The Long Road Home
The reason that I am writing this has evolved over the last six and a half years. At first I began to write this story for my own personal sanity, it was my way of mourning what had happened to us, as well as my way of healing through therapy. Not therapy as in seeing a counselor, but therapy on getting this into words and out of me the pain I felt of what had taken place. I would get in front of my computer screen and sob. Write. Sob. Write. When I was thoroughly spent, I would save and close the file. A small part of me….healed. For a time, I would not touch the story again, and then in a fit of pain and/or anger, I would open it up and start all over again. Sob. Write. Sob. Write. Again a small part of me healed.
This has been my pattern of healing over the last six plus years. I am not saying that by any means have I completely healed, as I still have the need to write and cry, but the pain that I feel and I, myself, have evolved. As well as for my own healing, I wanted this story to get to other that were going through what I had gone through. Let there be something out there in writing they could grab up and read and give them hope. They (You) are not alone. I felt very alone when I was in the middle of the miraculous nightmare. I had never heard of or even thought about babies being born prematurely before my beautiful daughter was born. I will tell you that the words that will be written on the next many pages might be hard to read, but rest assured that they were just as hard to write, but, thankfully, most are resolved. Now my goal and purpose is to reach out to others and let them know that they are not alone and ALL feeling are normal, natural and with the help of God, resolvable.
Phil 4:13--I can do everything through him that strengths me
I relied heavily on the Lord to get me through all of these trials I was going through and about to go through. Now that doesn’t mean that at times I didn’t get angry with God, I did. I would as Him, “why me?” or “what have I done wrong to deserve punishment?” However, even with getting angry, just as a child does when a parent won’t give them what they want, I still knew that He loved me and would get me through. I knew he had a plan and a purpose, even though I could not see it or understand how this was something that I need to deal with. I rested on the teaching I had learned that God would not give me more that I could handle and there was a reason my family must endure this pain. I also believed that I was the only person that could be Becca’s mom, just as I was also the only one right to be the mother of my other two children, but that is a whole other book.
Jeremiah 29:11--For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
What more did I need that to know He had plans for me, for Becca, plans of hope and a future. That said it all to me.
I guess I would have to say that the road began on May 20th, 1995, that was the date I met my husband, Eric. We were like kindred spirits, inseparable. We dated for about eight months before he proposed to me and then another eight months before we were married. I had two children from a previous marriage, however, Eric had no children of his own and we both wanted more children. A little beautiful girl would do just fine. She would be a dream come true for the both of us. Eric had always dreamed of having a little girl of his own and me with two boys……well, I guess that would go without saying.
The first year of our married life went fairly well, trying to adjust to being married again, plus having the added stress of a blended family. None the less, we were happy. Except…..now we wanted a baby and we didn’t have the patience to just let it happen naturally. One year…no baby, two years…..no baby. We both had fertilization tests done to make sure we could have a baby. The tests all came back normal. We had to resign ourselves to give it over to the Lord and trust that he knew what he was doing. Uhgggg! How hard that was to do.
Well God definitely knew what he was doing by not giving us a baby at this point in our lives as we fell on hard luck. Both of us out of jobs and no employment to be found. In the winter of 1998, we decided that our only option was to move to Omaha, Nebraska and make a clean start. We arrived in Omaha in February of 1998 and moved in with my mother. Omaha was not some place that I intended to live for very long. This was just going to be a temporary move. You know it snows in Omaha? It snows a lot in Omaha. For me that is not a good thing. Of course since we had a change in our life as dramatic as moving to a new state and not really knowing what the future held for us, we naturally decided to hold off on having a baby until we became more stable and knew what direction we were going to be heading.
