July 31, 2007

And I sat, sobbing at my desk

This time last year was a wonderful time in the Dubya household......

The 'lil man was 13 months old -- he'd skipped over walking and gone right to running. I was 20 weeks pregnant with the 'lil lady...... I'd just started feeling her move around, she was strong and healthy. My cousin M, was also expecting -- after 8 years of trying and more than a dozen unsuccessful in-vitros, she was 27½ weeks along with twins. Pregnancy wasn't kind to her -- at 13 weeks she was put on strict bedrest and at 21 weeks she'd been hospitalized -- she was kept inverted around the clock in an effort to stop pre-term labor. She was unable to shower or use the bathroom, she remained that way for 42 days.

I came into work and opened this email from my cousin D (M's younger sister):

-----Original Message-----
From: D
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2006 9:54 AM
To: MrsBigDubya
Subject: M delivered

M delivered 2 boys this morning. I don't have any details yet about weight and their status, other that they're in ICU. I'm waiting for my parents to call me with updates. I tried calling your mom's house, but I got the machine, so I didn't leave a message. If you can pass the news along.

I'll get back to you as I get more news.

I sat at my desk and sobbed. As I felt my own baby flutter around inside, I felt an enormous sense of relief, gratitude and guilt. How could this have happened to her? This is a woman who was born to be a mother -- her dreams were finally coming true and now this.

I cried on and off all day.... glued to my phone and email, hoping..... praying for some sort of positive news.... and dreading the possibility of learning that the unthinkable had happened.

The next message came -- but didn't offer much in the way of hope -- the situation was still beyond critical

-----Original Message-----
From: D
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2006 4:23 PM
To: Mrs Big Dubya
Subject: (no subject)

Not much of an update, but here's what I know.

She delivered naturally. Apparently she felt the babies coming early this morning and they were going to do a csection but I don't think that there was enough time.

Baby A was 2lb 2oz, no length size available.
Baby B was 1lb 15ozs, no length size available. This baby is on a vent.

That is all that I know. I am headed to the hospital shortly so I let you know more info later

More tears, more prayers, more gratitude, more guilt...... layer on some feelings of helplessness and a primal urge to go home and hold the 'lil Dubya as tight as I could. I'd had a baby in the NICU, I knew the terror....... and our 'lil man wasn't even that serious.

The message I received the next day was more of the same

-----Original Message-----
From: D
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 6:42 AM
To: Mrs Big Dubya
Subject: (no subject)

Well, I went to the hospital last night and saw the babies. They are really tiny. Baby A was 13 & 3/4 inches long, weighing 2lbs & 2 ozs and Baby B was 13 & 1/4inches, weighing 1 lb & 15 ozs. M looked good and was in better spirits than I imagined. One of her friends that is a NICU nurse was visiting while we were there, so I didn't get to talk to her too much. She had to have an episiotomy, all the way from her vagina to rectum because the doctor had to put his entire hand in to either turn a baby or pull one out (I never got the full story on that).She hasn't chosen their names so I'll just keep referring to them as A & B.

A is on a CPAP mask and in an incubator already. He was crying a lot while we were there, which is a good sign. He had a little hat on him and his little eyebrows looked like they were blond. B is on a ventilator and still in the tray under the lights. I don't know when he'll be able to go into the incubator. I really didn't get to stay near him too long because the nurse who was working on him was a real bitch, and M was trying to get information out of her while her NICU friend was there so she could get a better understanding of how his condition is. My parents asked me why B wasn't in the incubator yet and I didn't have the heart to tell them that the most critical preemies are kept on the tray for easy access in case of the need to resuscitate.

They'll start doing scans by the end of the week to check and see if there is any organ damage and take each day as it comes with other health issues. I will keep the updates coming and now I'm going to try and go back to sleep for an hour before the kids get up.

The days and weeks that followed were filled with more tears, more sobbing and more prayers.

So, now here we are -- a year later. It's been a long year for M -- a year filled with an open heart surgery, two hernia repairs, and several rounds of laser eye surgery. Baby B was on continuous oxygen for many months and Baby A had some health issues of his own.

The 'lil Dubya, 'liller Dubyette and I attended their first birthday on Saturday -- they are small, but strong -- they are crawling, pulling themselves up and beginning to take their first steps.

Miracles happen...... I saw two of them on Saturday afternoon.


cape buffalo said...

what a great story.

babies are amazing people.

Sue said...

Beautiful story....

Misfit Hausfrau said...

Wow! I am always amazed by a baby's strength--and the parents! I am so glad there was a happy ending!

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