It was spring of 1998, and life was good. My husband, Cam, and I were expecting our second child in early June. Our Daughter, Jesse, had just turned three. We owned a lovely little house just outside Vancouver, Canada, and short of the white picket fence, everything was perfect.
On May 29, 1998, the rug was pulled out from underneath us, and a hurricane of devastation followed. My placenta detached and I needed an emergency c-section. Our son Avery was born, but he was blue. A team of doctors from Vancouver Children's hospital were called, and before I know it Avery was whisked way to Vancouver. I didn't even get a chance to hold him. Cam was able to be with Avery, but I had just had surgery and the doctors wouldn't allow a transfer until the following day.
I remembered thinking, how could this be happening? Having a baby is supposed to be one of the happiest times of our lives. How will I survive? I soon learned that as long as Avery had the fight and determination to live, I had to be there for him.
Short of a miracle five months later, after four heart surgeries, renal failure, Code Blue's, and the sudden death of my beloved father, we were able to take Avery home. It was the best day of my life.
Now I had a promise to fulfil; I had promised God that if I got to bring my little baby home at the end of this tragedy, I will forever be the most grateful mom in the world. Spending five months in the hospital, we saw a lot of parents leave without their baby. I didn't even care what kind of shape he was in, I just wanted us to be home as a family.
Fourteen years later and I have kept my promise. Oh sure I have bad days, but not many, and never for long. It was a bit of a struggle when Jesse was diagnosed with autism, but it was just another hurdle we had to jump. Fortunately with much diligence and therapy, Jesse is a happy, beautiful seventeen-year-old.
Both Jesse and Avery are happy, healthy and amazing people. At the end of the day what more can a parent ask. It is all I need to fill my soul with gratitude.
People are constantly astonished that I am always so upbeat and happy, considering all our family has been through. This I why I knew I had to write a book. I needed to share with others how life can be wonderful, even if it's not what we thought it would or should have been.
Sometimes life deals some devastating blows out of our control. Although we may not have a choice with the cards we are dealt at times, we always have a choice with how we play them.
Kim Gemmell is an author and inspirational speaker who recently wrote her nonfiction memoir telling her inspirational story; BRAVERY, Our Journey of Faith, Hope & Love. Currently BRAVERY is available on most online bookstores, and also can be purchased through Kim's website: www.braverybook.com