A year goes by much faster than you expect. A year ago today Mason took his first breath. This sweet baby was born with his spinal cord sticking out of his back, feet twisted, excess fluid on his misshapen brain. He had his first surgery before he turned 8 hours old. You can see a lot more pictures in this post I did from the NICU and read the details of those very first days. In one year my son has grown into a spunky little man. He has made it through six brain surgeries and more tests than I’ve had in my life. When I look back to the time in his pregnancy when we learned of Mason’s spina bifida I remember how worried I was. I remember the grim prognosis with words like paraplegic, mental retardation, and brain damage thrown at us. The doctors didn’t know what would happen. They didn’t know how Mason would change our lives. If I could go back and tell the doctors about Mason I would say so many things.
That Mason would be a fighter. That he would take being a paraplegic in stride because spina bifida does not define who he is. That he is a determined little man who does things his own way, and that walking is not essential to happiness. Braces, wheelchair – these are not dirty words, they are wonderful tools Mason will use to get where he wants to go.
That our lives did change – for the better. We have learned from his joyful spirit to embrace every day, to meet challenges head on, to never give up. We have a child who loves wholeheartedly, who laughs, and who we couldn’t imagine our lives without.
That the baby that they said might be brain damaged is just a normal, brilliant boy who is already coming up with ways to get into trouble just like his older siblings did at his age. He’s creative, playful, and opinionated.
That his life is worthwhile.