TITLE: Elijah's First Breaths
By Sarah Davis
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I recall from memory that remarkable day our lives changed forever. My heart gripped with confusion as I tried desperately to stay calm.
I remember the joy leap inside me as I felt no more small flutters, but distinct kicks as you would stretch and make room inside my womb that started as your home. My Doctor requested I relax in bed and do as little as possible to keep my blood pressure from rising. Unfortunately it became too high, so you were scheduled to be delivered on April twenty-second; three days after my birthday.
It was a special day for us as we knew the second addition to our home would arrive. Mommy was scheduled for another C-section, seeing as I cannot have you natural because my pelvic bone is too narrow and could cause great harm to you and me. I remember the feeling of anxiety filling me as I told myself to just breathe and know you would be out soon. Your daddy held my hand and watched as they worked vigorously to free you.
Within minutes I felt a sudden heaviness release within me as you were pulled out and I instantly listened to your cry that came from taking your first breaths. You were beautiful, resembling your older brother, yet taking on another look all the same. You weighed in at seven pounds and a half ounce and twenty inches; already outdoing your brother as he was born a little smaller.
You were taken to the nursery with daddy and after I was released from recovery, I was wheeled to my room where I anxiously awaited to hold my baby boy for the first time. When they brought you to me, I was filled instantaneously with pure love; but as I held you close I noticed you struggle with your breathing and a light whimper came through your tiny pursed lips. My heart grieved for my little man and fear grew within me as I began to pray.
Moments later you were taken by a nurse and the Neonatal Doctor came in to give us the news that you were born with fluid on your lungs that turned into pneumonia. You struggled to get a full breath, so they began to plug you up to machines and place IV’s into my tiny little fighter. You were started on a hundred percent oxygen. I was not able to hold you during this time and my heart ached to feel your touch against me, to feed you, and love you the way you deserved. You were isolated in this clear cube with cords and wires coming from you and your tiny face swollen from it all.
The Doctor told me he wasn’t sure you didn’t have a heart condition as well and at this point he could not give me a yes that you would make it through. My heart gripped in unbelievable ache as I cried tears of hope and prayed desperately for you my loved little one.
On the third night, a nurse allowed me to hold you as she believed this was crucial, the bonding between mother and child in order to help you fight. You were all consumed with wires from your IV’s, but after a few minutes of maneuvering I got to hold you precious boy. Daddy and I adored you and loved on you during this special time we had. We prayed with you and had our picture taken with you, then kissed you goodnight as we headed back down the hall to our room.
The next morning, a new Doctor informed us our son was being transferred to Children’s Hospital. I was a detrimental wreck thinking the worse has happened, my only memory being the former Doctor saying, “If he is sent to Children’s then he is in critical condition”. I could not make my tears stop as they were flowing freely. I got dressed quickly and rushed to get to you as fast as my recovering body would allow. You were nestled in your little cube; face still swollen, but just as sweet and innocent as before. I placed my hands through the little openings and prayed a simple prayer. I reminded you that you would not be alone, Jesus was with you.
A peace came over me as we drove the two hour ride to Children’s Hospital. God’s hands were with you, as your Papa arrived the same time you did and just happened to step into the same elevator you were being accompanied into. Shortly after you were settled in, I immediately knew you were in the best place as I noticed they had exchanged all your tubes out with smaller ones that actually fit your nose and allowed the swelling in your face to begin to fade. Within a day your heart condition was ruled out and you were taken off oxygen and breathing on your own. Each day you progressed and we were able to take our bundle of joy home less than a week later.
Our breaths should not be taken for granted, they are counted each one by our Great God and we never know how many we will be given before it will be our last.
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