Friday, March 6, 2015

One Day, My Boy

One day, my boy, I will tell you a story.

A long story starting at the moment you came out screaming in a room full of half a dozen doctors and twice as many nurses.  It was the end of one part of your story and the very beginning of the rest.

I will tell you that at first we were told you did not exist, that we rejoiced mightily upon finding you hidden away in my womb a week later, that we thought for sure we had lost you at 16 weeks and then again at 25 weeks and even maybe at 27 or 30.  But that you lived.

And not only lived, but came out at a darn good fighting weight for just a 34 weeker.

That you were so strong for your age that your daddy was able to hold you for a few minutes in the operating room and even bring you to my side.

I will tell you that I could barely open my eyes, but that I knew your presence and the strong, steady grip of your daddy's hand.  And that those are the important pieces.  That those are the pieces I keep going back to.

I will tell you that what happened that day was--to us--the unexpected.  But that to God, is was all as planned.  His mercies were woven into every moment of the day you were born.  You and I were protected and provided for.  Miraculously.  

My boy, I will tell you that I didn't get to hold you that day or night, but your Daddy did.  And as soon as I was awake again and strong enough to be moved, on the day after your birth, I was wheeled on a stretcher into the NICU and I was able to hold your for the first time.  It was just a few minutes, but we were together again.

I will tell you that your siblings came, the ones who had sacrificed all summer long out of love for you.

That they wanted to see you, but couldn't just yet.

That we learned about NICU protocols and oxygen levels and gastric tubes.

That I went home before you, without you, and that was so very hard.

That your brothers and sister got a glimpse of you through a window to tide them over.

And they were enchanted.

I'll tell you that your daddy missed you so much, that he and I took NICU date nights whenever we could and that I came every day to hold you and love you and send pictures to him.

My boy, I'll tell you that bottle feedings and diaper changes and temperature checks became the treats the nurses gave us, the moments I scrambled to get to the hospital for.

That eventually you got strong enough to leave the CPAP behind, and that you pulled out your gastric tube five times before you finally did well enough to just leave it out.

That during your 37 days in the NICU, your grandparents and great-aunt and your uncle and your mommy's dear friends came to see what they could see of you, through windows or from the edge of your crib.  That the no-touching rule made your grandmother's fingers itch, but that she spent her days with me, by you.

One day, I'll tell you how they sent you up to intermediate care, but you misbehaved and got yourself sent right back down to intensive care, and for the next six days, everyone who came near you had to wear silly yellow gowns.

But that, eventually, you made it back to intermediate care and stayed, and worked your way on out of that hopsital.  Slowly.

Then, I'll tell you how we brought you home and cocooned you in lockdown, protecting you with all our might for month after month.

And at six months were released!  To be in and out and among.  To see the world.

It is the end of one part of your story and the very beginning of the rest.


Grandma Julie said...

I have tears of remembrance and tears of joy! Welcome to your new world, Henry!

Mary Katherine Sandlin said...

What a great post!!! He has achieved so much in his 6 months of life! Those eyelashes are AMAZING, too :)

tarheelmom said...

So beautiful! The post and the baby!

BettieBoyd said...

Crying over when you were so sick, but now everything is so happy!

Unknown said...

I didn't mean to tear up- but I did at remembering. You are a valuable and integral part of this world and we are all better mothers for knowing you.

Anika said...

Your way with words is so amazing. As are you and your little warrior. Love you much. And will continue to say you need to write a book :)

Allison Russell said...

I stumbled upon your blog through another and have been following your little one's story since. My husband and I had our first baby the day after christmas, and she spent 46 days in the NICU. We are currently protecting her at home until her heart grows enough to have the surgery she needs. This post was exactly the encouragement I needed today as I felt cooped up and overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing your story, and praise God your little one is doing so well!

Wanting What I Have said...

Tears over here, too! What a precious story, and how beautifully written. Much love!