Well, life in Omaha started off very well for us. Eric found a job the first day we went out and would start the following Monday. I on the other hand had not been as lucky, but then again I was being picky at what I wanted to do. I wanted an office job, one close to home and one with hours that I would not be away from my kids to long during the day. Shawn was only seven and Kevin five, they stilled needed their mommy to be home with them at decent times. Not to mention that I needed a job that would pay for my child care expense and still give us money to pay bills. After about two months, I landed the perfect job. I would be a secretary for a major insurance firm, work wonderful hours, and still make enough money to cover my expenses. Life was good. How could life have gotten any better?
Life definitely took a turn for us in April of 1998. I became pregnant. It was not in our timing, as I said before Eric and I had decided to wait awhile before having a baby. However, we were ecstatic none the less. Here our baby was finally on the way. God had answered our prayers of months before. I guess we never realized that maybe we should have prayed that God not give us a baby until “we” thought we were ready. He had a plan and of course it was the perfect plan. Little did we know how long a road we were about to haul.
I was approximately 6 weeks pregnant when we realized that we were going to have a baby. I did the home pregnancy test first just to make sure I wasn’t getting my hopes up. When that little line turned into a blue cross, I called the doctor’s office. We had to make this official. Finally, the pregnancy test at the doctor’s office came back with a positive reading and the first prenatal appointment was made. We were on our way.
My first appointment was only a week after my test came back positive and we hit a major bump in the road. I started to spot, then I started to bleed. I had had two previous miscarriages before I became pregnant with Shawn, the oldest child, so of course my worse fear was being brought back to the forefront of my mind. I was losing this baby. I, as calmly as I could, explained to Eric what was happening and told him to resign himself to the fact that this baby was just not ever going to be with us. I think in a lot of ways, we grieved the loss of our child; we began to prepare ourselves for the worst.
The day finally arrived for my doctor’s appointment. I went in with fear and apprehension. Oh, did I mention that this was also a new doctor for me? I had never seen any of the doctors in this office before none the less even been to the office for more than my pregnancy test. Boy was I shocked when my doctor walked in. For fear of showing my age, all I could think was Dr. Doogie Howser. I wanted to run, I wanted to shout where’s your daddy?, or something. He just wasn’t old enough to be a doctor.
I didn’t run or shout. I figured at this point, he was a doctor and that is just what I needed. We had a lengthy conversation about what was going on with me and what our game plan would be. Sit and wait is what he came up with, not that I could really blame him for that. I knew there was really nothing left to do but wait. Before I left the doctors office, he did order another pregnancy test, a blood test this time. He said he wanted to see what my HCG (the hormones that are present when you are pregnant) levels were doing. Two days later I received a call from Dr. Byrd (aka Doogie Howser). My HCG levels had increased since my first pregnancy test. For the moment, I was still pregnant. Praise God! At this point, his game plan was that I would have my prenatal appointments every two weeks until I either lost the baby, or I quit bleeding. This was only May, my due date was January. This was going to be a long nine months. Little did I know just how long it would seem.
I had my prenatal appointments scheduled every two weeks and I kept them like clock work. I was not going to miss a one and risk anything major happening. Over the next several weeks and months, a few more pregnancy tests were ordered to make sure that I was still carrying this child. Each test came back positive with the HCG levels being higher than the last. At approximately ten or eleven weeks, I was scheduled to have an appointment and Dr. Byrd tried to see if he could hear the heart beat. Usually the heart beat can be heard at right around that time frame. We heard nothing. My heart sank. Hearing the heart beat would have given me something tangible to hang on to rather than just a few blood test. I was told not to worry as it was still early and not hearing the heart beat did not mean anything bad had happened……yet.
I was still bleeding, sometimes seriously bleeding. I had several overnight hospital stays. I had several ultrasounds trying to determine where the bleeding was coming from. My first ultrasound came back normal. Nothing showed signs of bleeding or problems. This continued until sometime in July. It was in July that I was put on bed rest for the first time. I was told to stay home for a week to help stop the bleeding. Everything seemed fine, by the end of that week, it was as if nothing ever happened and I received a clean bill of health to go back to work. That last three days back. Spotting began to occur again and another hospital stay. Another week off work. I finally got to the point were I could go back to work and stay there for a period of time, however, Omaha is like any other major city, no parking. I would have to park my car about a mile from my office and walk to the office. My mother stepped in and started driving me to and from work that way I could be dropped off at the front door. This became routine for the next month.
