Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 26, 2011 - Looking back over our journey

Alexander is doing very well. He is breathing a little bit better, and growing. He is now 1045 grams and will be weighed every couple days. He also is getting baths more often since he is stable enough to be removed from his isolate more.

Bathtime in the nicu

As I sit here and write that yet again everything in the nicu is going well, I realize that I have been thinking a lot about the past two months. Just over two months ago I went to the doctor for what I thought would be a routine checkup. We even brought my step-daughter so that she could see the ultrasound for the first time. That day is one that I will not soon forget. As I sat in the doctors office with my husband and step-daughter, the doctor began to ask me questions that I just knew couldn't mean anything good. He asked about my job, and how a typical day went. I answered and then watched him leave the room for a while. As my family and I sat there, my husband told me that I would not be going to work on Monday. He was right... but little did I know what our lives were going to become.

I was only 24 weeks a 4 days pregnant. I knew that nothing good could come out of problems this early with my pregnancy. We didn't have a name for our son, his soon to be room was full of stuff as the house is being rennovated. We didn't have a crib, a car seat, or even clothes. We were just not ready. When the doctor came back, he told me that he was going to admit me to the hospital, and that he wanted to get some more tests. The next few hours consisted of blood work and many people in and out, the whole time I didn't really understand what was going on. I knew I just wanted to go home. The next day, the doctor told us that I wouldn't be going home until I delivered my baby. I calmly told them that wouldn't be until August, and their response was that I was wrong.
For eight days I stayed in the hospital... trying my hardest to believe that everything was going to be ok. The nicu doctor came in and told us that if my baby was born then, there would be about a 60% survival rate. He said some more things, but all of that is still a blur in my mind. Finally, the doctors decided that my body and my babies would not survive if they didn't deliver. I had two hours notice that I would be having a c-section. I remember the few calls I made in those two hours. The doctors came in and out, more tests were done, and many nurses came to see me. All I remember was fear... not for myself, but for my son. I felt as if I had let him down. I had read about preemies on the internet while I was in the hospital, and was very aware of the difficult journey he was about to face.
At 2:30 my son was born, weighing 1 pound 6 ounces. Now, I had never really understood the life of a preemie. I had never seen a preemie right after birth, except for on TV. You hear those stories and feel bad for those people. You think how hard it must be for them. Until now, I didn't understand. My husband went to see our son after 2 hours. He was stable in the nicu, and was able to see people. I was unable to see him until the next day. It isn't normal not to hold your child when they are born and although all I wanted to do was stay in my hospital bed, I had to go and see him.
When I first saw him, I couldn't believe how small he was. Babies aren't that little... I couldn't believe that a human being could be that small. I was afraid to touch him, and cried when I saw the number of cords and tubes that were in his tiny body. The nurses told us a lot of information about what they were doing, but to be very honest... it is now all a blur.
Since that day we have survivied a lot. Two days after he was born, the nurses woke me up and told me that he wasn't doing well. That I must go to the nicu. I don't know what happened that day, but the doctor says that when my husband and I arrived, all of his vital stats came back up. Since then, we have had our ups and downs. Through infections, ventilators, feedings, and medications... he has come out on top. He is going to survive... and he is going to do great things. I believe he is meant to be here for some reason yet to be seen. No one starts life this way and doesn't make a difference in this world. Don't feel bad for us.. I don't. I was wrong to feel bad for anyone who goes through an experience like this. This has made me a better person. I am stronger and humbled by what both positive thoughts and modern medicine can do.
Alexander grows healthier and stronger each day. It has been 60 days since he was born, and he still wasn't supposed to be in the world for another 41 days... but he is here. And he is wonderful, and he is perfect. I know that our journey is far from over... but our family, with the support and help from our friends can face this journey and everything that it brings us. Alexander taught me that.


  1. Just beautiful Amanda. This post gave me chills. I can relate to so many of the emotions you have written about here, but there are others that are so unique to micro preemies and I think your strength is awe inspiring. Most of all, though, it is your sons determination and will that I find the most inspiring! He is amazing! And super cute! You can see how much he looks like you in that bathtime pic. I recently was telling someone about your little alexander and they said, "oh my friend had a 25 weeker and she is two now and just fine" and that made me smile :)

  2. OMG..I am at a training right now and I am sitting here crying! I love you and your ENTIRE family!!!!!!