Friday, July 31, 2009

Eleven Years Ago Today

(Zack as a six month old.)
Over the years I have written a lot of stories about different things that have happened in my life. I have kept these stories hidden away on my laptop and haven't really shared them with anyone. The stories have been written so that I can share them with Zack when he is older. I have posted several of these stories here on my blog as filler when I haven't felt like writing much. Tonight I am posting one of these stories not so as filler but it is so appropriate for the day that is today - Zack's birthday!
Without further ado - here is a story I wrote back in 2003 called "The Day You were Born". I wrote this story specifically for Zack and it was written like I was talking to him.

July 31, 1998 was a warm day in Denver. The temperature was in the high eighties or low nineties. It was one of those days in which the giant thunderstorms come rumbling through around 2 or 3 in the afternoon and just soaked the city with rain. It rained so badly that day that some of the underpasses on I-25, the major interstate through the city were total flooded.

Your mom’s pregnancy had not been easy for her and on July 29th the doctors had told us that it was necessary to induce labor pretty quickly. We did get to pick the day on which you would be born within a 2 or 3-day window. We choose Friday, July 31 because it also was my Mom’s birthday. At the time my Mom had been diagnosed with cancer about 6 or 7 weeks beforehand. She had just gotten out of the hospital after a bout of surgery. So we wanted to try and have you born on her birthday so that you would share a special day with her.

Anyway, your Mom went into the hospital on Thursday evening around 8PM. We had put Bailey and Devon into a kennel for a couple of days because we didn’t know how long we would be at the hospital. We took some videotapes with us that we could watch in the VCR in the birthing room. As soon as we got to the hospital, the nurses got Patty situated and got her going on the medicine that would induce labor. We then sat down and watch some of the videotapes that we brought with us. Your Aunt Celinde and Uncle Tim stopped by to visit for a while. They gave Patty the Babe stuffed animal that you came to love when you were a 3 year old. They were leaving early the next morning to go to Pennsylvania to visit my Mom since it was her birthday also. So, they weren't around when you were born.

Thursday night was uneventful and I managed to get several hours of sleep, but your Mom didn’t’ sleep too well. On Friday morning, the nurses really increased the medicine that would induce labor. Patty started to feel some pain as labor began. The pain wasn’t good. Around lunch time the pain got so bad that they gave Patty the epidural. After that she felt better and said I should go and get something to eat. I went down to the cafeteria to get something to eat and read the news paper. When I came back, your Mom was in intense pain as the epidural reqlly hadn’t worked. We got the doctor back in who gave the epidural and they worked to correct the situation. It helped somewhat but not too much. In the end run it didn't matter as you were going to be born very shortly.

As the labor continued the doctors and nurses in the room began to notice there were signs of stress that you were experiencing. At first your pulse rate when way up but then after a while it started to fall. It began to fall into a range that would be described as dangerous for an unborn baby.

After a lot of pain and pushing by your Mom - you finally made your entrance into the world at 3:01PM on July 31, 1998. It wasn't any kind of grand entrance as you entered the world in silence. There was no screaming or crying - only silence. The nurses immediately took you over to the "baby cart" (for lack of a better word on my part) where you were put on a soft pad and the temperature was kept nice and warm. The did a quick test on you called an Apgar test and to put it bluntly you failed. You got a big fat zero - which meant that they really didn't detect any life in you. And too top it off you weren't breathing. All of this took place in about 30 seconds so it wasn't a long time. Given that you were breathing or doing anything - besides starting to turn a shade of blue - after 30 seconds the decision was made to call for a "code blue" and get a "crash cart" into the room to get you going.

Just as the call for a "crash cart" was going out - you decided that it was time to get on with life and let out the biggest and most beautiful scream that I had ever heard. It was great - you were alive and though not happy about being out in the world - you were fighting to stay in that world! After about 15 minutes of having you checked out in the room, the you got to go and be held by Mom for a little while before you were shipped off to the neo-natal intensive care. Given the way you came into the work and your size - you were 4lb 9ozs when you were born, they thought it was best that you got some special care. However after spending 2 hours there the doctors decided that you didn't need any special kind of care and you were shipped over to the regular nursery.

You stayed the hospital for the next 48 hours with Mom. Around 5PM on Sunday August 2, 1998 your Mom and I packed you up in car seat and took you home. When you left the hospital to go home on August 2, 1998 you weighed a grand total of 4lb 5oz. Both your Mom and I wondered if we would be able to take of you. Only time would tell in this case!


All of those activities from 11 years ago today seem so distant and part of another life. Despite that fact, Zack and I are together and inseparable. With the loss of Patty our relationship has taken on an entirely different tone. I am his one and only parent who is alive and in this world - so I have a tremendous duty to this little boy.

I will always be there for him regardless of his age or anything else. He is my one and only son, and I will do everything to ensure he has the best life possible. (Not the most cushy life, not the most pampered life or not the life with out responsibility - but the best life possible.) And by that I mean where Zack is working to his potential and is content where he is in life.

Thanks and peace to all! - J.

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