In mid-August, I had a regularly scheduled doctors appointment, still spotting and now showing signs of pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure was way up and I had severe swelling of my legs. The doctor put me on indefinitely bed rest from that point on. From August to the middle of September, I did nothing but lay around the house and take my kids back and forth to school. I went to church when I could, but my main objective was to stay pregnant and help this baby the only way I could, on my back. My bleeding continued on and off during this whole time sometimes nothing to speak of and sometimes bad enough to put me in the hospital for another night.
Our first major mile stone came at the end of September. Dr. Byrd kept telling me that all we had to do was get to twenty-five weeks and my case would then be turned over to a high-risk ob. At twenty-four weeks, I had my first appointment with the specialist. At that moment in time, I was not bleeding and had not been for a week or so. That was definitely a positive sign for all of us. Maybe the problems had rectified themselves and it would be fairly uneventful for the duration of the pregnancy. (yea right) She ordered an ultrasound at that first appointment just so she could see how the baby was growing, the weight of the baby and anything else she might need to know in case the baby were to be premature.
They were baffled by what they saw. They were hoping to see something routine, like me being placenta-privia, where the placenta sits on top of the cervix. That is a serious problem as well, but at least then we would have a reason and could make a plan of action. According to the ultrasound, they could not tell if I was placenta-privia or not. The pictures appeared to show that my placenta went from my cervix on one side all the way around to the cervix on the other side. They were also looking to see if maybe there was a sign of an abruption, where the placenta is tearing away from the uterus. We could not see that either. Now five months into this pregnancy and still no closer to knowing what was happening.
Eric and I sat down with the doctor after she looked at the ultrasound and she told us her plan of action. Since there was not any active bleeding at the moment, she would let me go home, however, at the first sign of bleeding, I would be admitted to the hospital and would stay until the baby was born. Yea, like that was really going to happen. I had to beautiful boys at home that needed me, I was not going to be in any hospital bed for fifteen weeks. Nope not happening!!
If I am not mistaken, I think that appointment was on a Monday and by Tuesday morning…..I was bleeding again. Not much just a spot here and there. I told Eric about, but told him I would not go to the doctor unless it got worse. Guess what? It got worse. Everyday a little bit worse than the day before, but I refused to go to the doctor or even call the doctor because I already knew her answer and I wasn’t going there.
However, by Friday, the bleeding had gotten bad enough that I was truly scared. I had talked to Eric one of his breaks at work and he told me to call the doctor. I wasn’t having any part of that, well at least not yet. By mid-afternoon, I was convinced that I needed to call the doctor and I did. We talked, I cried, she told me that I needed to be admitted into the hospital and I said I couldn’t be. She finally convinced me to come by the hospital and be checked out, I didn’t have to stay. I went. She tricked me. The labor and delivery personnel were waiting for me.
This did not seem odd as every time that I was in the hospital I was in labor and delivery and they always put me in a room. When I got to the room, they told me I needed to change into a hospital gown so that I could be examined and while I did that, the nurse asked me several questions. It finally dawned on me that she was asking me things I had not been asked any of the other times that I had been there. My first question to her was, “where is the doctor?”, to which she replied that she had left for the night and would see me tomorrow. That, of course, naturally led to my second and final question, “was I staying the night?”, to which I was informed that I was staying indefinitely. I was there, had checked myself in and could not turn back now.
Even though I was deceived, I knew deep in my heart this is where I needed to be. As it turned out, the doctor had not gone for the night, she showed up in my room about an hour after I had gotten there and settled and we talked. Ok, she talked. As the nurses busied themselves around me, inserting an IV, hooking up fetal monitors and just busying themselves to get my room ready, I was informed that this would be a long term stay. At least ten weeks. She wanted to see this baby make it to thirty-five weeks before it was born. Ten weeks? God, how could I stay here for ten weeks? What about my boys? What about my husband? How could they do without me for ten weeks?
