I had to take Big Man for some follow-up blood work this morning. A couple of his liver numbers came back slightly elevated in the Fall. His doctor wasn’t concerned, but just wanted to give it a few months and re-test. So at 7:15 this morning, we hopped in the car and headed to the lab. He was a trooper (the lidocaine might have helped a bit since it numbed up the area the line was going).
Now he knows his story – how his life started desperately early, and what led up to that day. I’ve told him before of all the IV lines I had those sixteen days while on hospital bedrest, how they had to be moved to a new vein every three or four days, how the one removed the day before his birth had been infected and that’s what ultimately sent me into the final labor and his too-soon birth. But he brought it up again on the way home from the lab. My veins now collapse and roll every time I have to have an IV or blood drawn. He, for whatever reason, likes to bring it up. Which brought up the topic of how many lines he had after his birth.
I honestly don’t even remember how many lines he had going into and out of his tiny 2 pound body. I’d have to look at pictures, or just mentally count. And he wanted to know what lines were where. He knows he was on the ventilator. He knows he had a feeding tube. I explained all the other life-support lines he needed to survive. He knows his story. He knows the mark on his face comes from a night nurse pulling the tape off his face with no gentleness whatsoever. I explained why he had the tape on his face to begin with. I explained what a primary nurse was. I told him she used to call him her “little blond angel boy”.
The things he knows no thirteen year old should know. But it is his story, part of who he is. It takes me back, talking about it with him. But he has the right to all the minute details of the days leading up to his birth, his birth day, and all the days that followed. He informed me this morning he doesn’t remember any of it. For that, I am eternally grateful. I told him I remember enough for the both of us, and my fervent, never-ending prayer all these years has been that he would never, ever, ever remember any second of that experience.
He wants to know more. I told myself at some point, I will give him his baby journal. It’s my words, but it’s his life. He will know more. He will know things most other kids don’t. In some ways, I’m okay with that. He’s a miracle. There’s no other way to say it. In some ways, I’m not okay with it, because no one should have to know those things.