It has been four months since my baby Simon’s surgery. Even now, I can close my eyes and take myself back to the moment I held him in my arms as they put the gas mask over his gasping mouth. I watched as his beautiful brown eyes closed, all the time singing him “our song”, then feeling his body go limp in my arms. I couldn’t breathe as I left the operating Room. I stayed close just so I could somehow “feel” him through the walls. Really I didn’t know if it was a “goodbye” or a “see you later”.
When I was given the news that my perfect, beautiful, four month old son had been diagnosed with craniosynostosis, I was devastated. At 10 months old, he had to have an 8 hour cranial vault procedure, where the surgeons removed a portion of his skull, reshaped his head and then reattached his skull. I’m a single parent and the pressure of looking after my 3 year old and having a 10 month old going through life changing surgery nearly broke me. Do you know what I wanted to do? Give up. But I couldn’t. I had two little ones that were relying on me to be there for them.
How I coped was by incorporating the following steps.
Okay, “Sh*t happens”, but don’t let your feet get stuck in the mud.
It’s ok to have a short period of feeling sorry for yourself, but it’s important that you then ACCEPT your situation and move on to develop a plan
Overcoming obstacles is all about your attitude. If you can’t change it, go through it and occupy your mind with the positives and moving forward.
Don’t wish problems away or ignore your problems like an ostrich burying its’ head in the sand. Deal with them head on.
Find positive resolutions – as you gain more knowledge you can help others as they go through similar situations.
Decide how you will proceed
You move forward and brainstorm! It is time to analyze yourself and your team.
You can’t help what happened, but you learned from this event and you are better prepared if a similar event occurs again, so that you do not make the same mistakes. Have the proper tools to help support if it does happen again.
As you gain more information, you’ll see things you didn’t before, and you will learn from your mistakes. A by product, is that you will also “toughen up”, which prepares you for even bigger challenges.
Doing things alone isn’t smart. All of us can benefit from having wise counsel around us. Professional sports players have coaches, all Presidents have advisors, and even the world’s best known businessmen have mentors to give advice, support and bring accountability.
So go and get some support and share your stories, so you can help others!
Update: Baby Simon is doing great. Physically he looks different, but we are blessed that he is a true warrior! He is walking, talking, and pretty much your average 14 month old toddler! We are forever grateful to the staff and volunteers at Rainbow Babies, and your support during our difficult time!
Please give us a call if there is any way we can help, (440) 385-6737