Things weren’t all chocolates and roses after Connor was born. They had to ventilate him. The doctor who performed the ventilation was fast and accurate. Everyone gave him kudos. He saved Connor at that time.
One hurdle was tackled.
He was so tiny. When I say he could fit in the palm of my hand I’m not kidding. He was hooked up to various machines. He had ports for having blood drawn and infused. The next issue to rise was he couldn’t pee. His sodium was extremely high and blocking him from voiding.
I’ll be honest – the first night I was frightened to see him. I was scared to death I’d go down and he’d die or they’d tell me bad news. So I stayed away. I made my husband go down and give me updates.
Early the next morning I couldn’t sleep wondering how he was and if he was okay. I found my courage and a need to see him. While Sean slept I snuck down to the NICU. I slipped in and the nurse smiled. Guilt raced through me. How could I not come see my son earlier? How could I leave him alone? He needed me and my love. I had to talk to him and let him know everything would be okay.
The first four days were a roller coaster of events. Things looked grim and then they looked okay. On the fifth night we were at the hospital holding him, reading and singing to him. When we put him back in the incubator he peed. When I say peed it shot up to the roof of his incubator and went all over. His nurse cheered, while Sean and I cried. It was a huge milestone.
Such a huge milestone his doctor came in and insisted I start pumping for he would need to have breast milk soon. She advised us we had a long road ahead of us, but that things were looking good. She told us to go home, get some sleep and come back in the morning with breast milk.
I did everything she suggested. It was the first night I slept since giving birth to Connor.
The next morning we walked in with a skip in our step. I couldn’t wait to hear about his output and if he gained any weight. I was greeted at the door by his day nurse. The look on her face wasn’t encouraging.
She told us Connor had taken a turn for the worse overnight. They were transfusing him to keep him alive. They suggested we call in any family we wanted to say good bye to him. So we did. We called our immediate families.
Everyone came in and held him for as long as they wanted. There wasn’t a time limited because they were keeping him pumped with fresh blood. By the end of the day Sean and I were exhausted – physically and mentally.
We sent everyone home.
We sat in Connor’s room, had him unhooked and held him, whispering our love for him until he took his last breath. He was gone on 1/9/2010 at 10:28 – a minute shy of his birth six days before.
I’ve watched one other person take their last breath – my grandmother. While it was painful, there’s nothing that compares to letting your child go. It’s been five years and my heart still aches for my little boy.
He’s always in my heart and thoughts.
I’ll continue another day. It’s too painful to continue today.