Monday, May 14, 2012

A Mother's Pride

I didn't have my first child until I was 37 years old. My pregnancy was perfect and although I am normally a "Nervous  Nelly," I have never felt so calm and healthy as I did during my pregnancies. I gave birth to my daughter, Casey, on a Friday morning, by planned C-section because she was frank breach and two weeks late. Everything went beautifully.

Released by the hospital two days later, I brought my new baby home. By the next day, it became obvious that she was running a fever. We took her to our pediatrician, who immediately admitted her for a spinal tap. She was diagnosed with Bacterial Meningitis. It was a devastating diagnosis.

As I understand it, there are several bacteria that can cause Meningitis, and it takes two to three days to grow the culture, to see which one is at work in a particular patient. We were told that she would be put on  a general antibiotic. If it happened to be the correct one for her infection, we would end up ahead of the game. If the culture came back showing a bacteria that was resistant to this particular antibiotic, then three treatment days had been wasted, and the damage during that time could be significant.

The antibiotic course runs six weeks either way, so we knew we were in for the long haul. Following the standard treatment, Casey continued to run a fever and our stay in the pediatric ward dragged on and on. At one point, she was given a complete transfusion. I made a call to one loving friend and within two hours, the line to donate blood spilled out of the laboratory door. At one point or another, we were told that our child would likely not survive, And that if she survived, she might be deaf, blind, or mentally challenged.

We were one of the lucky families. Casey did survive, suffering only a learning disability that she eventually learned to manage with a lot of hard work and self-discipline. The beat went on.  In eighth grade, she was told she was not "college material." When the time came, Casey did not get accepted to her first choice school (Rutgers University) directly from high school. But after one semester at another school, she tried again and was accepted. There she carried 18 credits a semester and carried a double major in psychology and sociology. She did really well fundraising with her sorority, and held down a waitressing job throughout.

I don't know where my daughter will end up working, but I know that she has the self-discipline to get where ever she wants. It may take a little time, as everything has for her, but I have no doubt that she will make it! This is how I spent my Mother's Day:

It was hard to see the ceremony through grateful tears. When I look back on those days in the hospital; when I remember watching the other parents (who were not all as lucky) come and go from the pediatric ward; When I remember every word of my desperate prayers and every kindness that was done for us; I am forever grateful.

This is a testament to the God who answered my prayers, the friends and family who supported us, and to my wonderful, hard-working daughter.

Kate Cameron Albers
Graduate of Rutgers University
Class of 2012



Dotti said...

There is no better Mother's Day present than seeing your child graduate from college or grad school. My daughter got her Master's on Mother's Day and the memory is crystal clear in my heart as one of the very best Mother's Days and the photos always sit near by. This is a beautiful post to a beautiful girl with a beautiful mother. Don't underestimate the value of your mothering in her amazing journey and accomplishments. You should be proud! :) Thanks so much for sharing this inspiration with us.


stephmull said...

What a beautiful story, Carol! And a wonderful Mother's Day gift! Congratulations to her and to you as you both made it to this momentous occasion! And I agree with Dotti.....I know you were a huge reason she is where she is today. Happy Mother's Day to you!

Carol said...

I got so excited I forgot to add the tag line. For those of you who see these comments, post pictures of the kids you love today!
Love, Carol

Jeanine and Emily said...

I love this story. What a champion,

Barbara said...

Oh my goodness, puts the real meaning into Mother's Day for sure. Lovely so lovely post Carol.

terriporter said...

Oh, Carol, your post is so moving and heartfelt! I know all of us who are mothers can relate to how scary that time in the hospital was for you and how proud you are of all of her accomplishments. I completely agree with Dotti -- be proud of yourself as well, as I am sure she learned how to be the fighter that she is from her mother. Hope your Mother's Day was beautiful!

Jolanda said...

Hey Carol! Casey is so lucky to have you as her mom! xo Jolanda

Cathy H. said...

A perfect story for Mother's Day weekend! You cup must be overflowing with love!! Congrats to you both, I know you've both worked so hard for this day!!

Carol said...

And so you see? - Right here at FOL - the love and support keep coming! Thank you all so sincerely!


Deanna said...

Oh Carol, I am so so happy that you shared this story with us and on the absolute perfect day of the year. Your testimony to your daughter and the love you share is so evident in this lovely post. Blessings to you both.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Well, I had to wait a bit before responding, wiping the tears. What a lovely share! You are such a fabulous person how could she not be a wonderful daughter? She is beautiful and the twinkle in her eyes is wonderful. Im so glad you have her to enjoy and yes! what a wonderful Mother's day.


gina said...

What a moving glad for the happy ending! What a beautiful and accomplished young woman -- perfect Mother's Day gift for you!

Linda said...

What a scary thing to have to go through with a newborn! I'm so glad things worked out so well and congratulations on her graduation! What a thrill!


Carol said...

Oh my friend....I'm a little teary because I know what a wonderful mother you have been...through the years for Casey (and Jake). You were there for those Halloween parades (at least most of them), you were there when they were sick, you hung in there with me as a fellow Girl Scout leader, and you did it all as a single parent. I'm so proud of you and Casey. You both realized a dream yesterday. Congratulations! By the way I love Casey's grad pic (looks like a picture I've seen of you in your younger days :)

heyjudephotography said...

What a beautiful daughter. Congratulations on a huge accomplishment! As a Mom, this story brought tears to my eyes, and so thankful and happy for you to have a such a wonderful, happy ending - which of course, is really just the beginning! Happy Mother's Day!

Focusing on Life said...

Now you made me cry again, Carol. You were a BIG part of the village it took! Love ya!

Focusing on Life said...

Thanks so much Judy

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to her and you! I had tears in my eyes reading your post. Thank you so much for sharing it.

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