Oliver arrived at 33 weeks. He was the most beautiful three-pound creature on earth. From the moment I met him, I worried. I worried about how the NICU might affect his personality. I worried about his abnormally-shaped head and his tiny body. I worried about what his future might be like.
At age four Oliver had major surgery to correct the birth defect that had been misdiagnosed for too long. I was angry and felt guilty I had ruined his chance at a normal life. I worried more about the affects of surgery and if he would ever look "normal." I worried he would have delays in school because of prolonged pressure on his brain.
Several months after his surgery, Oliver began having stomach pain. He stopped growing and became irritable. He had multiple symptoms such as fevers, sweating, shaking and headaches. He was pale. I stayed up late researching diseases. I worried he had cancer. I worried he would need another surgery to release pressure on his brain. For a year, I worried he would never get better.
Six months ago Oliver tested positive for the gene that causes Celiac Disease. We took him off wheat and he began to feel better. He started eating and sleeping. He stopped shaking and sweating. He started gaining weight. In the past month, Oliver has reached his goal weight and has caught up academically with his peers. He looks and acts like a regular six-year-old. It has taken me six months to shake the worry, but I think I'm finally there.
Oliver auditioned for and was cast in a local production of The Little Mermaid Jr. I sat in the audience last weekend, watching him sing and dance and I could feel his joy. I don't think I've seen him happier. I don't think I've been happier. My little boy is going to be just fine.