After being diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer while pregnant, I learned of Hidden Blessings and Finding Home.
As with all things in life, there are hidden blessings.
We made it though our 24 hours apart with milk shuttling and visits from my husband and son. In fact, the anticipation of them created a forced bond between my son and my husband: a “boot camp” style knowledge of how to care for Owen while I was gone. Unintentionally, it immediately established my husband as an equal caregiver for my son.
Owen and I had been through so much together before he was even born. A surgery, countless ultrasounds, so much blood monitoring, medication and dosage changes, finished with a long and complicated birth that ended in a c-section. By the time he joined us on the outside, I wanted to do whatever I could to comfort and console him immediately. I didn’t want him to have to endure anything else.
I could not put my son, or myself through any more unnecessary emotional, or physical upset. This desire forced me to search for validation. Validation that sleeping with my baby, holding him around the clock, and foregoing the radioactive treatment (because the cancer was so small, I opted not to ingest the chemicals) were valid choices, and supported with research. This quest led me to Attachment Parenting, though at the time I didn’t realize there was a name for it.
Not by formal design, Attachment Parenting became the basis of our family unit. My husband and I feel grateful for the circumstances that surrounded our first pregnancy, which likely determined this for us. We were quickly taught to trust our instincts, and that if we listened to our baby, he would tell us exactly what he needed.
I cannot imagine life any other way, than waking up in the middle of the night, or the morning, to those (now two) beautiful lives that are my children, sleeping so peacefully- now sometimes holding hands as they do. I am not only grateful to have them in bed with me, but also to be a physical part of it.
At six am the morning after the surgery, I buzzed the nurse and begged her to prepare my discharge papers as quickly as possible. She did so warmly. My sister arrived early to drive me home, and much like the last two miles of a marathon, those last forty minutes in the car seemed the longest time span of all.
I walked into my house, where my husband Kris was waiting to place my gorgeous, wonderful love in my arms. I sat down in the chair and finally felt whole again.
Apparently, Owen did too. He looked up at me, and cooed. Then, Owen looked right into my eyes and shared his very first smile. He too, was home.
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