August 16, 2010

The Decision

I clearly remember the day Jason & I decided we were going to try for one more child. I had been visiting my Grandma Shearer in the nursing home. My aunt made a comment, jokingly, about how someday it'll be me visiting her in the nursing home. We chuckled, but once the laughter stopped, I really got to thinking about it. I knew I would be able to visit and help take care of my parents should something happen to them. A daunting thought, but naive to think it won't happen. As selfish as this may sound, I was saddened at the thought of maybe not having anybody be able to come visit me, take care of me, look after me. It's not that Hayden wouldn't want to, it's more a question of whether he'd have the ability to. We don't know what the future holds for him, but any parent of a special needs child will tell you that the focus isn't just on today, it's also always on the future, for we have to plan ahead more than you care to know. I fully accept that Hayden may never drive, never marry, never have his own children. I have come to terms with this, and I'm not trying to be depressing- this is just a fact that I have faced years ago.

With this thought going through my mind, I also began to panic at the thought of what would happen when I'm gone? When Jason and I are no longer able to care for Hayden? Who will look after him and truly have his best interest at heart? It's a scary thought for any parent, but even scarier when you know your child does not have the skills to make certain decisions on his own. Keep in mind, I'm truly not trying to be negative about Hayden's condition, these are just my honest thoughts and it's taken many years to be okay with saying these out loud.

That day I went home from visiting my Grandmother and decided to have "the talk" with Jason. We'd often discussed another baby before, but at one point a geneticist said Hayden's condition could be hereditary. We had even altogether ruled out another child, for fear we would have another medically fragile baby. Luckily, after years of genetic testing, including a trip to Harvard Medical in Boston for lab work, the genetic theory was thrown out. Doctors decided Hayden's condition was random.

Jason and I discussed the advantages of having another, which included peace of mind that Hayden would have a sibling "in his corner." I want it to be known that we, in no way, decided to have Jarrett for the sole purpose of being his brother's keeper. This is absolutely untrue. We wanted another baby so badly for five years while we awaited the verdict of Hayden's diagnosis. With that being said, we cannot overlook the obvious idea that down the road Jarrett could one day play a key role in Hayden's support system.

The decision was made and on June 8th, 2007 at 10:10 pm Jarrett Troy was born. He has fulfilled every desire I've ever had as a mother. He is every bit as loving as Hayden, whom he bares a strong resemblance to. He's also kind, gentle, caring, and determined just like his brother. The two have a strong bond and learn from each other. They can be fighting all morning, but if one gets scolded or is sent to his room, the other brother is right there to defend and comfort the one who's just been punished. It's been rewarding to observe this bond tighten as they grow.

Yesterday I got a glimpse of Jarrett's protective, brotherly love shining through. They were playing in Hayden's bedroom and I heard Hayden start to cough. He didn't sound like he was in distress, so I wasn't worried. Jarrett, however, was concerned. I overheard him ask "Hayden you okay?" Then he said in an urgent voice, "I go tell mommy." Pretty soon I could hear the pitter-patter of his little feet in the hallway coming my direction. When he reached me he blurted out "Mommy, Hayden coughing. He sick."

What a little dear. My heart swelled with pride. Even though Hayden really was fine, it was nice to know that Jarrett was looking out for his big brother and knew to get attention when he thought there was cause for it. It seems small, but it's moments like these that make me hopeful for the future.  Hopeful that one brother will make every effort to care for his brother, not because he has to, but because he loves him enough he wants to.

No comments:

Post a Comment