Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Connor

4 years ago at 10:29pm I gave birth to a premature little boy. He weighed 10oz. The doctors predicted he wouldn’t survive the delivery. I knew differently. Something in my heart told me the delivery would be okay. I have to thank the doctor who managed to get the breathing tube down Connor’s throat that day and he did it in record speed. He amazed the 15 other doctors and nurses in the room too.

We’d survived the first hurdle – birth. That was only one of many hurdles our son would have to overcome. He had a salt build up and couldn’t urinate. Each hour was a win. I stayed in the hospital with Connor for 5 days before they forced me to leave. I didn’t want to leave my son, but I couldn’t stay…insurance policies and all.

The NICU did allow us to stay in Connor’s room and we did. It wasn’t easy to sleep during those days. Any odd noise coming from the many machines keeping him alive had me on high alert.

On the fifth night Connor peed. He did it right in front of my husband and me. I never felt so excited to see someone pee. Everyone on staff in the NICU found this to be a huge hurdle. In fact his Neo Natal doctor said, “Go home and start pumping. He’s going to need all the breast milk he can get.”

To parents it was one of the best conversations we had. It was a positive sign.

We went home that night with the nurses convincing us it was all good. We slept better that night.

The next morning we walked into his room and I knew immediately something was wrong. The nurse pulled me aside and told me he took a turn for the worse. I cried and demanded to know why they didn’t call me. She said I needed sleep. I need to be rested for the day ahead of me.

They had pumped him full of blood to give us time to call in the family so everyone could say goodbye. He wasn’t going to make it after all. The urination was just a fluke. Maybe it was a sign for us to go home to rest because the next day was going to be the most difficult of our lives.

That day both our families came up and each and every one of them got to hold Connor. We asked everyone to leave and we held our son one last time.

They took him off oxygen. 10:27pm on the sixth day Sean and I sat holding him while he took his last breath. Ironic.

I don’t care if you have 6 hours, 6 days, or 16 years with a child – the pain is unimaginable when you lose them.   

The staff of nurses and doctors at Women and Infants Hospital is an amazing group. I’ll thank them for the rest of my life.   

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