Once the fetal monitors were hooked up, I was asked if I was in any pain. Of course not, no pain. Just tired of everything that had transpired over the many months that brought us to this point. At that point I was told that the monitors were picking up contractions and they would have to be stopped. Magnesium was order for just this occasion.
Magnesium is what they use to stop contractions. I was informed that I would have difficulty moving once the magnesium got into my system and it effects all major muscles, but would not effect my heart or my lungs. My mother and Eric were with me during this and even at a time as stressful as this, they found humor in my situation. I was not adequately informed of the effects of magnesium especially once they had to continue increasing my dosage. I was unable to sit up in bed, not a problem, just raise the head of the bed. I was unable to scoot up in the bed as I slide down, not a problem, get Eric on one side and a nurse on the other side to scoot me up. I had a difficult time speaking coherently, not a problem, don’t speak unless absolutely necessary. I was unable to focus my eyes, not a problem, until the doctor came in and wanted to speak to me. In order for me to look at the doctor and see him while he was talking, I had to hold one eye shut and focus really hard through the other. My mother and Eric found this very humorous and still do to this day. I am sure I was just a sight to be had.
My first couple of days were filled with numerous doctors and interns visiting me, tests being run and having visits from other hospital personnel discussing things that I could expect while I was there. I had a visit from ultrasound, trying one more time to find out what was going on with me and my baby. It was also during this visit from ultrasound that Eric and I found out that our precious baby was a girl. Rebekah was on her way. We had that name picked out from the beginning….if it is a girl her name would be Rebekah, if it was a boy…..we had no name. Thank God it was a girl. No name Macio just doesn’t have a good ring to it.
I spent my nights in the hospital very restless as I am a side sleeper and every time I would roll to my side, the monitors would lose the vitals on the baby and they would come and wake me up to roll back over on my back. I could never get comfortable enough to sleep well. There were several late night and very early morning phone conversation between Eric and I. I am sure that I did most of the talking or should I say complaining. I cried to him that I couldn’t sleep, I cried to him that I missed him and the kids and I cried to him that I was scared. If I wasn’t talking to Eric, I was talking to God.
Okay, so I was admitted into the hospital on Friday evening and by Monday night I’d had my fill of that place. It was time to go home. The way I saw it was that it couldn’t be healthy for either Rebekah or I that I wasn’t getting any sleep. After about the third time the nurse came in woke me up to turn over, I was sad and angry. It was about 2 in the morning and I called Eric. He was tired, understandably, he spent his days at work, his evenings with me and his nights were filled being mom and dad to the two boys. He didn’t mind me calling, he has always told me that he would be there for me anytime I ever needed him and I surely needed him at that moment. I, of course was not being very rational. During the course of our conversation, I told him that I was coming home. By weeks end, I would be home. I never thought things through and I sure didn’t mean to get home this way because by weeks end, I was home.
October 6, 1998
The day I first saw my baby
Since I was in a teaching hospital, the students and residence made their rounds early in the morning. It was about 5 am when the first student arrived. He was only there for about 10 minutes, just asking me how I was feeling that morning. Of course at 5 am, except for being sore and tired, I was doing as well as could be expected.....
The resident in charge of my case came to see me around 6 am. She was also just checking on my status. By this time in my hospital stay, I was considered a long-term guest; I was here for the duration. Up to this point all had been fairly quiet for me.
I was not feeling quite right and wasn't sure what was wrong, but nothing felt right. All the machines and gadgets that they had hooked up to me showed them that nothing apparent was wrong. I explained to her that I had been having a few strange pains in my lower abdomen and she said that she would just keep an eye on me and check back with me later to see how I was feeling.
