Happy Patrick Day!

You’ll be
his first kiss
his first love
his first friend.
You are his momma
and he is your whole world.

He is your little boy.

I am not writing this post from a diabetic point of view. I'm not currently playing the role of an author or a teacher, but as a MOM. Today is my son's 11th birthday. Patrick is an amazing kid and I want to share the story of how he came to be. He is truly a miracle!

I know I said no diabetic references, but I have to share a quote from when I was diagnosed and hospitalized. After a long/new-information-overload-type meeting with the diabetic educator, she threw in, "Oh, by the way, you are most likely in your honeymoon phase so you might want to think about having children."

Wowsa. Talk about pressure! My husband, Bob, and I knew we wanted to have children, but we wanted to wait for the right time (WHEN exactly is that?! Bigger house, heftier bank account, completed Master's degree, blah, blah, blah....).

What Bob and I quickly realized was that there is no magic button you get to press that says, "OK, it's time! We are ready to be parents!" It takes longer than that. Much, much longer. We had our ducks in a row and my blood sugar levels (sorry, another diabetic reference) were good. We had a plan. We were at the age where our friends were all getting pregnant. Bob and I were excited for them, we just wanted to experience it, as well. I was envious of how easily some people were getting pregnant and I wondered why we were struggling. 

Bob and I saw an infertility doctor and we determined the best plan was to have an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure. It was risky and it was expensive. I, however, couldn't imagine a world without children of our own. We saw a counselor to develop a plan if the IVF didn't work. We set up our lives to raise a family and if it doesn't happen, then what?!

Calendar for the month of June. I needed help keeping track of the fertility medication and insulin.

Calendar for the month of June. I needed help keeping track of the fertility medication and insulin.

Days and weeks went by. Bob became an expert at giving fertility injections. Because the shots had to be given at specific times, we had to be creative...when we got stuck in traffic, we pulled to the side of the road. When we had an event at the downtown ballpark, we went to the first aid station. Bound and determined....

Folks, I'm telling you, waiting is the worst. My imagination was running wild with typical pregnancy symptoms. I will never forget how excited I was when I almost threw up in my friend Leslie's car (Could I be?!!!).

Finally, Bob and I went to the doctor's office to see if the IVF was successful. They drew blood and (of course) there was more waiting. Hours passed and the phone rang. Bob answered it and when he burst into a huge grin, I knew the IVF was successful. I was pregnant.

We had a great time sharing the news with all of the people with whom we had confided. There is nothing like a strong support system. Relationships are everything!

Patrick Joseph Heitert II was born on February 25, 2004. A big, sturdy boy who weighted 8 pounds, 12 ounces. We arrived at the hospital at 11 am and he was born at 1 pm via c-section. Fortunately, everything went according to plan. Funny how birth emulates personality-my practical, mature planner.

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The last 11 years have flown by and words cannot explain how proud I am of Patrick. He is smart, sweet, thoughtful, bright, athletic, on and on and on. Sure, he's a typical kid finding his way, but I have never seen a more determined, driven child. I'm quite convinced he has his whole life mapped out. 

Patrick occasionally needs to be reminded to "be a kid" but there are so many special qualities about him. He gets his practical, thoughtful, kind nature from his dad.  I enjoy receiving compliments about his behavior or hearing stories about how he stood up for a friend who wasn't being treated in a kind way. Great character.

I am LUCKY to be Patrick's mom. It took a great deal of planning and many emotions to get him here, but he is a strong and resilient young man because of it. Happy birthday to my lil man (well, not-so-little man as he is quickly catching up to my height). I look forward to sharing many, many more with you.

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My boys...Bob helping Patrick get ready for his First Communion, May, 2012.