A Rocky Start

A Rocky Start

Kim and Avery Dune Buggy


Our family just celebrated my son's 19th Birthday.

All birthdays are special as we get to celebrate the miraculous birth of our loved ones, and every birthday is unique to ourselves. My sons, Avery’s, was certainly no exception.

Every year on May 29, I am filled with fevered emotions reliving this eventful day from 19 years ago. Imagine going into labour, (as I'm sure many of you don't need to imagine). It's of course one of the most painful experiences for most, but knowing we are going to soon meet this little person we've been carrying around in our tummy for 9 month or more, it’s totally worth the painstaking contractions and everything else agonizing that goes with labour.

However, once that baby arrives we forget all about the torturous hours that preceded and we marvel in the joy or our creation. I was fortunate to already have had this experience with my first baby, Jesse, but not so much the second time around.

For anyone following my blog, you know that my son was born with a critical heart defect and wasn't expected to survive. This is certainly not what you expect to hear after giving birth.... it's usually, "Congratulations, It's a Boy!" Or, "Congratulations, It's a Girl!"

Instead, coming out of anesthetic, I faintly heard, "You have delivered a baby boy, but he is very sick. We believe he has a serious critical heart defect, and a team of specialists are coming from Children's Hospital to pick him up. I am very sorry."

Nineteen years later, I still remember those words coming out of the nurse’s mouth as though it were yesterday, and can't help the tears falling onto the keyboard and clouding my vision. They are reflections of various kinds of tears. Some are from reliving the day, and feeling completely helpless.

A mom’s job is to protect and comfort, and I've failed on the very first day.

Some, though, are 'Happy Tears' because Avery is still with us and I have had the unique pleasure to watch this determined little soul blossom into a handsome young man.

And some tears are also for remembering the little ones who didn't make it home.

Some days, the only way I could escape delirium was to fantasize about bringing Avery home one day, watching and guiding him as he grows and matures....sitting in the audience watching him walk across the stage at his graduation..... hoping he finds the job and wife of his dreams.

At times, while Avery fought so bravely for his life, those day dreams were all I had to carry on. These are all things I think many of us just simply expect, and may be taken for granted a little because after all, isn't that how things are supposed to go?

Well, albeit Avery had the roughest start of many, I am most grateful because he is still here..... strong and healthy. I always am reminded of a conversation I had with his primary nurse who became one of my best friends. I said to her one day, "Do these heart kids grow up to be so spoiled because the moms and dads are just so happy they lived and they let them do and have whatever they want?"

This was a real fear because it is how we were with Avery.

For his first four years, he probably didn't know what the word no meant. Nurse Bonnie gave a little grin and said, "Actually Kim, these heart kids grow up to be the most happy, caring and gracious people I know."

Well, I am happy to say Bonnie was right, Avery is all that and more. There probably haven’t been more than a few days where I haven't heard, "I love you Mom."

So yes, it was a rocky start, but having seen the outcome of these past nineteen years.... it was more than well worth it. It has been living a miracle and an honored gift to be Avery's mom. He has inspired a better person in me in many ways, and paved the most wonderful life path to follow.

Life gives us unexpected events sometimes, but if we search, and sometimes we must dig deep, we can find the silver lining in any event. It's always a choice.



By email: kim@kimgemmell.com


Phone: 604-819-5299

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