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35 Days With My Baby

Photograph by Getty Images/Flickr Open

I thought yesterday was the worst day of my life. I was wrong, and apparently I may be wrong again. There is absolutely no way to prepare oneself for the news that your 35-day-old baby may not survive. I have loved this little baby so deeply for 35 days, and I simply cannot fathom how I will go on in the fateful case that my baby does not survive.

Last night, for the second night in a row, I awoke from my sleep with the thought that House—Dr. Gregory House—was going to burst into the room cane in hand, and deliver the medical diagnosis and treatment plan that would save my baby girl. The interesting part of this very sad reality is that like the team on the show House, the doctors guess at what may be the medical mystery diagnosis by running batteries of tests and taking blood and running even more tests and treating what they think is the issue. They are mostly wrong and the person becomes sicker or if you're lucky stays the same. The awful part is that House never shows up. The entire teams continues to work through the possibilities and maybe they correctly diagnose the condition. Often, like in our sad reality, with neonates it is difficult to determine the case when a baby is mysteriously worse one day after testing negatively for every virus and bacteria known to the medical community.

I must cherish these 35 days she has given me as the greatest gift I've ever had.

I am writing about the worst pain and grief I have ever felt to express this sadness and keep myself on this side of the edge. My dad died when I was 15, my beloved grandfather when I was 19, and most recently my grandma died when I was 31 weeks pregnant. The sadness I feel right now is exponentially worse than all of that sadness combined. I wish I could give my precious, precious baby girl my blood, lungs, heart, and anything else that would give her a chance to live the beautiful life she deserves. Though we share the same blood type, my blood won't help her heart carry the oxygen she desperately needs to her lungs. No matter what happens next, I must cherish these 35 days she has given me as the greatest gift I've ever had.

Being a parent requires you to sacrifice and to give all of yourself to see your child thrive. What is the greatest gift you feel you have received from your child? Moms and dads invited to share.

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