Yesterday was my beautiful little miracle baby boy’s first birthday.
It’s a day we weren’t sure we would have the joy of celebrating, and feel so blessed that he and I are both here for it.
When my water broke long before my due date, I had to have an emergency C-section and emergency surgery. It was necessary, complicated and utterly terrifying.
When they took me into the recovery room after surgery, my husband was waiting there for me. My blood pressure was dangerously low, and it wouldn’t rise. They were close to having to get the doctors in there to do something about it, because it was taking too long. Even still, I tried to send my husband to our son, until he assured me that his sister was there watching him and keeping him updated on how he was doing. I knew the baby was needing extra monitoring. What I didn’t know was how dire things were for my little boy, and how close we came to losing him.
I didn’t find out how many times we almost lost our son until after we were both home from the hospital. I couldn’t have handled it.
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When I was finally taken to a regular room and stabilized enough for my husband to be comfortable leaving me in the room with my sister-in-law (who stayed with us at the hospital those first nightmarish couple of days), he was gone for what seemed like forever. When he came back, he brought a doctor to tell me that our son had went into respiratory arrest, was in serious condition and had to stay in the NICU.
I wanted nothing more than to see, touch, and hold my little boy, but we were both fighting our separate battles
It was seven hours before I even got to see him by being pushed in a wheelchair, along with my IVs, to the NICU. It was a couple of days before I could hold him. Until then, and even most of the time after, I would just sit holding his hand and singing You Are My Sunshine to him. He is still eerily soothed by that particular song.
Anyway, fast forward a week, including my being discharged for two days before our son was, sleeping at the Ronald McDonald House at night and spending all day at the hospital, pumping every few hours to try to get milk, finally getting it in, insisting that I would be able to breastfeed him (and being scared he wouldn’t by the time he could try at 5 days old), amazed when he took to breastfeeding like a champ, being sad about being away from my daughter and glad that at least she was with grandparents who brought her to see me a couple times, appreciation for the outpouring of love from friends, family & church family, rejoicing at going home, being scared because I couldn’t even stand up by myself and being relieved to find out my nana was coming to stay with us until I could function…excuse the run-on sentence, but it’s overwhelming to even think about now.
We finally were able to bring our baby boy home to meet his big sister!
I could hardly let my little angel out of my arms for months. I was scared he’d stop breathing.
I was also so far beyond grateful to be able to hold him- and even our daughter- that I think I spoiled them both rotten for awhile. If my nana hadn’t come to stay with us for the first several weeks after we came home, I couldn’t have taken care of them, though. I couldn’t even walk more than a few steps without assistance for weeks, much less wrestle a toddler or safely walk carrying a new baby.
A year later, I can’t even share all of the emotions I feel as I look in my lap right now at my healthy, happy, strong, chubby cheeked, mischievious little blessing of a boy! When we had his first birthday party a couple of days ago, it was not just celebrating a milestone of turning a year old. It was celebrating life, health and family!
We are so amazingly blessed, and the trauma of our little man’s beginning has just made us appreciate it that much more. It’s even easier to cope with being exhausted, frustrated and never caught up with anything when you are just insanely grateful to be here to experience all of it.
I cherish life so much more now than I did before my pregnancy with our son turned complicated.
I hope that anyone else who has nearly lost a child or had a near death experience themselves can take that gift with them through life. It’s not an experience I would wish on anyone, but it gives an appreciation for something so many of us take for granted.
Happy first birthday, Mommy’s little miracle man!
To learn more of our story, read why I am so passionate about the sanctity of human life!
Here’s a potentially free book for NICU parents: Empowered Preemie Moms: From NICU, to Newborn, and Beyond
I love this Fight like a preemie outfit and this Sterling Silver Enamel Blue and Pink Awareness Ribbon Charm