My Birthday Boy, My Miracle

Today, my baby turned 5. 

He is my miracle, even according to the reproductive endocrinologist who worked with me during seven intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycles, until I achieved a successful pregnancy—me, a DES (diethylstilbestrol) Daughter with a T-shaped uterus, one-third normal size.

He is my miracle who, although I was dilated at 27 weeks of pregnancy, the result of my DES-induced uterine abnormality, and having contractions at 31 weeks, stayed put until his due date—February 10, 2005. 

He is my miracle who was born in acute respiratory distress because he had aspirated meconium (his first bowel movement, in utero), yet rallied in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and was released four days later, on Valentine’s Day.

He is my miracle who eliminated the issue of my blaring biological clock, enabling my relationship with my brand-new boyfriend, whom I met nine days before getting pregnant via insemination with donor sperm, to progress to marriage and my husband’s adoption of him.

He is my miracle who grew to 9 pounds 7 ounces before birth, stretching my tiny T-shaped uterus into a larger arcuate uterus, making it possible for me to get pregnant during my second in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle this summer.

My son is my miracle who has contributed to the realization of so many of my dreams.  Yet, while his presence, from conception to now, has been so powerful in my life, he will always be my baby. 

The book Love You Forever (Firefly Books, with its 68th printing in 2004), written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Sheila McGraw, communicates this concept more effectively than I ever could.  I’ve had the book for five years, and I have yet to read it without crying. 

The book’s back cover reads:

“A young woman holds her newborn son and looks at him lovingly.  Softly she sings to him:

I’ll love you forever,                                                                                                                                                           I’ll like you for always,                                                                                                                                                     As long as I’m living,                                                                                                                                                        my baby you’ll be.

This is the story of how that little boy goes through the stages of childhood and becomes a man.

It is also about the enduring nature of parents’ love and how it crosses generations.

Love You Forever is a book that both children and adults will enjoy—over and over again.”

Tonight, I feel so emotional about my son turning 5 that I can’t read Love You Forever.  I know I would bawl, and, considering that I’m in my 29th week of yet another high-risk pregnancy, any physical and/or emotional stress should be avoided.

So, instead, I keep remembering how happy I was when my son was two weeks old, and a nurse at his pediatrician’s office called to confirm an appointment.  I answered the phone, and she asked, “Is this my son’s name’s mom?”

I knew how blessed I was to be able to say yes.

And, today, five years later, I still don’t take my role for granted.  My son is a gift, a miracle, entrusted to me. 

And, my husband, who chose to be his father, feels exactly the same way about him.

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