Nine years ago today Isaac was born. It started as all babies do. I’ll spare the details, but we found that Isaac was to be born on February 14, 2000. Emily’s pregnancy progressed normally until the middle of December. Isaac had always been a bundle of energy, even in the womb. We called him popcorn before he was born since we didn’t find out his sex. Anyhow, a few days before he was born, Emily noticed that he had stopped moving. She waited a day and then another and still no movement. We were new parents and didn’t know any better. We decided we’d quell our new parent fears and she called the doctor who recommended that she go straight to the hospital. She headed to the hospital and 2 1/2 hours later, Isaac was born. He would not survive long enough to go through normal childbirth so they took him the hard way. He was suffering liver and kidney failure as well as congestive heart failure. We later found out that Emily had fifth disease, a common, typically childhood disease that is not terribly serious for kids, but very serious for unborn babies. So, Isaac contracted it in utero which caused his loss of movement as he was dying.
So, the doctors delivered him and rushed him to the NICU at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, TN. Baptist is a huge hospital in Nashville and is generally considered “the baby hospital”. They have a fantastic NICU and a great staff. Anyhow, since he was born 2 months early, and without advanced warning, he was not given steroids to prepare his lungs. A typical NICU ventilator would have killed him. Fortunately, he was put on a jet vent which puffs lots of little bursts of air into his lungs. They also filled his lungs with some sort of liquid to ease his transition to the ouside world.
Because of his liver failure, the medications he was given processed through his system slower than expected so he didn’t not proceed as expected. Initially, the doctors were not aware of this and suspected, instead, that he had suffered a brain hemmorage and was brain dead. We kept faith through it all but feared the worst.
I can’t really bear to relive all of the details, but slowly, Isaac started to wake up and to move. And slowly he was transitioned off of the jet vent and placed on a regular ventilator. Slowly, he was moved from a feeding tube to eating a few cc’s of milk at a time. He pooped 8 days in to this ordeal! It was only then that his body started to really heal.
We still weren’t out of the woods. Doctors recommended all sorts of treatments, one of which they warned us, would likely make him deaf. Due to all of his issues, they warned us that he would likely have some mental disabilities as well.
So, here we are 9 years later. From the boy we were told was brain dead, we have come so far. From the 3 1/2 pound baby to the 5 foot tall, 90 pound eating machine who wears a size 8.5 men’s shoe, he has exceeded everyone’s expectations. From the baby who would likely be mentally disabled, to the boy who has just started gifted classes, we remain astounded at how we have been blessed with and by this child! He suffers only one of the afflictions the doctors warned of. Isaac has moderate hearing loss for certain frequencies.
I love my little boy so much and he continues to delight me. I had no idea, 9 years ago, that I could possibly love that kid more…but I do.