Today my youngest son graduated from kindergarden. I have shed so many tears this morning, when I saw my two year old boy amongst his buddies, receiving his “diploma”, some sweets and his graduation hat. Three years ago, I was not even sure whether I would be alive in 2018 … and it was uncertain whether I would be able to keep my baby. The pregnancy had been – to put it mildly – rather rocky. Today, during his graduation ceremony, I thought about some of the most difficult situations:
- The miscarriage I had suffered shortly before he was conceived.
- The joy I felt when it was confirmed I was pregnant again. (I didn’t hear the “but” when they told me….)
- The shock I had when I heard I had cancer. When I was told I would probably not be able to keep the baby.
- The terrible time of waiting for a more detailed diagnosis, especially some sort of outlook on my life expectancy, possible treatments and my future quality of life. I was also anxious to know more about my baby’s health risks – would he be born with cancer?
- The dreadful decision my husband and I made: we would only keep the baby if I was to live at least five years more. This is the moment I thought most about today. And I just kept crying.
- The discussions about having chemotherapy during pregnancy. Of having a bone marrow transplant right after birth using the baby’s stem cells. (One of the most absurd moments. I don’t even know if I understood what my doctors wanted to tell me from a medical point of view. But hearing the words “Bone marrow transplant” and “birth” in one sentence just made me feel extremely uncomfortable.
- The relief when I was told that I could keep my baby. (During my fourth month of pregnancy. Before I had been told during three long months: “Try not be happy about your pregnancy.” A very strange advice for a pregnant mother, even if she has recently been diagnosed with cancer, from my point of view)
- The shock when it turned out he only had one artery supporting him with all he needed and the potential implications. ( I heard that during my fifth month of pregnancy I think)
- I calmed down again. Then, when I was eight months pregnant, I was told his heart looked malformed – he would probably die immediately after birth or need intrauterine surgery.
- The specialists we had to consult to find out more about the baby´s heart. And the day when they told us it was okay.
- The day he was born. He was tiny, but perfect. And he continues to be perfect, although he has grown up.
I hope to see many more graduation days: preschool, primary school, secondary school and maybe others as well. I want to be there for him because I love him so much.
After crying my heart out today, I started to smile and to enjoy the moment. Because my son doesn’t deserve being linked to my chronic disease anymore. He deserves hundred percent of happiness and pure joy.