I woke up at 1:30 a.m. in labour and woke the rest of my family by 2:30 a.m. to get ready to go to the hospital. After phoning the OB nurse at that same time, my water broke and we quickly headed out the door. Only a short labour period past and my son was born at 3:57 a.m. - that's only 2 1/2 hours from beginning to end. Some women with long labours may be impressed, even jealous at this expediency. Don't be, it was not a good thing.
Our handsome boy weighed in at 9lbs and 6 1/2 oz, 22 inches long. He was very bruised about his head because of the speed he came through the birth canal. Immediately, the medical staff noted that his blood sugar was too low and started the process to raise it. Their efforts did not improve the situation and within 5 hours of delivery we were transferred from our small town hospital to a more technologically advanced Neonatal Intensive Care Unit about an hour south of us. Little did we know the events that were to come.
Because my boy was in the care of a NICU with 24hour monitors and high ratio of staff to patient it was noted that he started to have seizures. In fact, the seizures became continuous to the point that he would stop breathing and require resuscitation. This is only day two of his life. Before this day was over, my son was intubated onto a full time respirator and we were being transferred to The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto with no idea why the seizures were happening or if they could get them under control. More seriously, would our son ever breath on his own again. We had only held him for a short time after his birth and I had not been able to nurse him yet.
When we arrived at SickKids hospital, we were presented with the some of the initial test results and physical assessments. They did not know why the seizures were occurring. They did not know why this baby boy would not breath on his own. They only knew that we should be prepared for the possibility of having to say 'goodbye' to our boy after only saying 'hello' a few short hours before.
This isn't how it is supposed to happen. Not only did I start sending desperate cries to God, I had so many questions as to 'why' He would allow this to happen to my family. While I am questioning Him, I'm also trying to answer my 10 year old daughter's questions that are the same as mine. 'Why, Lord, why?' I didn't have an answer for her. All we could do was cry together as a family...and wait.
I was drawn to the book of Job - here was a man who had suffered much and maintained his faith:
What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? Job 2:10b
Though he slay me, yet will I trust him: Job 13:15
Obviously, I wanted a positive ending to our trauma. I did not want to share in Job's strengths by losing my child. I did not want to say goodbye.
(more to come as I am able to write it)