Oh boy, breakfast had come. My favorite time of the day, not. Breakfast went as fast as it had come, I didn't have much of an appetite so the coffee was the only thing that I really enjoyed. Oh and the milk, had to keep that baby happy.
I felt that I was beginning to sink into a depression. My eyes would tear up for no reason and there were a couple of occasions where I just burst into tears. Looking back in retrospect, I think that even at that time, God was telling me that something was going to happen to me that day and I needed to be prepared. Something wonderful and yet something so scary that my only hope was to put my faith in Him and trust that he knew what to do.
The nurses came in to check on me at around 8 am. They did their normal routine of taking my temperature, blood pressure, etc. As they did their work, I think that the sensed that something was wrong with me. They were so pleasant; I owe a lot of my mental relief to these two women. After the routine things were done, they fell into step like a well-oiled machine, to make me feel more comfortable. I had my first “bath” in days, I got to brush my teeth and comb my hair. For the first time in 5 days I was also allowed to stand for a few moments while I got clean sheets.
The nurses did what they could to comfort me which was an enormous help, but as soon as they were gone and I was left alone, depression hit again. It was worse by this time. I was scared and having someone in the room with me helped me not to focus on my fears. They presented me with idle chitchat, not about the baby, but about nothing at all. What a relief that was for me.
They were with me for probably an hour or so and after they left, I tried to take a nap. Not sure what to do with my self while being confined to the bed and having no visitors. I think I may have dozed off and on a few times, but I was constantly aware of what was going on around me. Then all of a sudden around 10 am the pains came with such intensity that I was really frightened. At first I tried to ignore them, but they came stronger, longer, and closer together. I had two children, this wasn't labor, I was sure of it. However, I soon realized that I had to call the nurse. With each new pain that I had, I felt as if God were trying to tell me, “put your pride aside and ask for help”.
By the time that the nurse got there, I was in tears. They were tears of pain but also of fear. I was confused; I didn't know what was happening to me. My thoughts of course turned for the worse. I knew that I was going to lose my baby. I tried to explain to the nurse what the pains felt like. They were very sharp stabbing pains, centralized on my cervix and they were coming about every 3 minutes and lasting approximately 11/2 minutes. As I was trying to explain this to her, she got first hand experience at what I was telling her as she watched me go through one of these pains.
You could almost see the panic in her eyes as she scrambled to page the doctor and she knew that wouldn't be quick enough so she began to head out the door in order to find one of them herself. I know that is was by the grace of God that the head doctor was walking by my door.
I was scared to death the day Rebekah was born. I was alone. Well, alone in the family sense. I had doctors and nurses all around me awaiting this horribly wonderful moment and of course Jesus was there with me. I could feel His presence around me, just like He was sitting on the edge of that bed with me, holding my hand, rubbing my head and telling me that He was there and no matter what the outcome, ALL would be okay.
After only 20 minutes of “labor”, my water broke and Becca swam on out to meet the world. As a sign to me, the promise Jesus made that all would be okay, as soon as she was born, she cried! Oh what a wonderful sound that was to my ears, God was going to at least give me some time with my daughter. At only 25 weeks, she cried!
As if things were not already frantic, hectic and confusing for me, they just got worse. The doctors and nurses from the NICU (pronounced nick-u), that had been waiting in the hall, pounced into my room to take a look at her. They scooped her out of the residents hand and rushed her away to the next room where they had all their equipment ready to assess her. It was relayed to me at a later time that she would not breathe on her own, unless the doctor held her upside down or made her made in some other way. (Go figure, not much has changed in the last 6 years) Well since this poor thing could not be kept hanging upside down, they had to intubate her and get her to the NICU. Her daddy got to the hospital just in time to see her being herded by doctors and nurses to the NICU.
After almost 6 months of trouble, that precious package couldn’t wait anymore and finally was here. For me, the ordeal was not at an end, but only beginning. I think for her daddy, it was the end of my trauma and the pride that his daughter was finally here, but the real worry of what was to come had not yet set in. He was just the proud papa and his little girl was finally here.
