I would like to start this blog by saying this is the first time EVER posting a picture publicly of my first born baby boy…
We named our baby Austin John… They wheeled me up to his incubator, tubes coming out of his tiny body everywhere, breathing tubes, feeding tubes, IV’s. He had little clothe glasses on to protect his eyes from the incubator lights, his eyes hasn’t even opened yet. His skin so red, so thin. I was in complete and utter shock, this was all happening so fast! The first thing the nurse had said to me was “you need to talk to your son, he can hear everything your saying, he can sense your presence.” I didn’t know what to say other than, “Mommy loves you so much, you need to fight! You are STRONG!” The nurse continues to explain to us how we can put our hands in the incubator, rub his head, he can feel our touch, our warmth. I put my hands in there, started rubbing his head, he even had a tiny bit of blonde hair. He was 13 inches long, so he measured from my finger tips to just below my elbow, that’s how I held him through this big machine, I cupped him with my hand. I longed to hold to him, I haven’t yet got to hold my baby. At this point, it will be a long time before I will.
I sat with my new-born little boy for a long time, I’m still tired and sore from labor, and worn out, but I don’t wanna leave him. The Neonatologist had spoken with us, gave us some statistics, his survival rate, being born at 23 and a half weeks is very slim, about 40% but we had hope. He said we need to go get some rest, and they are gonna run some test on his lung function, and some other things. The Doctors also encourages my family to donate blood for him, in case there will be an occasion that he may need blood, or a blood transfusion. I couldn’t, my blood type was A negative and His was A positive. Not even that I could do for my son, at this point, I’m helpless, I can’t do nothing for him.
We go back to my room, I rest, and Family are in and out all day, the father taking them to the NICU to see Austin. I shower, and the nurse comes in with a breast pump! My milk is the best thing for little man rite now, at this time, so I whip down my ugly hospital gown and start pumping and pumping, and nothing… Its to early on, I’m not even producing milk yet. I’m so frustrated at this point and so sad. I go see my little boy, he seems to be doing good, I talk to him, he even has a picture of us in his “crib.” I sing him a lullaby and kiss my finger and touch it to his head, and I pray.
The next morning, again, family in and out, going to peak in the window at Austin, only immediate family can go in the NICU. Family members crying, I’m getting phone calls, people are bringing flowers and “congrats” balloons to me, and I just can’t be happy, my little boy is down in the NICU with tubes, IV’s, monitors everywhere! I finally get up, and I march down there demanding to see my baby!! As soon as I get down there, all I see are Doctors and nurses, rushing to and hovering my baby. His Dad comes running out and stops me! “GRESHA, you don’t want to go in there.” I started in “WHAT? WHATS WRONG, WHY ARE THEY SURROUNDING HIM? WHATS HAPPENING TO MY CHILD?” This was the first time BOTH of his lungs collapsed. By the time I finally pushed my way through, the Docs had reinflated them, now there are new tubes coming out of his sides, for his lungs. He was stable.
His father and I discussed getting him baptized. And what better time then now, we don’t know how long he has. We got a preacher, He came into the NICU along with my parents, his parents, us and a few others, we all gathered around his incubator, we held hands, and we Prayed while the Preacher put a tiny bit of holy water in a tiny sea shell and poured it on Austins head, “In the name of the Father, of the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
The next morning, on May 21st, 2001, early, the Neonatologist came to speak with us, Austins lungs had collapsed again, they did an ultrasound on his brain to check for fluid and other things, the outcome wasn’t what we wanted, The Doctor told us we need to make a descision, this is when we made phone calls, got all of our family to the hospital, and we had to make a descison, a descision that would change my life forever, the toughest descision I’ve ever had to make in my life, I was just 18 and I, with the help and support of our families, had to make a descision that would tear me apart, ruin me, my life would forever be changed, my heart would no longer be whole.
– Please keep in mind, while reading this, it was very hard for me to remember some things that happened, It all happened so fast, i have block a lot out, a lot I didnt want to remember, this post was tough… So sorry if any family is reading this, please feel free to leave a comment and post what memories you have. I would greatly appreciate it…