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eSpecially Parents: Donna's Story

Hello everyone.  I'm new at this blogging thing so bare with me. My name is Donna and my son's name is Ben.  I met Vanessa and her sweet Momma when our Ben's were classmates years ago.  Vanessa was the only parent (other than me) who would stay in the classroom to check things out. I would try to just drop him off and leave, but ended up going back inside.  Maybe it was because Ben stayed sooo sick and I worried about him catching something else.

Ben is an only child and was born with Tetralogy of Fallot (a defective heart).  He had 3 chambers instead of 4. I found out about his heart at 4 months pregnant.  During my last doctor's  visit, something went terribly wrong and I had an emergency c-section that night.  Ben was born with underdeveloped lungs and had to stay in the NICU for 2 months.  (Somewhere along 7 months I lost fluid and it went undetected).

At 3 months old I took him back to the hospital for his heart surgery.  It was a success, but while in the recovery room on the second night, the nurse turned him over and his ventilator came out.  I came home with a different child.  You might say how could I tell at 3 months?  Oh, I could tell immediately.  Moms, you know when your baby isn't breathing, eating, or sleeping the same.

So what did I do after giving myself permission to loose my mind for "one minute"?  I looked at Ben and said "okay, here we go baby", and I became the mother who made sure everyone who came in contact with Ben was on the same page.

Ben had a lot going on.  My motto was "prevention mode" because once he became sick I was the one taking care of him for at least 2 weeks.  I told everyone involved with him that they needed to learn how to stay in prevention mode with my little man.

Moving forward, Ben is now 7, immobile, cognitively delayed, and has a g-tube. I'm happily divorced after 3 years of marriage.  I divorced almost a year after Ben was born.  Surprise, surprise.  My occupation is Benjamin 24/7.

Life has been pretty difficult for me but I just make sure that I keep living.  I love to play and laugh a lot even when it's not funny.  I set weekly goals for myself to make sure I keep this thing called life fun for me.  At 42 years old I decided to get a tattoo.  What the.....?  Ooouch!  I'm such a punk, I didn't let the guy finish it.  Now I'm ready to get it finished.  Not by him, though.  I want a motorcycle.  We'll see. Kayaking is my next venture along with white water rafting.  My intention was to go skydiving before having a baby, but that didn't happen, so I've scratched that off my list.

My mom and dad are my lifeline.  Without them I couldn't do this without losing my mind.  My mom has a magnet on her refrigerator that says "Dance like nobody is watching" and that's exactly what I do in my kitchen.  Ben sees me though.  He smiles his great big smile, reaches his arms out, and we dance to whatever is on the radio or TV, be it rock, gospel, soul, or nursery rhyme.

Love life y'all!


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