Three years ago, we knew nothing.
We knew nothing of NICUs.
We knew nothing of ventilators, intubations, and extubations.
We knew nothing of dysmorphic facial features.
We knew nothing of Ativan and Fentanyl.
We knew nothing of corpus callosums and kidney problems.
We knew nothing of suctioning and saline bullets.
We knew nothing of congestive heart failure and Lasix.
We knew nothing of possible seizures, spinal menengitis, and lumbar punctures.
We knew nothing of PDA's and coarctation of the aorta.
We knew nothing of The Children's Hospital in Denver.
We knew nothing of doctor's rounds and nurse's compassion.
We knew nothing of Pierre Robin, tracheomalacia, and oral aversion.
We knew nothing of tracheostomies and g-tubes.
We knew nothing of DMEs and home equipment and supplies.
We did know about IUGR and a two vessel umbilical cord.
We did know about ventriculomegaly.
We did know about frank breech presentation and a scheduled c-section.
Compared to what we didn't know, the list of what we did know is very short. We were innocent. We were naive. We were ignorant.
But, more important than anything on either of these lists, was one more thing we did not know.
We knew nothing of the strongest love known to humans: the love between parents and their children. We knew nothing of how far we would and could go to make our baby better, how nothing else matters in the whole world when your child is sick. How "sleeping" in nothing more than a closet with a mattress was comparable to a five star hotel if it meant that we got to be across the hall from our sick little girl. We knew nothing of the love that would allow us to move Heaven and Earth to save our precious baby's life so that she could come home with us and live a "normal" life someday.
Three years ago, we knew nothing. And today, even though we know more than we ever wanted to about raising a special needs child, we are grateful for the education.
I made and posted this video a year ago in honor of Marissa's second birthday. A year later, just before she turns three, it is still poignant and sums up how I am feeling today.