But instead of focusing on his death, I’m choosing to celebrate his memory, thanking Hunter for giving me one of the greatest experiences of my life.
Why Am I So Thankful When My Son Is No Longer Here?
Let me explain, since the age of 20 I had been told that I wouldn’t be able to bear children naturally. I had been diagnosed with a PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) that supposedly caused me to stop producing eggs. In 2005, an endocrinologist even asked me to consider invitro fertilization to preserve the supposedly “few” eggs that I have left, because apparently I would never be able to reproduce without it. So after returning from a business retreat where we were having to hike 6 miles a day for 3-4 straight days, I didn’t feel so well. I honestly thought it was due to the extreme walking in 99 degree weather that had something to do with it. After arriving back home, after my mom hinting that she thought I was pregnant, I grabbed 2 pregnancy tests from the Dollar Tree (*Hey, I was certain I wasn’t pregnant! I wasn’t about to spend $10 a pop for something that was going to be a big fat NO! :)) Anyway, I remember waking my mom to a surprising 2 pink lines on the tests, knowing my life would change significantly…but I never imagined how much and in such a positive way.
What I learned from being Hunter’s mommy:
1. Nothing is impossible for God: God is the giver of life…no matter how long that life lasts. And despite what the doctors had been telling me. God was showing me, that he has the last say over when, where, and how life will be brought forth. I have a renewed faith simply from the miracle of Hunter:)
2. Babies are night owls…(at least my Hunter was): I remember when his father would check on me. I would always tell him that it was certainly his son, because he had inherited his family’s traits already. LOL!!! Hunter would dance immediately after I would finally get comfortable in my bed. (His dad’s family were late night party-goers:))
3. There’s something so remarkable about life living inside of you: The first trimester, I was in disbelief. But as time went by and seeing the ultra-sound of my son always doing something interesting, I remember crying. I couldn’t believe I was a vessel for a little person. To see him waving or kicking, just gave me such joy. Just feeling his reaction to my voice was so indescribable. I found myself singing hymns to him daily and speaking great words of affirmation to him. I remember the first time his dad felt him moving in my stomach. I could tell he was blown away, as I was every time I felt it. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that feeling…nor do I want to:)
4. Total Selflessness/How to Love: I will never forget 2 days after I found out I was pregnant, I noticed some bleeding. I called my OB, and she asked me to come to the hospital. My mother went with me, as I drove myself there. My blood pressure was extremely high and the nurse and doctors were focusing on me. After I was released, on the drive home, my mom said she realized that I had crossed over and went into full mommy mode. When I asked her how, she mentioned that from the moment I got to the hospital, the only thing I kept saying was make sure the baby’s ok. She said I didn’t mention myself not once. I didn’t realize it…but my baby was indeed the only thing that mattered to me.
5. How to Hustle: I can’t tell you how in love I was with him…although I was convinced he was girl! (Hope he forgives his mommy for that:)) But either way, I knew the name was going to be Hunter. I never imagined loving someone you never met and that love would build your drive, because you want to secure their future. I never imagined how someone you’ve never met would cause you to think about things that I never considered before. (I started book marketing, because of Hunter). It would be a way that I could work from the comfort of my home office and combine the things that I love the most (reading and helping new authors). I loved it and I realized it was something that brought me much happiness. In some crazy way, the work I do is my tribute to him:)
6. How to Speak Out: After Hunter’s death, I immediately sought out an organization, the Alabama Baby Coalition, who’s mission is to reduce the birth and infant mortality rates. They had sent me a card with their information, letting me know they’d be contacting me in about 6 months for an interview. So they were surprised when I sought them out in just 7 days. I wanted my story recorded and most importantly I wanted my son’s death to not be in vain. So, I shared it to hopefully help prevent others from the experience I had. You see, I’d had an outpatient procedure, (LEEP) , that they no longer perform because it weakens your cervix. I didn’t even remember the procedure to list it. So, I requested that I work with the ABC to try to get question, “Have you ever had a LEEP procedure?” , added to the intake form of OB clients, so that they can be aware and take the necessary precautions to prevent them from premature labor. In the spring, Catherine Hanks, informed me that they have added the question to intake forms for OB’s in approximately 6 counties in Alabama. It’s my hope that by next year, it would be a requirement for the entire state of Alabama. But if it helps prevent just one birth casualty, it’s all worth it to me.
7. Additional motivation: I never got to hold Hunter before his little life was ended. But I’m certain our little man is in heaven. It’s added fuel that I need to keep the course to make sure that I make it to see him and hold him in Heaven too! I’ll never forget a short time after I had lost Hunter, an older lady from church came up to me and said, “Most parents can only hope their child makes the right decisions to make it into heaven….how blessed you are to know that your son IS in heaven”. Thinking about it on my drive home, I remember how the tears flowed. B/c I didn’t know…I’d be a vessel for delivering one of heaven’s angels.
For more information about the Alabama Baby Coalition simply go to:
Acknowledgment: To the father of my son: If you read this, I want you to know that I will always have a special place in my heart for you. It’s because of you that I had the wonderful experience I had being Hunter’s mom, no matter how short of time it was. You’re a good person and no matter what the circumstance, there could’ve never been a Hunter, if there were no you:) So thank you…from the bottom of my heart, thank you!