Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sadness and Thankfulness

So, I bopped over to the Mama Drama blog this morning to see if there were new posts. Jenny (toddler mom) posted this about a blogger who lost her seven-year-old son Jake just before Christmas. I don't know Katie, the mom, but my heart aches for her. I was sitting here crying at work. It brought back all the feelings from when our dear baby boy almost left us forever. Our niece Stephanie wrote briefly about it (scroll down) on Mama Drama.

Little Bit was two and a half weeks old. He was sleeping, and DH was home from work, so I took the time for a shower. The first miracle was that DH was home when it happened. Little Bit woke up in acute respiratory distress. DH had taken adult CPR training at work where they had talked about infant CPR. While I called 911, DH went through the steps of checking his airway, trying the suction bulb, etc. Little Bit was still struggling and started to turn blue, so DH gave him a small rescue breath. The doctors told us later that DH surely saved Little Bit's life because it was still another 5 minutes before the amblance arrived. That breath was enough to help Little Bit get some oxygen.

We had the ambulance take us to Texas Children's Hospital. That night they put Little Bit on the first respirator. I couldn't watch while they sedated and "tubed" him. Things went downhill very quickly. By mid-day the next day, the doctors in the NICU were struggling to keep his blood oxygen level up. When they had me sign the papers for a blood transfusion and said that he wasn't dying "right now", but that we needed to stay at the hospital, the floor fell out from under me. I knew that they fully expected our little baby boy to die. There are no words to describe that moment.

Somehow, they were able to stabilize him. But he was still in very grave condition. We stayed at the Ronald McDonald house in the hospital so we could be nearby. One of the dedicated NICU doctors who was on when he first arrived, stayed until he was in a slightly more stable condition. She stayed for 36+ hours. Little Bit was still so very ill. As Stephanie wrote in her blog post, "One doctor described him as being 'on the edge of a cliff, and we just don't know if we're going to be able to keep him from falling.' "

DH and I turned to friends and family for support. When the word went out, there were people all over the country, including several churches, who were praying for our son. I really believe that those prayers were heard. Several doctors used the word "miracle" for how quickly Little Bit turned the corner and began to get well. They thought he would be on the oscillating ventilator for a week, then step down to the regular ventilator for awhile after that. However, by a few days later, he was off both. Two weeks later we took our healthy baby boy home

After every test, no matter how unlikely, the doctors never could figure out what had thrown his lungs into distress. The head doctor of the NICU said that they couldn't take credit for his recovery. All they did, he said, was provide Little Bit's body with support until he could heal himself.

Our story had a happy ending thanks to the wonderful people at Texas Children's Hospital and to much prayer and a few miracles. But that pain and fear of almost losing Little Bit is never really far from me, I think. The bumps and cuts of normal toddlerhood can send me into panic mode.

My heart just cries for Katie. She and her family are in my prayers. I'm going to hug my baby boy extra hard tonight.


Mama Drama Jenny, the Bloggess said...

I'm shaking after reading that story.

We should never have to think of losing our babies.

I'm so glad Little Bit made it through.

Avonlea said...

There's a quote that goes something like -
"Having children means accepting that part of your heart will live outside your body."