Over 7 years ago, my sweet Aiden came into this world perfect! Perfectly formed the way God created him. For the first time ever, I experienced a piece of my heart, a VERY large one, walking around this world outside of me! What a gift, what a challenge, and what a journey being Mama is. Beautiful. Irreplaceable. Amazing. A gift. And absolutely life changing!
My sweet baby boy was born a little different than what the world's standards would call perfect. His early arrival was accompanied by a surprise club foot. I'll never forget what happened in my heart that day. After being airlifted to Salt Lake City, 31 hours of labor, and a decision to allow me to give birth-Aiden entered this world. As they rushed him out of the room for assessments and such, I remember noticing his foot was turned. I wasn't alarmed, I wasn't scared, and I wasn't upset. I had a breathing, crying, full of life baby boy! I just noticed his foot, that's all. My mind took note and filed the thought for later.
And then came the bearers of this news to my bedside. These were not the Dr.'s, nurses, or anyone other than simple minded people. They were so somber, a look of fear in their eyes, and sadness emanated from their hearts. They didn't want to tell me, I could see it all over their faces. As they gently broke the news that my baby boy had been born with a club foot, my heart soared and every part of me rejoiced. I had been given the perfect child. The words that escaped my mouth took absolutely no thought at all...."if that's all that's wrong with him, then THANK GOD!" I couldn't make their feelings add up and I didn't try. What was there to be upset about? What about this situation was devastating? And how could they think that this was something tragic? So his foot was formed differently than ours. SO WHAT!!!! He was alive. He was healthy. And there was nothing about his little body that couldn't be fixed. And how strange even that sounded to me. You see, he WAS already a perfect child. And he had been given to and entrusted to me!
After almost a week in the hospital, my sweet baby boy was released to go home. He never even hit the NICU, just a level 2 nursery with full time observation, oxygen, Billi-lights, and IVs. 6 weeks early and he was tough even then....and big! At 6lbs. 3oz. their first thought was that there was no way he was six weeks early. Although resuscitated at birth, everything else pointed to a full term baby....until they completed their assessment on him. And sure enough....he was 6 weeks early after all. Just a big baby boy!
With the first appointment at Shriners Childrens Hospital just a couple of days away, we stayed in Salt Lake City. December roads in Wyoming and Utah are no joke, especially with a brand new baby! Grandma, Aiden, and I enjoyed those days in a hotel and I was forever changed by the feelings that came up when it was time to head to Shriners for his foot. I was so SAD!!!! This was my baby boy, he WAS perfect, and I didn't want them to change anything about him, even his foot. Now as Mama, I knew this wasn't reasonable, I knew he needed and deserved treatment to correct his foot so that he would run and play with other children as he grew. But it pulled on my heart in ways I can never explain. So Mom and I did what we had to do. I loved on that little foot and thanked God for this perfect baby. We took pictures so we could forever treasure this perfect part of him. And then yes, we headed to Shriners.
Aiden had 8 different casts on that foot in the first 11 weeks of his life. That was many, many weekly trips to Salt Lake City and an awesome hospital! Right before the last cast, they released (basically just poked) his tiny tendon so that it wouldn't remain tight and pull his foot back to where it had been at birth. This release would allow the tendon to reattach and grow to accommodate the new position of his foot. And then, it was special shoes for quite some time! I called him my little Houdini because even this tiny.....the little stinker could always escape these shoes!!!
So here we are, 7 years later, with a little boy and his foot no one even knows is different unless they're told or inspect him up close! And he's done great until about a year ago when we noticed it was turning in again and that he was falling alot if he wasn't wearing shoes! Back to Shriners (we are now treated in Shreveport) for the news that thankfully it's not in his bone (that means no hardware) BUT that they will need to go in and lengthen that tendon to release his foot. So back into a brace until surgery. The brace isn't for correction, but for prevention of it worsening. Basically, we're buying time until he gets some more growing done and they can do the surgery.
Oh he's been SO scared, so worried, and very upset any time this comes up. Surgery is a scary thing, especially for a child, and even more so after he watched what I went through in major surgery and recovery last summer. That's what he equates surgery with, although it's two completely different things and levels of severity. So we've prayed, we've asked for prayer, and we've counted on God's promise that where two or more people join together in His name, He is amongst them. There IS power in that!!! And still, my prayer remained the same....that the Lord comfort Aiden and take his fear away.
And then a dear Christian friend asked me a question the night before our recent appointment. She asked me what it was I was wanting out of tomorrow. That kind of stopped me in my tracks. I knew the answer....I wanted comfort for our Aiden, for any and all fear to be taken away. The reason I was taken back?!? Because I realized I hadn't been praying for healing or that surgery not have to be done. You see, I KNEW his foot needed help, it had to be fixed, that was just going to be a part of it. And yet, at that moment I realized my lack of faith that God could fix this. Still, my prayer remained the same and my friend told me she would pray for that, and that God's will be done in this.
How many times have I underestimated the God we serve?!? How often we forget about the last time, the time before that, and even the first time that He showed us how much bigger He is than our small requests. How much more He knows. How much He wants to shower his love on us. How many times He's turned sorrow into joy, heartache into glory, and unanswered prayers into answered prayers after all. Yes, I have done it again. He did more than answer our prayers yesterday.....
NO SURGERY!!!! NOT NOW and probably NEVER in the future. Aiden's foot looks great and even if it were to worsen, we have SO many options other than surgery. Surgery isn't even on the list. AMEN! PRAISE GOD! And THANK YOU Lord for reminding me once again just how little my faith has been. And even more, that HE LOVES us anyway. The joy in Aiden's heart yesterday was priceless. And it was more than just a relief that there will be no surgery. You see, it was a real, living, and perfect example of God's work being bigger than us. Of Him going above and beyond what we desire. We bowed our heads in that exam room and we thanked Him for doing this for my little boy. WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE!
To make this day more bearable, to calm his fears, and to be able to focus just on Aiden, we had left the babies back home and I had a day full of surprises planned for Aiden. Instead of a 'consolation trip of fun', yesterday's Aiden and Mommy date became one of celebration! We had SO much fun together and made memories to last a life time! On the books.......
A TRIP TO THE SCI-PORT MUSEUM!
NEW BOOTS FOR AIDEN (it's still tennis shoes with a brace or boots to hold his foot straight and keep it stretched!)
A FANCY SCHMANCY DINNER FOR TWO AT RALPH & KACOO'S
And at the end of our very special day together, our little boy sat across the table from me as we talked about our favorite parts and how much fun we had. A perfect day together and then, the most awesome words from this little man....."I really miss the babies." It was time to go home so we could all celebrate together!
Thank You Aiden James for an awesome day! We love you so very much and you are ALWAYS perfect! God has big plans for your life and we love watching you grow and watching those unfold!