March 18th 2009

6 years ago... My water broke at 4:30 am. I was finally going to have this baby. We had just moved into the trailer that day and I had overdone it by moving boxes and setting up beds so we could move in and be settled.

My first born and only son was born that evening at 8:03 pm after a long and painful delivery. There was so much that went wrong and I wish that as first time parents we had known more and could have prevented a lot that went on that day. His head was too big to pass through the birthing canal. He put his hand out and they had to shove it back in. They made me wait to push because everyone else was having their baby at the same time...

But he arrived. All beat up and black and blue. They tried to cover the cut on the top of his head from when they cut me to help get him out. And I wish we had been smarter about it...

But the moment when they placed him on my chest and our eyes locked. It was such a beautiful moment. I asked my baby boy if he hurt as much as I did and he looked at me and started to cry and I kissed him and held him and knew that I was his mother and this is what I had wanted my entire life. All the fears that I had escaped in that moment and I couldn't take my eyes off of him.

And then new fears slowly crept in. Jon was like a baby doll that I packed around. He lay on a pillow and stared at the ceiling fan going round and round. He was not developing like new borns should. After 5 months his head had gradually grown and we knew something was terribly wrong. We insisted that some tests were done.

3 days later we found ourselves moving to Wyoming to live with my in-laws and so that Darrel could find better work and that we could get medical assistance from the state of Wyoming. And thank Heavens we did.

Jon was diagnosed with hydrocephalus which is water on the brain. But Jon's condition was rare. He had a soft spot on top of his head we could fit a baseball onto. It was that big. As long as his soft spot remained open there was no need to perform any type of surgery. So we concentrated on his physical and mental development. He had therapy and people would come to the house and work with him. When he got old enough he went to a special school. And he became the most active little person we had ever seen - he literally climbed the walls, the fence... anything he could get a toe hold on.

And then over about 6 months his head began to grow rapidly and his soft spot closed and the bones grew together and started to make a ridge right down the middle of his head! We took him to different specialist and he was diagnosed with cranialsynitosis which is where all the plates in your skull grow together too soon and puts pressure on the growing brain.

We made the decision to take him to Denver where a team of doctors would shave his head, pull back his scalp and take a sander to flatten and smooth his skull to be able to cut the plates apart.

I can't describe the feelings my husband and I went through. The surgery took longer than expected and to us it was a nightmare.

Jon recovered from his surgery within a week and we were able to take him home. He did really well from then on. His headaches were gone and he amazed us with his accomplishments.

And then Jon turned 3. On his birthday I was babysitting my friends foster children. They were not being nice to Jon. So Jon was by my side and helping with the dishes. He took the dishwasher rack out and started to run down the hallway. Before I knew it he had tripped...face first into the rack.

We called 911 and within seconds someone was there. The prongs from the dishwasher had gone through his eyelids and now blood was coming from his eyes. We had no idea what the depth of the injury was.

We went by ambulance to the hospital where the only helicopter was already in route with another patient. So we were transferred to another ambulance and drove nearly four hours to Rapid City South Dakota to a hospital that could handle the situation.

My husband rode in the ambulance and I followed in the truck. I'm glad that my husband was there to hold him because as upset as I was I would have not been able to calm Jonathon. I was able to think about what had happened and try to forgive myself for not being a wiser mother and preventing this. The wind that day was fierce and it took every ounce of strength I had to keep the truck on the road. It was difficult to keep up with the ambulance and the usual 2 1/2 hour trip turned into 4 hours.

In sparing you the details we were able to take our son home without surgery without stitches and without any further complications. He hasn't lost any of his vision and we consider it a miracle.

The past 3 years Jonathon has come leaps and bounds. His once autistic ways have been replaced with almost normalcy and we wonder and awe at his progress. He still has to have a strict routine in place or he starts acting like Rain man...but we couldn't have asked for a better blessing.

Jon is 6 today. He gets up every day and his first question is "Is it a school day?"
He knows that it is his birthday month and so his next question is "Is it my birthday?"

Yes Jon. Today is your birthday. Happy Birthday Son. I am so glad your here.


Pancake said...

WOW he has been through a LOT! Thank goodness he is ok!

Heidi Ashworth said...

You sure have been through the wringer with Jon! It is amazing how much you have been able to accomplish in your life with the trials you have gone through.

devri said...

wow the prong story had me in tears, it could have been soo much worse.. Thank goodness for little angels.. He has been through a lot..but he is a fighter!!!

Keep him close, Heavenly Father has something special in store for this one.

Christina said...

Wow! You've been through a lot. Happy Birthday and I admire your/his strength!

tammy said...

Oh my goodness! You both have been through a lot. There is nothing like the birth of your firstborn. I think the moms should get to celebrate that day just as much as the child. Hope you both have a good day!

TMI Tara said...

Wow, Jess, I had no idea you had been through so much with your little guy! He has manifested miracle after miracle. His life has a very special purpose.

Lisa Loo said...

You AND Jon are AMAZING! Sounds like the winds have been blowing fiercely for quite awhile in your lives---hope all continues to go well and Happy Birthday Jon!

islandgirl said...

Jessica, you've been through more than some mothers go through a lifetime. God only chose you because he KNEW you would be strong, and strong you are! And a little cake doesn't hurt on the days when we aren't so strong, lol!

Nancy Mataoa de Montero said...

Jess- you wrote that so beautifully. He is going to treasure that someday! Love you!