I remember this day, 4 years ago, very well. We were just about to leave for the hospital for a scheduled c-section to meet our son! My husband and I were cherishing one last moment in our home, just the two of us. I walked around the nursery as I had done countless times before just dreaming. This time I was dreaming of a little boy. All the pink clothes had been taken down from the closet and emptied from the dresser. Each was replaced with various shades of blues and greens. I was so nervous. Nervous I would lose this baby too. "I hope he is ok. I hope everything goes well" I whispered. This whole pregnancy had been stressful. We saw my doctor weekly, rotating between a high risk perinatologist and my doctor. Each week we saw our baby on the ultrasound screen and were reaffirmed that he was still alive. Yet I still could not relax.
We had approached 2 Godly women in our church and asked that they join us in praying each day for our son's health. Fear gripped me. "I won't be able to relax until I hold my baby" had been my motto. Not necessarily full of faith, I admit. Matt confided to me before we left the hospital that he had walked each morning around in the nursery praying for this little baby. Trusting.
It was an exciting and yet scary morning waiting for the c-section. The doctor was talking to me during the surgery and I remember letting out a deep breath as soon as I heard Corban's cries. They showed me a little bundle and as I reached out to touch him, they told me 'no'. I would just have to wait but now I could relax. He was here. He was alive. So I waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, I was getting settled into a room and an entourage came into the room. Matt. A doctor. My family. Matt's family. I don't remember exactly what was said but I remember being terrified. Where was my baby? Something was said about his lungs hadn't switched over to breathing room air and he would be in the NICU for a few hours.
Hours passed. Some NICU nurses brought pictures to me of my son. I took him in. This was my son. This was what he looked like. I began to pester my nurse about when I could go see my son. We had to wait until the anesthesia wore off. Finally they gave in and wheeled my bed down to the NICU. I remember feeling so pathetic. Matt warned me that he didn't look like the picture anymore, he had tubes and wires on him. I couldn't really imagine what he was saying. Then I saw him. There was my baby. He looked uncomfortable. He looked like he was struggling. I didn't like how he looked. This wasn't what I imagined. Where was my sweet, sleeping baby I had pictured?
This is where our journey began. Initially he got worse each day. New machines were added. Medicines were added. Mother's Day, 2 days after birth, brought talks of a new machine--a respirator. I began having panic attacks. What was God doing? Hadn't we been through enough? Hadn't this baby been covered in prayer? This simply wasn't fair. I didn't want to pray anymore yet I did. I went through the motions. But I didn't believe. I prayed because it was all I knew to do. But I didn't believe that God was listening or that He would do anything. I knew He could. But I didn't believe that He would. I was at a very low point in my faith, perhaps the lowest I had ever been. First, losing my daughter. But another child? I couldn't bear the thought.
A few days on the respirator and we still were not seeing any improvement. A few days went by and talks of transporting him to a children's specialty hospital in Indianapolis began. The doctor would try their last resort machine, a high frequency respirator called an oscillator. If he didn't turn around in a few hours he would be transported for a very high risk machine called the ECHMO. How could we be back at this place of losing another child? Matt called our church and pleaded with them to pray for a miracle, as many others were doing the same thing. Well, he did turn around that very day. We still had a long road ahead, but he was alive!
So as we begin to celebrate Corban's birthday, I experience a flood of emotions. I'm reminded today that the same child who I dreamed what his voice would sound like one day is the same child who drives me crazy asking questions all day. Questions that no one knows. Hundreds of questions. Each and every day.
I'm reminded that the same child who I dreamed what his eyes would look like now are the brightest blue eyes filled with such compassion and sensitivity.
This little boy who sometimes doesn't sit or stand still, who runs around the house and has to be told to slow down is the same baby who was on paralytic medicines and couldn't move for the first few weeks of his life.
This little boy who had signs hung above his bed that said "no stimulation" is still over stimulated by even the smallest things such as a fly buzzing, a tag bothering him, something in his sock, sandals, holes in ANYTHING and it goes on.......
But this little boy that wasn't going to live is living. And my God performed a miracle and spared his life. And his parent's lives. We had wonderful doctors and even more wonderful nurses that encouraged us and loved us all along the way. And somehow this Mom who had no faith and hope has been made new.
Happy 4th Birthday to my miracle baby. You have overcome the odds and I know you will continue to overcome the challenges you face! You are our pride and joy, my one and only son.
We love you Corban Boyd Hart!