Feeling sentimental today! I guess the closer I get to Teddy's birthday the more I remember what a precious gift from God that he is. Oh, I know he is a gift and I know he was given to us for a time from God, but remembering his birth makes me more thankful! For those of you who may not know the whole story it began thirteen weeks into my pregnancy. You see at that time I thought I was only 8 or 9 weeks but wasn't sure, so I went to get an ultra sound of the baby. That is where they told me that there was a good chance my baby would be down syndrome. Of course I was devastated. I cried and prayed and then realized it didn't matter. God was in control, and no matter what He would provide the strength I would need. After a lot of prayer and seeing several specialist. The doctors decided that the baby (who I found out was a boy) was not down syndrome. So I began normal visits and no more extra ultra sounds.
Then sometime in the middle of September my blood pressure started getting really high. My OB out of precaution put me on bed rest and I had to stay home. My due date wasn't until October 23rd. But of course I wasn't discouraged. I was excited to meet Teddy and the changes that would take place. On September 29th I went to the doctor for a regular visit. Surprisingly (of course not really a surprise to God) I saw an actual OB rather than one of the mid-wives that I normally saw. He noticed that I wasn't growing the way I should. My fundal height was actually shrinking. He then noticed that the baby's heart rate was very slow. After monitoring me for a short while he told me that since I was almost 37 weeks (I was 36weeks and 6days), he wanted me to just go ahead on the the hospital. There he assured me they would monitor me that night and induce me the next morning. On the way to the hospital we called all our friends and family to inform them that tomorrow was the big day. We were excited, unaware of the problems that we were about to experience.
When I got there it seemed that they were waiting for me, but I did not think anything of it. I was put in a "holding room" where I was hooked up to monitoring and after only about a half an hour the doctor came in. She was very nice and said that we would need to have an emergency c-section. I will never forget Tommy's response. He looked at her in all sincerity and said, "Are you sure we need a c-section?" He was only trying to protect me, but I could tell by how fast the room was filling with people and the concerned look on her face that this was really an emergency. She explained that Teddy's heart rate was very low and every time my belly contracted (which I didn't know it was doing) his heart rate dropped. So after after what seemed only a few minutes I was rushed into the OR without Tommy. I was put to sleep and at 6:30PM, only thirty minutes after they told me I was going to have a c-section, Teddy was born and I was in the recovery room with no baby. As I came to the nurses around me shut the curtains and whispered around me. I kept asking where Teddy was and the answer was that he was small and had to go the NICU. Tommy was there shortly and we talked for a minute. I was later taken to a room and visited with John and Julie (who had come to bring Tommy food and meet the baby!!) and Pastor and Mrs. Campbell. Still we hadn't seen Teddy and we didn't know what was going on.
Around 11PM they finally called Tommy and said that he could come up to the NICU to see the baby. The Lord worked and Pastor Campbell was able to go with Tommy. Which was a huge blessing, for what he was about to see was worse than we could ever had thought. Teddy was hooked up to several different IVs and he had an oscillator (a respirator that "breaths" 100times a min, it doesn't look like they are breathing...only vi berating), and hooked to that was a special gas called Nitrate. The gas was pumped by the oscillator into the lungs and opened the capillaries. We were then told that sometime during my pregnancy my placenta had stopped working. As Teddy drank in the amniotic fluid, due to the fact he was not being nourished he no longer let any out and by the time of delivery there was no fluid left and Teddy had passed muconium and aspirated. He had pulmonary hypertension, failing kidneys, failing liver, and that was only the beginning. They gave us very little hope. Of course, all I saw was a picture because I was still recovering from surgery. The nurses assured me that if something were to happen before I could go to see him that they could take me there and I would be able to see him...not really assuring! The next morning I was able to get into a wheel chair and see Teddy. He was hugely swollen and only a tiny little thing. He started at 3lbs and 1.7oz, but I am sure by the time I saw him he weighted more because of the fluids he was retaining, due to the Kidney failure. The neonatologist wasn't encouraging. She said that they were not even sure if his Kidney's had fully formed and that there was no way of doing dialysis if they hadn't it really was touch and go. People came to visit us in our room after that and Tommy took many to go see Teddy (one at a time), but I didn't go. I was so scared after what I had seen and I couldn't make myself go back. Later in the evening a couple from our church that had a similar experience came to visit. Lisa held my hand and told me I had to go bond with Teddy. David was there for Tommy and when my parents finally arrived from Michigan they cleared the room so that we could spend some time with them.
