I Am A Supermom.
I don’t stop from sunrise until long after sunset. Preparing meals and cleaning up messes, sailing from appointment to appointment, answering emails, intercepting phone calls, changing diapers, making up silly songs…you name it, I do it. By day’s end, I’m exhausted and I could drift into a deep sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. I could but I don’t because my mind is too busy running through the day before, critiquing where I could have done better. Then it begins planning the day ahead. I’m a mom, and those three letters carry so much weight, responsibility, and love. Despite the to-do and did-it list of my every day, the only thing that makes me Supermom is the kiddo that calls me “mommy.” I inherited the name the day my son was born simply by association.
In my twenty-seventh week of pregnancy, I was in the midst of decorating our son’s nursery and planning the “baby shower of the century.” My biggest problem at the moment was party favors: succulents or local honey. At least until that fateful Friday afternoon when my phone rang and displayed my doctor’s contact information.
The results arrived from my appointment earlier that week and some of my levels were so abnormal, namely my proteinuria and platelet count, that an error in the lab was seemingly the only explanation that I was still alive. Not only was I alive, I was happy, healthy, and enjoying my pregnancy to the fullest. I was asked to head to triage at the hospital to have the labs repeated, only for the results to be even higher the second time. My blood pressure was through the roof as I filled out my admission paperwork to begin my extended hospital stay. Preeclampsia had hit me like a brick - quick, hard, and out of nowhere (because who throws bricks, anyway?).
Our Valentine’s Day weekend celebration suddenly transformed from a romantic candlelit dinner, our last as a family of two, into a whirlwind of DNRs, consent forms, steroid injections, and magnesium drips. By Sunday morning, I was whisked off to the operating room to deliver our son via emergency c-section, just beyond the twenty-eight week viability milestone.
Flynn Reilly Mulligan was born at 10:34am on a sunny February morning, weighing just over two pounds and measuring about fourteen inches long. I wouldn’t get to see him for the next two days but, boy, did I love every ounce of him. Love truly can be blind at times and without ever seeing his face, I knew that I would stop a moving train for him.
In the NICU, I saw things that I wouldn’t wish on any parent. I witnessed things that I’ll always wish I could unsee. Every single part of me was tested: my hope, my will, my strength, even pieces of me that I didn’t know existed before they ached so deeply. Through it all, for each one of those forty-nine days, this tiny little person contained a soul too big to contain. I’ll never forget the fight that lived in the smallest body I’d ever seen. He seemed so frail, yet even in the moments when I had just one small sliver of hope left, he’d show me what strength truly is. I’d given birth to a superhero, one that would not only teach me how to be a mom, but what the word “mother” truly means. Through association, I learned how to be a Supermom, a mom fit for a child who exhibits the inspirational qualities and tenacity of a true superhero.