I awoke this morning with a dark cloud looming over me....and a strong pounding in my head that suggested maybe my alter ego went out last night and tied one on without me. As the day went on the headache subsided, but the cloud continued to follow me (isn't there a cartoon about that). While we were eating lunch it hit me like a ton of bricks.....it's been 3 years today. Why do I always remember these "anniversaries"? Today marks the anniversary of the beginning of a journey that we never signed up for. There were no road maps made for our travels. We began this journey with a blind fold on, and many days I feel like I still have it on. Yes, on September 17, 2003 we admitted Miss Emma to the hospital for the very first time.
I vividly remember pulling into the circular drive in front of The Children's Hospital while tears welled up in my eyes and proceeded to pour down my cheeks. This was followed by the sobs that racked my post partum body while I opened the back door of our car to remove the car seat which held our yellow baby with wondering eyes. She looked up at me as if to say, "Mama, what's wrong"...and that is how our journey began. That particular entrance at Children's Hospital still pains me to walk through. I hope to never experience that feeling again. The utter fear of the unknown that can take over your entire being.
The memory of walking through the halls, trying to find our way to a room that was on the other side of the construction zone. Without a map....it took patience that we did not have at the time. Finally we found it, and we weeped some more as we laid our precious 6 week old child in the crib. The crib that she would spend the next month of her life in. Those bars that I would look through to see my child with tubes and wires. My child who was trying to heal...with a liver that would not allow her to. Those bars were like a prison that had trapped us all in a time that I felt like my world was ending.
I remember feeling as if I were falling deeper and deeper into a dark hole. I worried each time that I went to sleep that I may not be able to climb out the next day, or worse that someone may tell me something else to push me further. The darkness encompassed my world. The pain of the unknown was my every breath. My entire body felt it.
Today is a day of memories. They are not the kind of memories that I want to have, but they are the memories that help me to cherish my child more than I ever knew I could. Those moments are a part of my child's history, and they have helped to make me who I am today. Before having Emma I never knew how strong I could be. The past 3 years have helped me to become a person that I am proud to be. Looking back, I can tell you that the past 3 years have been amazing!