Thursday, October 02, 2014

The Most Awesome Person in My Life: Zack (31Days Blogging Challenge)

Click here for the Table of Contents for 31 Days of Awesome

My son.
He is most awesome.
Incredibly so.

At various ages and in various ventures.

He's a miracle IVF baby (only one try -- eggs literally in one basket) and we thought we very nearly lost him when he was born. Due to some mid-birth complications, we were told we most certainly did NOT want to hear him cry, because then he would suck in some nasty stuff that would more than likely land him in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (or NICU) for a while. Now, I volunteered in the University of Virginia NICU during my pre-med years, and I knew this was not at ALL a good thing, because I knew what they'd have to do to him.

It's very, very cool that I know one of these is Zack, and I knew my date of conception exactly, to the hour.

To say the birth was completely NOT what a single book had described is putting it lightly. I had been begging for a C-section but he got stuck and the doctor pulled out the good 'ol ancient forceps. I'm screaming, throwing up, crying, hysterical.  Sounds like me, right? The doctor who delivered Zack had been Chief of Obstetrics at one hospital and I really, really liked him and trust him, and I have never seen anyone keep their cool so well. Thankfully, but also frighteningly, Zack was not breathing when he was born, and the doctor handed him off almost like a football to one of four waiting NICU nurses who had all their equipment for help with them.

Zack at three months.  Photo by Jen Fariello

We had opted on not finding out the sex of our child, and the doctor was so intent on sewing me up that he forgot to tell us.  I finally asked, and he told us calmly, "a boy," and went back to sewing. Rick and I waited for a few minutes, scared, anxious, and still not hearing a single cry.

Finally I couldn't take it anymore.

"Is he alive?"  I asked.

The doctor looked over his shoulder.  Through the mass of four nurses hovering over him and doing God know what, I see this little hand rise up in the air, almost as if he had heard me and wanted to say, "I'm here.  Be with you in a minute."

The doctor looked back.  "It appears so," he said with his typical dry, dead-pan way, and I cried. Rick cried.  And I could relax.

Zack at one year giving kisses.  Photo by Jen Fariello.

Luckily, he didn't have to spend a minute in the NICU, and in a while, he was handed to me and I was in awe. Rick and I were CERTAIN in our bones we were having a girl. He had two boys, so we thought maybe the odds were we'd have a girl. But I remember distinctly, taking a shower a week before he was born, holding my belly where he was kicking me, and thinking out of the blue, "This is a boy,"

I never thought I'd be a good mother.  I'd never changed a diaper in my life (Rick changed his first one and I was horrified -- "what IS that?"), had never really been around babies other than in the UVA NICU, and of course I wasn't allowed to touch them, but talk to them and help the parents and staff any way I could.  The main reason I thought I'd be a lousy mother is I have no patience. I'm absolutely an impatient person (ask anyone). But with Zack, he has become (most of the time, anyway!) my Zen. Over the past eleven years, I've found myself being patient with this child when I can't be patient with anyone else, including myself.

He's that awesome.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.


  1. Beautiful Lori!! Hes a lucky kiddo to have a Mom who clearly adores him!

  2. You are blessed with a beautiful son, and Zack is blessed with incredible parents! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful part of your life. 💙

  3. What an amazing gift from God and such a story of LOVE!

  4. Love hearing love stories like this. Can't wait for day 3....

  5. So Zach was cool from the beginning. That is so cool Lori this was a wonderful read and please write more... isnt it amazing how smart they are and with such love for his mom makes my heart happy hugs<3

  6. "I've found myself being patient with this child when I can't be patient with anyone else, including myself."

    That right there is an amazing testament to your bond with Zack.

  7. You have a special kiddo and you are a great mom

  8. This is a great post Lori. I enjoyed reading about how awesome Zack is and how he got his start. Thanx for sharing.

  9. Love creates beauty.. Your son is precious and blessed with his mommies love.

  10. I am so happy you have each other in this crazy world. :-)


  11. What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing it! The image of the fertilized egg is amazing and an awesome keepsake (hope that doesn't sound weird).

    I was surprised to read that you are impatient as you have never come across that way! Children really do impact us in the most wonderful ways, something I never really understood until I had Liam. I now completely understand your infinate love for your son!

  12. Great post, and that picture of Zach at three months is amazing!

  13. I loved hearing your birth story and getting to know awesome Zach a bit better. It took me back to that day almost 27 years ago, that my son was born . . . the two of us almost died in that birth! Now he is amazing, beautiful and even married (just 2 weeks ago)!!! He still likes sitting on my lap . . . I wish that for you and Zack! I read this a few days ago and I know it will touch you as much as it did me:
    "The moment a child is born, a mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new!"
    Hugs to two really awesome people!

  14. Awesome post. You write well, Lori, very well. Some day I think we'll see it as a published memoir. We know Zack by now,at least I, I am visiting your blog for about the last three years. Zack is awesome. It was nice hearing how he was born. Oh, how precious.Keep on writing . Love. Dita.

  15. Barbara D10:59 PM

    Beautiful, Lori!!

  16. WOW..what a great story to share...miracles happen everyday I am sure of it! I do believe we learn more from our children than anybody else...

  17. What a wonderful post Lori.


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