Friday, July 6, 2012

9 years ago I became a mom

On this day, 9 years ago, I became a mom. However, my story of becoming a mom is not quite like others. I was happy but it just wasn't quite as joyous as I expected it to be. I had dreams of that little boy and expectations of what I wanted for my son. However, none of these came true. An entire different set of blessings came along with plenty of heartache and growth.

Nine years ago, I had only been married for about seven months. So, Paul and I were just newly weds and we had only met almost 14 months earlier. We were not prepared for such a huge obstacle so early in our marriage. But, we had it so we just kept going.

These are pictures of David, our oldest son, at 4 days of age with my hand. He was born at 1 lb 4 oz and 13" long. So tiny but so perfect! He had just had heart surgery when these pics were taken to close his patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).

I had just turned 20 and Paul was 22. We were so young. I didn't realize how young we were until I was older and looked back on it. Most people are surprised that I love talking about David. I love talking about him because he is my son, my baby and always will be. I want people to remember him. He also taught Paul and me so many things so early in our marriage. His short life was such a blessing and touched so many lives. He had so many amazing doctors and nurses.

Paul and I learned to rely on each other very early in our marriage. After David died, one of his doctors came up to us and told us how amazed he was by us. He said that many times the people in the NICU watched parents as their relationships were destroyed watching their baby struggle through the NICU, especially when they stay in there for a long time. They said that they were so surprised watching us as we grew closer to each other and stronger. He said that he saw children come in and adults leave. We were in there for 5 months so we were in there longer than most and the doctor said that was the first time he was able to see a couple as young as us survive a stay in the NICU as long as ours. I don't know how couples don't make it because I wouldn't have made it without Paul. I relied on him to pull me through and I hope he felt the same way about me.

Paul and me and David's funeral. The man next to us is Allan, David's PPN and an absolutely amazing person! Don't we look great together?
I also learned how amazing our ward (church family) is. Paul and I probably wouldn't have made it without them either. They fed us throughout most of those 5 mos. We got dinner a few times a week from them. Some people even brought us sack meals so we could eat it on the go - as soon as we got home from work we took off for the hospital and had dinner to go. :) I pumped milk the entire time and when my milk started to dry out an anonymous person in the ward rented us a hospital breast pump. I was so grateful since it was the only thing I could do for David. Also, some very good friends arrived a little while after we did that first day. A priesthood holder!! My best friend's hubby assisted Paul in giving David his first priesthood blessing. Some people came up to the hospital to visit us and David and when he died we came home to a cleaned house and a table loaded with food! The Bishopric (local leaders) were at our house ready for us. They even said the stake (group of wards in one area) leaders wanted to pay for the funeral costs. A member of the Church owns a funeral home and gave them a discount and helped us through the process. Another woman in our ward sewed him an outfit to be buried in. We just realized how much support we had during this whole ordeal. It was amazing! My entire office where I worked at the time even came to his funeral. We just had so many wonderful people in our lives and still have most of them! :)

Not sure why this one won't turn... "/ Anyways, this is the woman who made his outfit.
His  cute little outfit (and Winnie the Pooh from his grandpa).
Finally, our family was amazing!! I had David and then he was carried away to another hospital. I was left in the hospital I delivered him in by myself while he was in another state. The next day I was released. My mom, sister, mother-in-law, and brother-in-law were ready to go with us to the hospital David was in. My in-laws were in Virginia and drove all the way to SC without any hesitation. They heard what happened, loaded up their car and headed down. I was so grateful. My father-in-law wanted to come but was in the airforce and overseas so he couldn't. However, he was able to leave early so he could come and support his son and meet his grandson. When they arrived at our house to go to the hospital to meet David for the first time, they sped the whole way with us. The nurse had called earlier to inform us he had already had 5 cardiac arrests and they weren't sure if they'd be able to pull him out of the next one so we sped. We waved down every cop we saw to get them to escort us there but they all ignored us even though we were going 90 in a 55. haha! My in-laws came down to visit regularly. My mom went up to the hospital (1 hr one way) every morning before work. One day the nurse Paul and I didn't trust had David so my grandma said she'd spend the day up there to make sure he was okay since Paul and I were at work and had bills to pay. Remember, newly weds, young newly weds = POOR! ;) My mom was our landlord and waived our rent the entire time he was in the hospital. We were so grateful! We had to leave work several times for emergency brain surgeries and random emergencies all the time. We are grateful for understanding bosses as well.

Here are some family shots.

My mom visiting him after the first brain surgery.

My sister and brother in law at the funeral. (Not sure why they won't turn today.)

Paul's grandparents in the NICU waiting room (only two people were allowed in at a time).

Paul's mom and me at the funeral.
Paul's dad "holding" David.
So, that pic may bring up the question... were we allowed to hold David? Yes, after 6 weeks we held him. This post wasn't really about me talking about his life but the blessings his life brought or made me realize we already had. For a story of his life then click here. If I had the option, I'd go through all of it again. One day I'll see him again and that day will be joyous but until then I am grateful for all the blessings that were brought into our life through him and I will enjoy his younger siblings for now. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID!!!

Family Photos....


Hannah said...

You are amazing!! Love the story. Breaks my heart but your David is so cute and little.

ALYN said...

Happy Birthday David! You've got some great parents, as you know, and I'm sure there will be a wonderful reunion in Heaven. Linda, Thanks for sharing the pictures and stories. So heart wrenching to think about.

Kelly said...

What a sweet, beautiful little boy. Such a huge blessing, Linda. I'm so glad I know you. Your strength and outlook blow me away. Thank you for sharing David's life story with us. It means more to me than you know.