The Almost Empty Nester: Mama Bear Mode

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mama Bear Mode

I've said in earlier blogs that Thing 1 has had some issues with his arm lately causing him to step away from football for this year. Basically, he has a vein in his arm that doctors aren't quite sure what it is. It's puffy and angry and it hurts. When we first saw the vein doctor a few months ago, he thought it was a varicose vein, but since Thing 1 is super young and varicose veins in the arm are unusual, he ordered an MRI. Well, the MRI didn't show them what they wanted to know so yesterday he had done what's called a venogram. It's not an awful procedure but an IV is involved and some poking around of the area that hurts. Not fun.

Anyway, Thing 1 was a little nervous. And let's be honest, so was I. We already knew this wasn't life threatening or something awful but still...I'm a mom. I worry. And health stuff scares me to death. We are a health conscious family. My belief is that if you do everything you can to take care of the body God gave you, you have a fighting chance against this world and all that it throws at you.

They got Thing 1 into his gown and he laid on this table for about 45 minutes waiting for the doctor. I could tell he was nervous so I tried to distract him by playing thumb wars and getting him to laugh. We talked about how one of the reasons he could be having this issue is from having an IV within moments of being born. As you know, he's a twin and when he was born (6 weeks early) his lungs weren't fully developed so he was in ICU for 5 days. This led to him asking about when I was pregnant with him and his brother, what it was like to have him in ICU, what was I worried about, etc. My kids love to hear me talk about when they were little. :-) By the time the doctor came and got him, he seemed calmer and prepared for the procedure.

I stood to go with him and was told I had to wait. Thing 1 hugged me then left with the doctor. I sat down and started to sob. I lost it.

You see, when he was born, I didn't get to see him until hours after his birth. I was sort of busy giving birth to his brother while they whisked him off to ICU to get him hooked up to oxygen and all that he needed to survive. By the time I came out of delivery (and some not so great other stuff) it was basically the next day before I could see him. The nurse got me in a wheelchair and wheeled me down to ICU where my sweet, tiny 5 pound little man lay in a cube. His face was covered with tubes and sticky things, his arm wrapped where the IV was. I couldn't hold him or touch him - nothing. And I felt like a caged animal ready to rip at anyone nearby. Mama Bear Mode hit me in full force. (The above pic is actually him at home curled with Thing 2 but you can see his oxygen tubes still...)

And although my Tiny Man (my other nickname for him) is now taller than me and far from small, I still hit Mama Bear Mode. Because we never lose that as moms. He'll be a man with his own life but I know I will still have times where I feel protective and my claws will come out. It's just part of the deal.

They came back about 45 minutes later and the news was all good. Thank you, Jesus! It is just a vein we can treat and not connected to anything vital. No issues. All good.

We drove home, Thing 1 telling me about the procedure and how it hurt, "but the doctor was cool and it was all fine..." Last night as I crawled into bed and talked to God about it, I thought of that verse that says Mary cherished all these things in her heart. I think of that verse a lot, actually. Yesterday wasn't fun. I don't wish health issues on anyone and I pray daily for the moms in my life who have very, very sick children. I don't know how they get through it. I really don't. But I thought about laughing with my son, telling him about his life, the moments we shared in that room before he left with the doctor. And they are moments I will cherish in my mom heart forever.

He's my Tiny Man. He always will be. Nothing will change that. Not even him having size 14 feet or being built like a freight train. He's my baby. And this Mama Bear will always have his back.

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