’t noticed until pregnancy hormones played havoc. Plus, after repeated mammograms it never showed up on film. Ever. Yet it was Stage II.
Experts were called in for both the pregnancy and the cancer. Surgery was scheduled. Breath was held. Okay. All is well with mom and baby. Next was chemo. A rough road for all involved. The other grandma whose daughter was having chemo and rubbing her baby belly at the same time, was a rock. On the outside, but a mess on the inside. Like all of us. Mind boggling. Yes, you can have chemo while pregnant, but not radiation. That happens after the birth. Yikes.
Internal baby measurements were taken and she was tiny. But would be early. Oh no. So more breath held while we prayed she would cook long enough before appearing.
I had had a horrible double hernia operation a few weeks earlier, thinking when I scheduled it that I would have plenty of time to heal before becoming a grandma again. Then the call from my son came. She was on her way. . .forcing us all to be ready for anything. No rush. . .but. . .I could hear it in my sons voice. Trying to be strong. . .but I’m his mom and I know that voice. He needed us. They needed us. We needed to be there.
My incision was not healing and I was in excruciating pain, with nasty complications and unable to take serious pain meds. Sympathy labor? Not hardly, but not great. Himself said, “There is no way we can go down there for her birth. You are not up to it.” I said, “Watch me!” But I’m no fool. I knew I couldn’t drive, so I researched step-on train stops. Our oldest granddaughter, Alina’s big sister, showed up and we all went on the train together. And had a blast.
We walked into the hospital with just enough time to pee and catch our breath. And then she was here. At just under 36 weeks gestation. The most precious, gift ever. Her new mom, exhausted. . . sans hair and head scarf. . .was glowing with joy. The baby is okay. Miracle one. Without her, her mom might not have discovered the growing breast cancer. . .at least not until much later. After a long haul, Mom is also okay. Miracle two.
So today isn’t just Alina’s first birthday. It’s the celebration of two miracles. One big. . .one bigger. Life is good. BING! Heartprint!