It was also the day I met the (second) man of my dreams. All the nerves and anxiety were quickly whisked away with your little cry and wrinkled frown.
I remember Daddy going to be by your side, immediately. I remember, hearing 'them' (docs, nurses and Daddy) over 'there' talking over you, and about you. I had no idea what was to come. Doc Holladay, and my friend (nurse) Mel kepy my spirits up as I lay on the table....waiting....and more waiting. Daddy came over to me (same worried look) and said he was leaving me to go with you. Daddy went with you, protected you, then came back to me in the Recovery Room. I had opted out of sedatives, therefore, I was very much awake and alert. I remember my dear friend Carmen calling (me) -your Dad had my cell phone in his pocket- and I talked to her. She was in tears and just spoke praises that you were 'ok'. I cherish that moment more than anyone knows (until now, that is) mainly because as I was just starting out my journey as a parent of a 'special needs child', I now know she was too. Her tears were and are my tears.
Back to the story....Daddy tells me you need a 'procedure' and that they were whisking you away to evaluate. HUH? My son, my baby?! How can this be?! What's wrong? I finally get to my hospital room, where our families are waiting on us. Today would be the first of your surgeries, Little Man. It was a long grueling day/night and yes, I was groggy still from my surgery, but I remember every single whisper and movement in the room like it was yesterday. A Godsend of a nurse came in, mid-surgery, to update us on her way home (I later sent her praises via a letter to her CEO), and come to find out-you didn't do well and 'crashed' halfway through, but recovered. This was your colostomy surgery, first day of life. We didn't get many doctors or nurses to tell us things so I Googled. I didn't like what I saw, so I stopped. You just HAD to be my miracle.
We had many visitors, some family and friends, come to our room. They couldn't see you because you were in NICU, but they came to give thier thoughts and prayers to us and to you. It meant more than anything in the world. You were being prayed for ALL over, by total strangers in some cases.
The night ended with Dr Adkins (who we weren't sure of in the beginning, but learned to love) telling us you were okay and in recovery (NICU).You spent two weeks in the NICU at Baptist, then moved to NICU at Richland, where your 'team of doctors' resided. Thankfully so.
After two weeks, the doctors gave us a choice. You could stay until you ate enough (2 oz every 4 hours) OR they could send you home on a NG (nose) tube for feeding. The doctors felt confident we could handle that so we got trained and decided on a release date. Before you could be released to us to go home, you had to past a series of tests and so did Mommy and Daddy. We had to take a CPR class as well as watch a SIDS video (after which, Daddy vowed NO blankets in your OR 'Sissys' bed!) We also had to spend the night with you in the hospital (in a room set up just for this) so they could make sure we could take care of you, especially since you were being sent home w/ the nose feeding tube and heart monitor. We had to feed you every four hours, and all the cameras were watching. We passed and were released to go home. Here is our room:
On a side note, that night while we were there, our license tag got stolen (in the hosptial parking lot for goodness sake) so we had to file a police report before leaving that cold, rainy day.
Over the next several months (year), you went through several surgeries that we will never forget, but can only pray you do or have.
I'll explain details to you as you'd like but here is your resume of surgeries and/ or hospital stays:
- 1/31/08-Colostomy created (we had NO idea what this meant or would entail!)
- 2/13/08-Dr Ehreth corrected your PUV.
- 3/20/08-'G Tube' inserted into your stomach. (because you weren't drinking enough on your own. Tube was coming straight out your stomach and that is how we fed you--'pumped' the formula straight in your stomach). This ended up being the expensive procedure that caused you to eat on your own (it only stayed a couple of months). We went home on Easter Sunday.
- 4/9/08-RSV hit! You were transported my ambulance (thank goodness Daddy was with you, because some random ambulance driver would have caught heck!) to Richland and you spent 5 days there, including Mommy's Birthday. Went home 4/15/08. ** I later learned that you turned blue and stopped breathing, and the ambulance lights came on! on the way!)
- 7/15/08-went in for a 'simple' MRI to evaluate your tethered cord (spine). Ran fever and we were admitted for two days (ended up being a UTI).
- 8/4/08-first Colostomy reconnection surgery done. We're 'Pro's' by now. Stayed in the hosptial a week.
- 8/18/08-Tethered Cord repaired. The scariest of the surgeries, to us, because it was on your spine. You were a CHAMP! Nothing is keeping you down! We were set to go home after 3 days, but again, you ran a fever. Two days later, you were home again (5 days total).
- 10/27/08-FINALLY! Colostomy closure! It went great and we were never so happy! It hasn't come easy, and it hasn't BEEN easy but we're finally getting there.
As we approached your 1st birthday, several milestones happened. Being a 'Preemie', you've been behind developmentally. However, just two days before your 1st Birthday, you sat up own your own! HUGE milestone for a little man like you. You will be off and running before we know it ....and we can't wait.
All this, Little Man, to say that your first year has, YES, been challenging but rewarding. All your docs kept telling us everything you were/are facing is 'fixable' but we just weren't sure. Turns out, most is. However, your one damaged kidney is, most likely, not. We're thankful, humble, and very happy that you are a part of our lives. You've made us more knowledgable and stronger than we ever imagined we could be. I know one day Daddy or I will (possibly) be a donor to your kidney transplant and that is the very least I could do for you but I want you to know how much we've tried to do all we could do to help you, be your advocate, and do what is best-right or wrong. As I sit here on your 1st Birthday, reflecting, I wonder what your little life will hold. I hope it holds happiness and love and I hope you impact everyone you come in contact with. I think you will, or have.
We love you Happy Birthday Baby Boy,
Mama and Daddy
(sorry I am a little late posting it--things have been a tad crazy)