A few months ago we went to Mexico, and we almost lost Atlas. This vacation was kind of a re-emergence following several really hard weeks of pregnancy. I think the difficulty of those first 16 weeks hit me harder than it would most people because I never saw it coming. With Atlas, I had zero pregnancy symptoms. The entire experience was effortless for me. So, when I came back from an autumn of full of exciting business travel to be basically in bed for 16 hours a day (not joking) with no motivation, no ability to eat or walk or do much of anything, and with a toddler, I was so confused. I just thought having great pregnancies was a super power of mine and that it was “all about mindset” - haha. I got served some serious humble pie.
Anyway, off we go to Mexico after I returned to the land of the living. The day after we arrived, Atlas started coughing. The first time I heard it, my stomach lurched with mom-tuition, but I brushed it off because it was the tiniest little sound and it didn’t make sense for my alarm bells to be going off. It was just a cough. By the next day he was like a limp noodle, but still just “regular sick” I told myself. We were on a tiny island so we took him to the local doctor, and she listened to his lungs. Said they sounded a little wheezy, but not bad. Took his temp. Gave us some Advil and some antibiotics. Said if he got worse to bring him back in. We had plans in Mayakoba with a wonderful friend of mine. The plan was for everyone else to play golf, and for me to have some chill time at one of my favorite spots in the world, the Banyan Tree Mayakoba, while Atlas napped in his stroller. I blissfully read a book and sipped a cucumber citrus mocktail and marveled at the beauty of this place. Atlas woke up screaming in a way I had never heard in his 20 months of life. I thought he was just mad, or hot. So I changed his clothes and got him inside and changed his diapers and gave him food and brought out toys and did every single thing I could think of with no luck. My friends were still on the golf course. When we all met back up with this tantrum still in full effect, me more frazzled than I had ever been, my friend Chava took one look at him and said "let’s take him to the doctor." And I, thinking that crying is normal for toddlers, suggested that we go on to dinner and that we would take him to the doctor the next day. Chava shook his head. He said, Christine I have already called my family doctor - she is incredible and I trust her with the world. My driver is coming now to take us. The doctor is waiting. We are going.
The doctor listened intently to his lungs and she was quiet. Did another couple of things. Gave him a shot, put him on a breathing machine, listened again, and told us to come back every day until we left Mexico. That part of Mexico at that time had a strange and rampant bout of respiratory illnesses, and it just got him. As it turned out, Atlas’s breathing was about 90% shut down and getting worse. If we had waited one more day, he could have easily passed away in his sleep. I always say that my life seems to be this never ending stream of miracles, and this was nothing short of that. I contacted Chava in tears, telling him that he had saved our son’s life. It could have so easily been a different result.
Sometimes it takes a set of difficult circumstances to be able to see clearly. To see the undeniable support that we have, both physical and divine. If nothing ever goes wrong, no one ever has a chance to step up for us, to show up for us, to speak up for us. To meet us where we are in that place of uncertainty and fear. If everything is always perfect, it is a little harder to recognize the perfection in each experience, in each moment. It is in the rollercoaster of life, in and out of the shadows and the light, that we are gifted perspective. Coming out of this many-months-long season of stillness and contemplation, my gratitude has only grown for all the un-seeable, majestic things.