Four years ago on this night, I got the first ever IV line I have ever needed in my life.
Four years ago on this night, I was a tired mom of three baby girls, and was anxious to welcome my fourth beautiful baby girl into the world.
Four years ago on this night, I had no idea what noises the machines make as they are helping your baby breathe, or what a nasogastric tube did, or what it felt like to be scared literally to death for your child’s life.
For this night, I was blissfully unaware of the world of “medically fragile children” – of the sheer undeterred strength that I could possess as a momma, of the limits of exhaustion that my body could push. For this night, I laid in a hospital bed, hooked up to an IV, knowing that in the morning my life would change when Kendall Quinn came to meet us – but having no idea just how much change would be headed our way.
Four years ago on this night, I was innocent.
Some days, I wish I could go back to that old me. I’d love to worry only if my child would need ear tubes or a bump in her asthma medication. I’d love to have my house to myself (instead of having nurses in and out), celebrate my big girl moving to a big girl bed, be working on potty training (or already done with it!). I would love to be able to walk into a hospital or ER and naively trust every single word coming out of the doctors’ mouths as gospel truth.
But you know what? I wouldn’t trade it.
I wouldn’t trade all the sleepless nights, gray hairs, stress poundage, eye wrinkles and encyclopedic medical knowledge for that innocence. Because all of those things^^^??? They brought me my beautiful Kendall Quinn, a fighter in every sense of the word. The very definition of strength and hope and amazing. They made me the person, the mommy, the me that I am today. This is not my battle to fight – but these are my battle wounds. And in the end, they are what has made me stronger.
Four years ago on the night of November 13 – if you would have told me all that would transpire between then and now, I would have buckled to the floor. I would have been afraid of the pain, of the weight of it all. But I am not that same person. I can look back on the last four years and know that I am stronger. That we are all stronger. And no matter what comes, we will be ok.
My dear baby Ken-no-quinns –
You are amazing.
I have no idea where you get the strength that you do – to face each day with all of its challenges, to be woken up out of a deep sleep by a needle injecting medicine into your leg, to live your life and play all day with a backpack on your back lugging around an IV pump and medicines and bags of fluids. I don’t know how you do it. And I wish so hard that I could take it all away from you – make it MY pain, MY backpack, MY tubies to deal with.
This fourth year of life has been a crazy ride, hey?
For the first half of it, the focus wasn’t even really on you! You let the REST of your family share the medical spotlight for a little while. Very nice and gracious of you. And then when your issues hit, man did they HIT. The many days of intense pain in your bladder from being unable to pass urine for days, and then the added trauma of trying to cath an extremely uncooperative you…I want to block those days from my memory!
And then surgery.
And then more pain.
And then infection after infection after infection and more hospital stays…more ambulance rides…more tests. I am so sad some days for you my baby girl. I know that I couldn’t endure what you do. I know your sisters would in NO WAY be able to handle what you do with your same awesome attitude.
You have fought back from some pretty scary infections and situations this year kiddo. They have left you with scars, some physical, some emotional. They tell me that your status is fragile and complex. But that’s because they don’t know YOU. You are strong and singular in purpose – you are HERE to LIVE OUT LOUD. I don’t know what the next year might hold for you. I hope it is a year of health and happiness, and free of hospitals. I hope we can figure out a way to make your wish of seeing Mickey and Cinderella come true. I hope so many good things for you. But mostly, I just hope that the next few hours are pain-free. And the next few hours after that. And then the next few hours after that. I hope your blood clot dissolves. I hope we can stop the nasty shots into your legs before Christmas. I hope Santa is good to you. I hope you know how much I love you – how much we ALL love you.
I hope that you continue to receive your daily mercies and strength from Jesus.
I hope that you continue fighting and proving that you write your own textbook.
I hope you continue touching the lives of everyone who comes in contact with you.
I cannot wait to see the amazing things you will do this year – you ARE amazing my sweet baby~
I’m so honored to be your momma.
Love you forever.
Happy Birthday, Princess.