Then, we waited. And waited. It seemed like an eternity before anyone came in. I watched the clock, and grew more anxious. Finally, an hour and a half later, a nurse came in to tell us they were done. "Trevor did very well. He's in recovery. He'll be out shortly..." he said. A big sigh of relief. At that moment, I wanted to see my son. I had to see him, just to make sure he was okay. But of course, we had to wait.
Half an hour went by, and there he was. In an instant, my heart sank! What I saw was not what I expected, nor prepared for. Trevor's face was swollen and bruised. There was blood around the lip and nose, and surgical tape across his newly-joined lip. He had restraints on his arms, and an IV in one hand. He was definitely a sight to see.
We went home later that afternoon, with instructions to remove the tape the following morning. I was so anxious for the morning to come. I couldn't wait to see his new lip! The morning came, and I scooped my little guy up, fed him, and set up everything to take the tape off. When I removed that tape, I was floored! My son was a whole new boy. Words cannot describe what I felt when I saw his new lip for the first time! I cried and smiled at the same time. Tears of joy flowed down my cheeks. The plastic surgeon had done a GREAT job! My little boy no longer had a "wide smile!"
Here we are, a little over a year after my "education" began. In the course of this year, Trevor has had one more surgery to correct his lip. In this time, he has gone from that special bottle, to a regular bottle, and now to a sippy cup. He is a "normal", happy child, with a little scar or two. These last several months with Trevor have been filled with triumph, fear, joy, tears, heartache, and pain.
Along with my little boy, I have grown and changed into the woman I am today. I'm a little older, a lot wiser, and a better person all around. It may sound strange to some, but I thank God everyday that my little boy was born the way he was. I would not be the person I am today without going through all the tribulations I have encountered, and the life lessons I have learned.
I've learned during this time that it's ok to not be the strong one. It's okay to be afraid. It doesn't matter what everyone thinks about you or those you love. And that it's okay to cry. I have learned that our situation was really not that bad compared to what it could have been.
The most important thing I learned is it's okay to ask for help. I don't have to do everything myself, nor can I. I have learned to seek the support of my family and friends, not only for physical help, but for the strength to get me through one more day. To help me know that it is going to be okay, and that it's okay if it's not. I feel truly fortunate to have been educated about something others may never learn, experience or never know. Ah, the value of education!
Melissa Cook is a proud mama to two wonderful children.
Copyright © Melissa Cook. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org.