He was absolutely perfect. Even with being born 6 wks pre-mature, he was doing so well. I examined every bit of his 21 inch body. All 10 toes, 10 fingers, brown hair; with a little calic right in front, and the bluest eyes, I have ever seen.
My baby boy was quickly whisked away, to be cleaned and assessed by the nurses. His agar's were perfect at first, then went steadily down. I remember his daddy, Troy was trying to decided whether to be at his side, or mine.
The nurses called for help, then the respiratory team came racing in. Then...racing out. The room fell silent, as my doctor finished cleaning up the birth scene and assembling the bed. I soon found myself alone. I looked out the window, it was barely 5 o'clock in the morning and I could see the sun just touching the tips of the mountains.
I was exhausted from 21 hours of labor, and found myself drifting into a deep and dreamless sleep. I remember feeling so peaceful and warm.
I was jolted awake by Troy's hand on my arm. He was sobbing. He told me that I needed to come see our son. The wheel chair was waiting next to the bed.
When we got to the NICU, I was confused. My son was so big and healthy. He was a 7 pounds 1 ounce, 21 inches long...how can he possibly be in the NICU? This was a place for tiny premies...not MY baby!
There he was. My hansome prince. There were tubes everywhere. One for breathing and many coming out of his umblical stump. His pediatritian came over to me, to fill me in on what was happening. "He's very sick." I thought he was mistaken....He must have the wrong baby! Then he said something that would change my life forever. "There's not much hope, I'm sorry." Troy fell down next to me and hugged me. We both just cried and cried.
Then I looked up at my baby. I saw his feet moving and his little hands clenching and unclenching. All I saw in that little isolette was hope! It was pouring out of my son! I wasn't going to let some doctor tell me that there was no hope! How dare he!
Our little guy was quite sick. It was strange though seeing this great big baby among some very tiny, fragile ones. Braden Thomas had a "neighbor", a beautiful baby girl, born at 25 weeks gestation. She was barely 2 pounds. This baby and my son had very simular breathing problems. I visited with the mother one day, we both sat and held our newborns, even SHE had hope!
Braden spent 2, very long weeks in the NICU. He was released just before Halloween. Just before we left, his doctor came over to give him a final look over, "he's perfect", he told me. I just smiled and said a silent prayer of thanks.
Three years later, I bumped into the mother I had met at the NICU. I didn't see a child with her, and I was afraid to ask. She recognized me too and asked how I was. Braden was pulling at me and whining about an ice cream cone. Just as I was about to answer, a tiny little girl came running up to her mommy shreaking with joy......This is "Hope", my daughter...she was absolutely beautiful!