On Saturday, I walked to the NICU to see Teddy. There were probably fifteen or twenty people that were there to visit us and Teddy. One of the NICU doctors had come to see Teddy and told us that he was still not doing well. In fact after some questions from us he insinuated that Teddy would not survive. Later, we were told that Teddy's liver enzymes had climbed over 5,000 and they were supposed to be under 100. We were told that if they didn't go down by at least half, Teddy would die. Sunday morning I was told that many people went to the alter during the morning service to pray for Teddy and we found out little later that his enzymes had dropped to under 2,500. God was working, but there was still a long long way to go.
Teddy still hadn't peed. He was still retaining fluid. I left the hospital on Monday night. Thankfully David and Lisa and another couple rented a hotel room across the street from the hospital so that we didn't have to go very far. On Tuesday during a normal change of his diaper (which wasn't even attached at this point) the nurse pressed on his bladder and we saw what we had been praying for a very small amount of urine slipped down the catheter. I cried. Wednesday morning early Tommy was taking the breast milk over to the hospital to be stored for later use (Teddy wasn't eating yet). When he walked into Teddy's area he noticed the oscillator was gone! He had been put on a step down respirator (a normal one)!!! Something the doctor on Saturday had said probably would never happen!!!!! God was using Teddy to prove himself. The week went quickly. We said goodbye to my parents on Saturday and then Saturday night we had another set back. Teddy had developed two phnumothorax's, this is air that is between the lung and rib cage. It collapses the lung and is very painful. They inserted two chest tubes and later added another one.
Slowly they were weening him off the different drugs that he was on. One of which was the morphine and we got to see Teddy's expressions. During this week we got to see his eyes open and watch as he gradually lost the water that he had been retaining. He began looking normal. They told us not to hope to take him home until after Christmas, but I was praying for a miracle. He did develop an intolerance for my milk and had to be put on a special formula.
I know the next events may not be in order, I am trying to remember the details. He was gradually weened off the respirator to a c-pap and finally we were able to hold him! It was such a great moment. We loved holding him and he seemed to respond so well to us holding him. He liked it, too. He began to be the baby that all the nurses wanted to play with. By the end of October we realize he was going to be okay. During this time a couple of the nurses that had been with Teddy during the worst part told us that they did not expect him to live.
He was moved to the step down nursery, eventually weened from the air all together. The last thing that we were working on was feeding. He was still unable to take a full bottle by himself without getting too tired and so he was needing a feeding tube. After many test to make sure there were no other problems, Thanksgiving day 2005 Teddy was able to go home. He still had a feeding tube which we had to give him at night for several weeks, until I was able to work with him until he could take the bottle on his own.
As I sat here and tried to remember all of it, I realized something else. God didn't just show us how great he was, He showed many nurses, doctors, and other people. He used little Teddy's life to prove Himself. I wonder just what he has in store for his life. Something great I hope. Wednesday he turns five, can you believe that five years ago I would never had guessed what I was about to experience. Would I change it. I don't know. I would never want to put him through that again, but I was taught so much about the power of prayer and how great God is. So, no I don't think I would. As the song says, "God's been good, in my life. I feel blessed beyond my wildest dreams when I go to sleep each night. Though I had my share of hard times, I wouldn't trade it them I could. Cause through it all, God's been good."