All 1,248 ounces were fortified with an extremely large dose of love…
When you fortify, you add an element of ‘value’ to something that could benefit from being strengthened. And there’s no doubt that Theodore Nelson was born a ‘fortifier’; his tenacity could invigorate anyone and enhance their lives for the better. He was a gift that allowed me to pump with purpose. I was determined to demonstrate love in the only capacity I knew how; I yearned to be ‘useful’ as his mother, even when I helplessly sat in the corner of his ICU room. After every open heart surgery, it would be weeks on end that I would be forbidden to hold my baby due to his risky recoveries. So instead of holding Theodore to show my love, I was holding my pump. I was determined to preserve every missed opportunity of ‘normal motherly love’ by “pouring” my heart and soul into those bottles.
This beautiful recognition from Catholic Health yesterday couldn’t have been published on better day. You see, exactly one year ago, on June 3rd, 2019, I fully realized my ‘fortifier’ as ‘prayer’. On that day, my son’s diagnosis of ‘HLHS’ instantly sucked the life right out of me; I could barely stand up on my own two feet. It wasn’t until I started to fortify myself with the Word of God that I felt empowered once again.
Everyone’s kindness was so overwhelming last night, but I promise you, I am not even HALF as ‘amazing’ as my fierce Theodore. He single-handedly transformed what I knew as ‘love’ into something much deeper… Pumping milk was simply a privelage for me; an outlet which I’m forever grateful allowed me to “love” my baby from a distance. Please know that I pass along everyone’s gratitude directly to my son; all praise belongs to him. It is Theodore that has taught me true perseverance and it was his unique life with half a heart that will forever be my reason to “fortify with love”. Because of his ‘bad’ diagnosis, I will forever choose to do ‘good’ in his name. (Genesis 50:20).
There’s no doubt this world could benefit from some fortification. And even in the midst of a pandemic, vitamin C is secondary to the extra does of ‘love’ that everyone currently needs. It is the most priceless supplement that mixes well with everything; and better yet, it’s free… In a world that will constantly try to dilute you, find your reason to remain fortified.
(A special thank you to my husband, Michael Nelson, who helped me document and deliver every single ounce of milk… & to Gina Penque from the Women’s Center at Mount Saint Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston, who made the emotional process of donation a beautiful experience for us!
–Alexandria, praying Psalm 46:5
… join me by #FallingRightSideUp …
…when life gets turned upside down.