I have been thinking about my first son a lot these days. His 3rd birthday passed last week, and the days leading up to it, were emotional, to say the least. Wyatt was an incredible blessing to both me and Brian. We were newly married and finding out we were pregnant within months of being newlyweds was amazing. We were floating and felt untouchable! We were invincible and could do anything!
It’s difficult to revisit those early days of innocence and hope. My pregnancy, our pregnancy soon became high risk, and surgery after surgery provided more hope, and more disappointment and worry of what was to come.
When I realized Wyatt’s birthday was nearing, I braved myself and asked for Brian’s photos from when Wyatt was alive. Scrolling through the first couple were not so bad. I recognized each shot and could step back in to that exact moment of peering into the isolette where he lay. As I continued flipping however, two photos in particular made me stop. I toggled between them both, unseeing, then seeing. I covered my mouth and shut my eyes tightly. Little Wyatt was covered, absolutely covered, in lengthy IV’s, white tape, plastic tubes, gauze wraps, and cast-like braces.
This could not be. I did not recognize these two photos whatsoever. Was this how he looked? Was this how he truly lived his days in the NICU? I slammed the phone down onto the couch and cried out! It was as if I was seeing his birth defect for the very first time. I had no filter of being a new mother, of having renewed hope, of true and honest bravery, of sheer disbelief…none of that. The photo stood. I could not argue against it.
Did we do the right thing? I asked Brian.
We did everything we could, he said.
Did he suffer, was Wyatt in pain?
I don’t know, honey.
I lit his 3rd candle and ate spaghetti with Brian. We sipped on wine and toasted to our son. Another year has come and gone.