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  • Viva Sarah Press

Not all babies read the book on how to be born

My youngest son was born with a brain bleed.

He was also born prematurely. He lost his heart beat in utero. He turned blue almost immediately after an emergency C-section and had to be resuscitated. He was born with a PFO (hole in his heart).

But it was the brain bleed that most worried the medical staff.

The doctors tried to explain his brain bleed. They warned about possible long-term complications. They entered him into a three-year neurological study.

He had a MRI within two weeks of entering this world.

One doctor told us, “not all babies read the book on how to be born.”

We held on to that sentence. Because all the other sentences spoken terrified us.

When my friend’s son was born with hydrocephalus, doctors spoke similar sentences to them. I passed on the one sentence we had been told that we liked.

Fast forward 8.5 years. Today, my youngest son was declared to be in the 97th percentile of second-grade children in Israel. He is “officially” gifted.

His brain bleed, it would seem, fed his mind.

While I am so happy for my son and proud of his achievements, I can’t help but remember those first days of his life. No one ever knows what will be. It is normal to worry about a baby's progress. When you know there may be something awry, when you know the brain bleed is not routine, it is petrifying.

But as the one doctor told us, “not all babies read the book on how to be born.”

I’m so thankful my youngest is happy and healthy today. He is a good person.

And, it would seem, he’s gifted.

My friend’s son, fittingly, is too.

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