Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Just When They Thought it Couldn't get any Worse Part 2

Since we were born early, chaos ensued. I had to be hooked up to a ventilator right away.

Minutes after birth, both of my lungs collapsed a total of four times. To correct this, I was hooked up to a ventilator. The doctors tried this for a day or so, but weren't seeing results. I was a very sick baby. Mama knew the jet ventilator could cause a brain bleed, but she had to let them put me on it. There were no other options. I was then put on a jet ventilator which beat four hundred times per minute. This was a lot on my little body, so I had a brain bleed on the right side. For those of you who aren't familiar with this, let me explain. When a brain bleed happens, it affects the opposite side of the brain. The entire left side of my body is weaker than the right side. The brain bleed is why I have cerebral palsy. My brother also faced his share of obstacles as an infant. While he didn't have cerebral palsy, he did have to be hooked up to an oxygen tank.

I was hooked up to so many wires and tubes that the nurses had to put an IV in my head. As I lay there in my incubator, I was fighting for my life. I lost down to 1 lb. 6 oz. during my NICU stay and my brother lost down to 1 lb. 10 oz. We were micro preemies. My brother and I were so sick that nurses would call my parents with updates during the night. My mom said they hardly got any sleep because they never knew when they were going to get a call or have to come to the hospital.

Mama came to Greenville Memorial every day to come see us. The nurses told Mama and other family members to talk to us regularly. It wasn't the traditional hospital visit where people come in and Ooh and Aah over the babies. Mama said there was a serious tone in the NICU. Every where they turned they saw a sick baby. What is even more heartbreaking is that several babies had no one to come see them. Mama didn't get to hold my brother and I for months. She couldn't feed or bathe us. The only connection to us was her voice. The nurses also recommend playing music, so Mama brought a pink music box with a silk overlay and placed it above my incubator and blue one for my brother. The nurses played it every day. Even the soothing music couldn't drown out what happened next.

At one point, the nurse came in and told Mama something no other mother should ever have to hear. She said, "I'm sorry, we've done all we can do for your daughter. She's gone."

Mama didn't know God like she does today, but she knew to pray. She went out in the hall by herself to gather her thoughts. She cried because of what the nurse said. God asked her,
"What are you crying for?" This was the first time she had ever heard God speak to her. She cried out to God saying, "God, you gave her to me, but if she's going to be a vegetable take her on. If not, I want a 180 degree turnaround." Granny called my Aunt Sherrie and told her so her church could pray.

About five minutes later, the nurse came back in and said I had done a 180 degree turnaround. When the doctors had given up all hope, God had something up his sleeve. The years that followed were filled with joy, laughter, frustration, and things that were never expected.

To be continued...

This is the very first picture of me.

*Since this is part of my life, this will be part of my Memories Rewind post. It's emotionally draining to go back and write about this, but it is what it is. There's no funny story today, just me almost 20 years ago.*

Today marks my 100th post. I'll post more about it on Thursday.


BK said...

Precious post. Made me tear up! So small and tiny, but a fighter!!! Still are!!!

Gwen said...

Fabulous posts!!! BK said it best....definitely a fighter. :) XOXO