Next to arrive was my mother, and then the entourage began. I could not tell you who all showed up or in what order, I was still in shock. I believe that approximately 2 hours had passed when they finally allowed us to see our baby girl. I was scared, but I went. I cried. (Here is one of those hard parts) She was ugly. So tiny and although fully formed and a perfect as she could be, she was almost mishappened. I think my actual word were, “she looks like a little old man. So little that her daddy could totally cover her with his hand, that is one hand, not both hands.
Before I go on, let me explain to you what I saw when I got there. This little girl of ours was only 1lb 10 oz and 13 inches long. Smaller than even many baby dolls that my daughter plays with today. She was red, a very dark red. We were told that this was normal as her skin was barely even paper thin and her blood vessels were so close to the surface that we could see them and the blood pumping through them. Her eyes were not even opened yet, I felt like my cat or dog had just had babies and we were waiting for their eyes to open. She was laying on her side in the fetal position, which made her look even smaller that she really was. One nurse explained it to us like this….from the top of her head to the bottom of her butt, she was no bigger that a 12 oz soda can. That really helps to put it perspective, or at least for me it did. Being a baby, of course she needs a diaper, a preemie diaper. This preemie diaper was so big on her, that they laid her sideways on it, her bottom on one side, and the other side coming completely over the top of her, using it as a blanket to help keep her warm. One leg hole of this diaper rested at the base of her head and the other leg hole rested behind her knees, she was swallowed up. Now that is the microscopic view of this little girl, lets widen our view for a moment and give the rest of what she looked like. She was in an isolete, also know as an incubator. She had been intubated, so she had the tube down her throat to help her breath, and you could hear the ventilator in the back ground with it’s consistent hum and pumping with every breath. She had patches on her chest to monitor her heart, she had pulse-ox monitor on her foot to keep track of her oxygen saturation, she had an IV in her right hand so that they could take blood if they need to, to run tests. She had tubes running out of her belly button, so they could then insert any and all medications that she might need, and I will tell, she needed many. She had a blood pressure cuff on her leg, which went off every 10 minutes or so; all of this just to check her progress and keep her alive. It was a very intimidating site.
As the people started to show up, my husband would take them to see her. First my mother, then our pastor, next our deacon and I can’t remember if or how many others went. Our first argument since our daughter was born. I saw her, but I couldn’t go back, not just yet. I was both shocked and horrified by what I saw. I had to process all I had seen and to mourn what I had seen. I know that sounds strange, but yes, I had to mourn, I am not sure what I was mourning, but I did. Maybe that was the first sign that I was not quite right myself. But anyway, Eric could not understand me not wanting to go see my baby and I could not handle the fact that I felt like she was being treated like a freak show. In my heart, I knew that was not what he was doing, he was just proud that our daughter was here and alive, but I tend to be a more private person than him and I was not ready for this to be made so public.
So over the next many hours, I sat in an almost zombie state, just sitting and staring and talking with my mother, allowing the doctors to do whatever they need to do for me. However, again I knew God was with me and I knew He was more importantly with my daughter. Be assured, that as with any normal mother, I did get that motherly instinct and desire to see my child. It was at about 2 in the morning and I couldn’t sleep, I had to see my baby again. The halls of the hospital were dim and quiet, I slipped away alone to go to my baby. The shock was gone and so was the horribleness. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and now was our time to concentrate on making her well.
Rebekah’s Journey Begins
Now let me tell you something. I was 31 years old, 2 children and on my second marriage. I did not live a hard or terrible life, but there were definitely many ups and downs to my life. I am very much a realist when it comes to life and I will not let you believe that I was experienced beyond belief, but I did know that all the trials that I had been through had been preparing me for this one. On top of the fact that this was not the first baby I was ever in jeopardy of losing.
