The night Maddox was born I stood in the corner of the hospital room sobbing wondering what to do with my life. All I wanted was to leave Maddox in the hospital, pack my things, go home, pretend this didn’t happen and simply start over. It was that instant in the dark corner that I knew I wasn’t going to be whole until I held a ‘healthy” baby.
Every minute that ticked by after Maddox’s first year with us, I was consumed with getting pregnant. I was torn between nursing Maddox like a good mom or stopping so that my body would return to normal and we could start trying again. Finally, when Maddox was 11 months old I did quit and my body resumed instantly. It had taken one year to get pregnant with her so naturally I thought it would take some time before we conceived again. 6 weeks later we received a positive pregnancy test. I was excited but knew deep down that the stress of carrying this baby would take its toll. What would I do if our first doctor was right, what if we genetically couldn’t create a normal child? After many, many tests and ultrasounds, everybody was convinced that this baby was fine - but me. It wasn’t until MacGregor was placed on my stomach that I felt the weight lift. I locked eyes with the midwife for confirmation. She smiled, and I knew things were good.
Other than my own craving for normality, why else was MacGregor needed? The obvious is that someday Scott and I won’t be around to care for Maddox and we needed to be sure she would have family to watch over her. The question that lingers is do we put this sole responsibility on one sibling, one that never ever asked for this burden? Or do we have two kids, who would be able to split holidays and share responsibility? I often wonder if my kids ever secretly blame me for giving them this lifelong responsibility?
Another reason for having MacGregor is larger than life itself. His cord and tissue was sent to a secure cryogenic location and will be stored in the event that Maddox develop a blood or tissue disease (and hey, we’ve hit all the odds so far so I wasn’t ruling this one out). With the trending positive outcomes in stem cell treatment, we just couldn’t chance not having this resource available to Maddox.
Before Maddox was born we had planned on spacing our kids apart in age but research was saying that peer to peer support is the number one most effective intervention. Which meant, we needed to have a peer for Maddox and thus became MacGregor. His unspoken job was to teach Maddox to crawl, walk, climb, run, talk, drink from a cup, use a fork, climb a slide, and the list goes on.
I often wonder if we made the right decision but today, I shot this video of the two kids and my fears were eased. There is so much peer to peer support in this video I can’t stand it!!