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What My Son Won't Remember About His Time in the Hospital

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My husband and I have a 2-year-old healthy son named EJ and a 4-month-old named Christopher. Christopher was born with multiple congenital heart defects and had been in the hospital at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas since his birth on November 17, 2014.

He has had seven surgeries, which include two open-heart surgeries and at the latest a tracheostomy. He will be ventilator-dependent at home with us for the next couple of years. I wrote this for him…

You won’t remember, but I will.

How I thought it was a bad dream when the doctor told me something would be wrong with your heart.

How your daddy and I cried ourselves to sleep in each other’s arms that night.

How I looked at your brother and felt so much guilt because we were having you for him, and now he was going to feel neglected for years to come.

You won’t remember, but I will.

How I spent the next three months terrified. How I knew you were safe inside of me but as soon as you were born, you would feel pain and anxiety while being so little.

How when my water broke a month early, our world started spinning and I knew nothing would ever be the same again.

You won’t remember, but I will.

You were so perfect and pink when you came out. A team was there to fly you away to the best doctor at the best hospital. My heart ached that I couldn’t hold you, never breastfed you, never got to cuddle you.

I spent the night in the hospital alone that night. Your daddy had to take care of EJ and work so he could take me to see you the next day. My breasts and uterus ached for a child that I didn’t have with me. The girl came in to take newborn pictures of you, but you weren’t there. You won’t remember, but I will.

How the first time I held you my heart was so full. The nurse told me you would need a palliative surgery. Everyone thought you had a broken heart, but your heart surgeon fixed it and gave you a full heart. I remember how those who told me you were broken wouldn’t look me in the eye after that, they knew they shouldn’t have said that.

You always were and always will be perfect to us. You never have been “sick” to us. You have things that aren’t right, but you have never been wrong in our eyes.

You won’t remember all of this. But I will.

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Originally published: March 31, 2015
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