So, the next day, we met with the neonatologist in charge of our daughter and she wanted to explain Becca’s condition and make sure we were well aware of how serious this really was. She wanted to make sure that the gravity of the situation set in and probably a little to cockily (especially knowing me), I said that I did understand how serious everything was for our child. So she made me tell her what I thought before she said anything she had prepared for us. So I tearfully told her what I thought were my daughters best chances were. I told her that at best we were looking at a 50/50 chance of survival. I also told her that her dad and I were prepared for whatever was to take place and that all we could do would be to thank God for any time He gave us with our daughter. I am sure that I said many other things, as by the end of my monologue, she was nodding her head at me and tears were gently rolling down her cheeks.
This doctor was also know throughout the NICU as the “ice princess”. She wasn’t the greatest on people skills and I am not sure that now in retrospect that I could totally blame her. The NICU is a hard place to work. I am not doctor or nurse material, but if I were, I am not sure that I could work with all those critically ill babies and still keep my sanity. I barely kept my sanity as just a mother of one child in there. Word spread fast that I had made this doctor cry and I quickly became know as the one who thawed the “ice princess”.
Now that roughly ends our first two days with our daughter. The first week was fairly uneventful, she made large strides forward everyday. In the first couple of days, they run many tests on these precious babies so that they can prepare for whatever might be lurking around the corner. She was originally put on blood pressure medication to stabilize her blood pressure, came off of that within two or three days….blood pressure stable. They did an ultrasound of her heart. I never knew this, but when a baby is in the womb, they have a “hole” in there heart to allow the blood to bypass the lungs and usually right after birth, the “hole” closes up and starts circulating blood through the lungs. Well, premature babies, especially when their lungs are very undeveloped , are at great risk for this “hole” not to close, so with the ultrasound that they did on her, that is what they were looking for. Becca, “hole” closed! Two tests down and passed, one to go. The next test and the on of the most major was to check her head for bleeding. The doctor explained it to us like this: when a baby is in the womb, the brain is constantly being showered in blood, once a baby is born, the showering stops and the blood vessels take over. Preterm babies are at risk of this natural process not to happen, which requires several courses of action and could lead to brain damage in many forms. Test three…..no brain bleeds for Becca. We could breath a sigh of relief as three major problems for our daughter had been adverted. At this point in time all we had to worry and concentrate on were her lungs. They were very under developed.
To divert for just a moment, Becca was born on a Tuesday and up to the end of Tuesday evening, I was being closely monitored for blood loss. Before she was born, I was at risk of needing a blood transfusion as my blood crit levels were only at 8, from what I understand, 12 is normal. I never fell below 8 and by the end of the evening, my levels were rising nicely and I was fairly out of danger for needing a transfusion, but I was to be kept in the hospital until I showed absolutely no signs of needing blood or hemorrhaging, because remember they did not still know why I had so much bleeding or what caused my baby to be born so early. However, on Wednesday, I was determined I was going to be released from the hospital, my baby was in good hands and there really was not anything I could do for her except pray for her and be there for her. So my mind turned to my boys, they need their mother as much as, if not more, that Becca did. Shawn was only 8 at the time and Kevin not quite 6.
I think I was released from the hospital about 2 in the afternoon, and Eric and I stayed with our daughter for awhile longer as we had already made arrangements for the boys to be cared for. I guess it was about 4 p.m. that I decided that I needed to be with my boys. Eric got my things and load me into the car and began the long drive home. I was fine in spirit and mood. I was excited to be going home and I was excited about seeing my boys. We hit a “bump” in the road. In order for us to get our boys, we had to drive by the exit for our house. I flipped out. No better way to say it than that, I flipped out. Up to this point Eric and I had just been chit chatting about Becca, the boys and really nothing at all, but when I saw the exit to my house, the tears began to fall. It had all set in……I was going home WITHOUT my baby. Eric laughs and teases my about now, but I yelled at him to take me back to the hospital, I was NOT going to leave her there all alone with no one there who loved her. I had to be with her. Of course he got me calmed down and reminded me that God was with our daughter and there was nothing we could do. Our boys needed us now.