Perfect Six

Six years ago, I gave birth to my fourth child, a son. He was 2 weeks early and my husband, having witnessed all 3 previous births, unfortunately missed this one. He was there though when the doctor told me that my son was born with a defect. A defect that required immediate surgery. Exhaustion and a mixture of painkillers and anesthesia clouded my mind so it didn’t fully sink in until the morning after.

I could have sworn I was having a girl – even chose girl names! But my son being born on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to name him after the patron saint of Ireland.

Patrick Vincent was born with an anorectal malformation which required a colostomy with irrigation to be performed immediately. Basically he was born without a rectal opening and during his time in my womb he has had no way of expelling waste from his body. That waste is toxic and lethal if the doctors did not perform colostomy right away. It was a very trying time for our family but everyone kept us strong and supported us through it all.

It was 13 days from his birth before I could take him home. Thirteen days and nights when my husband and I would make several trips to the Special Baby Care Unit of Al Wasl Hospital to be with him. I seriously thought I would have a nervous breakdown or post-natal depression from all of it!

By the time he was 6 months old, Patrick has had 3 major surgeries. The third one being a pull-through or a PSARP, which was the procedure to create an opening in his rectum so that the doctors could close up his colostomy. He will forever carry that scar on his stomach. I have told him the story many times and will continue to do so until he understands what he has gone through as a baby. I even kept samples of the colostomy bag and kit so he can see them.

But that wasn’t the end of it! When I had to send him home with my parents to Manila (won’t go into details), his pediatric surgeon suggested that the PSARP was not done properly and another ‘clean up’ operation must be done which included circumcision. So he went under the knife a fourth time, and this was about a month and a half before his first birthday!

Today he is as normal as any six-year old boy. Always running and jumping around, worries about virtually nothing except when he has PE in school because then he gets to wear his sweatpants.

Life has certainly been less dull with Patrick around. I can’t imagine coming home and not finding him there ready to welcome me home with a hug. He is a sweet, gentle boy, a little rough, a little tender and a good, caring son and baby brother.

Happy sixth birthday, Pat-pat! Mama loves you very much.

Did you know that six:

  1. Is the smallest perfect number
  2. Is the only number that is both the sum and the product of three consecutive positive numbers.
  3. Is the day that God created Man.
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