Tomorrow (Saturday, July 22nd) is another anniversary for us. Not one of THOSE anniversaries, but one of those anniversaries. You know, the ones that you wish you didn't have to remember.
Two years ago tomorrow, we packed up our son, who was home just days from the NICU (12 to be exact), and took him back to the NICU. In reality, we were fortunate to be able to return to the NICU and the nurses and doctors that we loved. Most babies don't get to go back once they've left the NICU(he also returned when he was 6.5 months old for a hernia repair surgery).
We went in early that morning, and prepared our son for his second (of many) surgeries. This surgery was the surgery that would chart the course for us - that would confirm all the things that we didn't want to hear - that gave us the diagnosis of biliary atresia.
We knew with this diagnosis that Tanner had a 1/3 chance of never needing a liver transplant, a 1/3 chance of needing a transplant soon, and a 1/3 chance of needing a transplant sometime. We prayed to be in the first group - I was convinced I couldn't handle being in the 2nd or 3rd group. We were in the 2nd.
This year, the anniversary is easier than it was last year. I'm sure next year, it will be even easier. And, at some point, I may not even remember the anniversary. But for now, I remember three things about that day:
1. The absolute pain and fear of letting my child go through those operating doors
2. My "family" of liver moms and dads who have reached out to us in the two years since his surgery.
3. What an absolute miracle my son is - he is a fighter, and yet he giggles his way out of trouble and continuously reaches out to others. He was then, as he is now, my hero.