Friday, October 1, 2010

The Greatest Invention

Today an e-mail came for my table at MOPS. In every monthly newsletter, they interview a table and this month it was our turn.

Honestly, I kinda stink at those. I mean, "How many kids do you have and what are their ages?" is pretty simple. I can ace that one. But the others? Not so much.

I was tempted to be lamely snarky but most of these ladies don't know me very well and it is so hard to convay funny snarkies in print without sounding like a crazy, lame  dork.

So, I was serious. For hobbies, I listed reading, crocheting, scrapbooking and swimming. I did not put "perpetual pregnancy and lacation," "reading about birth" or "cleaning the never ending trash pit that is my house" or "hiding from the children for alone time." When they asked about family time, I did make a comment about Spotted Cow Beer, bad cable and hotel rooms. I meantioned biking, the dog... all good stuff.

But when they asked, "What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime?" I had to stop and think.

I am 31. I was born in 1979. What has happened since then?

The Internet came to me. I love my blog, Facebook and my forums. I love finding new recipes at the touch of my fingers and reconnecting with old friends. I love on-line shopping, chatting with my friend in Canada, sending and reciving pictures.

But I could live without it.

Cell phones... meh. For safety, they are great. Awesome to give to kids to occupy in the car. I don't text but I did use a cell phone to call long distance until a few years ago.

But I can, and often do, live without it.

The personal computer began long before I was born.

Events like 9/11, Princess Diana and Mother Theresa passing away, President Obama being elected, the wars in the Middle East... those are events, not inventions. They will help define the time period I grew up in, but they aren't inventions.

Then it steamed rolled into my head: surfactant therapy.

I remembered reading somewhere that surfactant therapy really began around 1980. Yes, before that micropreemies were born. Some survived. But before surfactant therapy, many, many more died- yes, even bigger babies like Georgie. (Like JFK's son, Patrick, born at 34 weeks.)

A quick Google confirmed what I was remembering. It was around 1980 that giving surfactant became more common. Death due to RDS decreased.

I know that before surfactant therapy, small babies did survive and thrive. But most died and late term babies did die. And, yes, I honestly believe that without surfactant therapy, I believe Georgie would have died.

I knew the moment he was handed back to me from the warmer that something was wrong. He wasn't breathing properly. He didn't sound "right" and I lacked the desire to nurse him. Something was wrong and he just wasn't... right.

I can't imagine life without our Georgie. I can't imagine what would have happened if he had passed away. Our whole life would be different in ways I can't and don't want to imagine. Our family wouldn't... well, be.

Yes, I said it. I was serious. Surfactant therapy, for me, for us, for my family, is the most important invention in the past 30 years. It kept our son alive, allowed him to grow, allowed him come home to us. Without surfactant, he wouldn't be here on earth.

It's stupid, isn't it? But it's true. And we are forever grateful.

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