On the eve of eight

March 27, 2009 at 10:31 am 7 comments

     As I reflect on the last eight years, I am astounded at both the long road behind us and the longer one in front of us. We’ve come through things I would never have imagined we could face, and I wonder what waits ahead.

     Eight years ago today, I was on bed-rest, drinking as much water as I could to help replenish low amniotic fluid. Over the next 72 hours my life would change in an even more dramatic way than I could have ever contemplated. I am thankful I didn’t know what was coming. I went to my OB’s office the morning of the 28th of March to do yet another ultrasound to check the fluid level. I wasn’t scheduled for a c-section until April 10th, two days before Husband’s birthday and two days after my own. We hand-picked that date after an immovable breached baby dictated a c-section was necessary. In our remote town, far off the grid, they scheduled c-sections instead of waiting for labor to commence. Upon looking at the ultrasound results, my doctor sent me to the hospital for an immediate c-section, as the amniotic fluid level was dangerously low. What we didn’t know at the time was that there was also a blood clot in the umbilical cord and the placenta was deteriorating rapidly.

     I remember little about C’s delivery –  only bits and pieces of things here and there. I don’t remember even seeing C after he was born, as he was taken away almost immediately and put on a respirator. Even then I didn’t realize the gravity of the situation. Whether it was the anesthesia or denial, I’m not sure, but I wasn’t particularly worried. 

     I didn’t see C until he was almost two days old. The first night, I stayed up all night, jittery from the anesthesia drugs, and still not comprehending what was happening. My next vivid memory was a day later – of the nurse rushing into our room at 2 in the morning, asking permission to perform surgery and insert a chest tube. C’s lung had collapsed, she said, and they had to save him. That’s when it hit me. This child could die, and die before I would ever even hold him.

     C’s breathing didn’t improve with the chest tube, and the decision was made to med-evac him to Denver, where he could be in a Level III NICU facility. The next morning, in the midst of a blizzard, we prepared for his departure. A minister was brought in to bless C as he lay in his little incubator.  I couldn’t hold him, but at least I could touch his head, which still sent all the bells and whistles off while his overloaded system processed the touch.

     They arranged for Husband to fly down with C, and we anxiously awaited the arrival of the jet. Upon landing, they had to drive an ambulance 20 miles through the storm to reach our hospital. In came the flight nurses, bringing a life saving drug that was only recently approved for use and was only to be used by one hospital in the state. They started C on nitric oxide right away, and his breathing stabilized somewhat. As they wheeled him out in his little space box, all this equipment attached to him taking up more space than the people involved, I was astounded at the life-saving measures they were able to employ. I watched them go, racing down the hall to the waiting ambulance. My eyes met another parent’s eyes through the window into the family lounge, and we connected through that look. Months later, at a “reunion” for NICU babies, he told me he knew something terrible was happening and was praying that it would be okay.

     I thought, during the long and worrisome weeks and months that followed, that C would recover from all of this and we would see it as less than it actually turned out to be. That didn’t exactly happen, but frankly, it’s amazing he survived, and when doctors read C’s history and then look at the child standing before them, they declare a miracle. When I look at it from that perspective, C’s journey through life takes on a different tone. This child, this amazing miracle child, is destined for greater things. I have no idea what his future holds, but whatever it is, I’m sure it will be as incredible as his past.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , .

Wordy Wednesday Let him eat cake

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. pixiemama  |  March 27, 2009 at 11:48 am

    What you have been through…


    Yet to look at him you’d never know! But to look at me, well, that’s another story…the grays are coming in in droves!

  • 2. therocchronicles  |  March 27, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.

    Happy (early) Birthday C!

    I think it was in “Steel Magnolias” where Dolly Parton’s character said “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion!” Perfectly said.

  • 3. Jesch  |  March 27, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    bank on it

    Would T$ recommend it as an investment??? 😉

  • 4. Good Fountain  |  March 27, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Even though I’ve read parts of this before- it brings tears to my eyes just the same. I’m sure the same happens to you all the time.

    I have absolutely no doubt that C’s future will be incredible!

    That’s the plan, friend, that’s the plan!

  • 5. mama mara  |  March 27, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Chills! What a journey you’ve been on these past eight years. Happy birthday to C!

    Never a dull moment…

  • 6. Erica77777  |  March 28, 2009 at 12:23 am

    Your son is a miracle boy, and you are a wonderful mama.

    Happy Birthday, C!

    Thank you!

  • 7. Holly's Mom  |  March 29, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Thank you for sharing the story of C’s birth. It brought tears to my eyes.

    Mine, too. 🙂


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