You are too! You just have to realize it, and recognize it. Every one of us is Fierce in our own way. What does Fierce mean to you? To me … it means strength, and bravery, and doing something awesome and hard.
How are you FIERCE?! Can I tell you about a time that I had to be fierce? I’ve shared a little bit about what happened to my almost 4 year old, but, I didn’t really tell about how it has changed me, how it’s shaped me, and my family. How it’s made me Fierce, and how I had to be Fierce in the moments.
When my little boy Jack was 9 days old, we were sitting at home and my husband and I noticed that he was acting unusual. He wasn’t eating, and he was crying (with like a catch up breath, like when you’ve been crying really hard), and wouldn’t really stop. Or he’d finally stop, we’d lay him down and he’d start again. All the sudden his mouth was dropping slightly, and so was his eye. After monitoring his breathing we realized that we needed to call the on-call nurse for the pediatrician office. She told us that we needed to get him to the ER immediately. Through a miracle, we were able to find a neighbor who was totally available and willing to help us at 10:30 PM while my husband and I took the baby to the ER. My parents would come watch the kids ASAP, but they were 40 minutes away. I sobbed the entire drive wondering what I’d done wrong, and praying that he’d be okay, that the doctors would figure it out.
When we got to the ER, his oxygen levels were fine. That was weird. That, and the drooping of his face wasn’t adding up. He was admitted to the Pedi unit for testing. A spinal tap revealed a bit of blood, so they took him in for a CAT scan. Our little boy returned much sooner than we’d been prepped for, since there wasn’t the usual Friday night line. The doctor came in and gave us the news. There was a blood clot in my tiny baby’s brain. It was 1/4 the size of his brain. They’d be life flighting his up to the nearest Children’s Hospital. The helicopter had already been called and would be there in 20-30 minutes. This news was given to us at 3:30 AM — it’d been a long night, with a lot of crying. I couldn’t even cry when I heard the news. It was just shock and not understanding what was happening. A sweet, sweet nurse asked if we’d like to hold him. She got permission from the doctor to let us do so. It was such a tender moment. It was a fierce moment too though … I had to be brave. I had to be faithful. I had to press on for my baby.
We watched him fly off, and we drove to tell the other kids. Then we drove to the hospital (about 1 hour away). After another CT scan, and MRI, the doctor came in and told us that his gut was telling him to do surgery. He’d previously told us he didn’t like to do brain surgery on babies so little, but that he felt like he needed to for our baby. Twelve hours after he was diagnosed, he was in the OR. Surgery was 3 hours, and went great. My baby was fierce! So so fierce.
Best case we were told he’d be released on day 7 post-op. Know what? He was released on day 8 post-op. While in post-op I had to be fierce for my other little kids (ages 4,2,1) while they were shuffled between friends, neighbors, and family. They didn’t totally understand, and I had to be happy and play and give them the little bits of time they got with me. It was so hard … but WE CAN ALL DO HARD THINGS! We can ALL be fierce when the unexpected happens.
Almost 4 years later, you’d NEVER know that anything happened to my little boy. There were lots of specialists to visit, doctors to see, exams to be checked those first 9 months. He still sees a pediatric stroke specialist (yep, he had a stroke at 9 days old) once a year to make sure, and his local pedi always keeps an eye out and does different tests then he does with the other kids … but know what? Nothing is wrong with him. He is my miracle. He is my reminder of being FIERCE, and HOW to do it and that I CAN do hard things!
Having gone through a traumatic experience like that has really made me so much more empathetic. It’s helped me to appreciate every day I get to have with all of my kids. It’s helped me remember that even the every day mundane things can be special and important – especially when they’re not there for a little while. It’s taught me to love more fully and appreciate the little moments that come. Always say I love you. It’s essential.
Being a mom is hard! Being a mom is being FIERCE! We need to remember to love each other more and judge each other less. We all have hard things. We all have different hard things. We are all Fierce in our own ways in our own lives!
When have you been Fierce? Want to help Clever Girls Collective support women and girls to be Fierce? Visit www.clevergirlscollective.com/fiercefund to learn more about this girl-power project! We’d love your help in selecting the Fierce Fund grant winner. Just click and vote! www.clevergirlscollective.com/fiercefund