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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A 21 year old blessing

 I remember being so nervous and scared that day. I didn't know half of what was going on. I was in labor but something was wrong. I was listening to the doctors and wondering when this pain would stop. I was pushing and awaiting the birth of my 1st born. I got confused because I didn't hear him cry. I saw them rush his little lifeless body out of the room. I felt so helpless. Why couldn't I hold my baby? Later I would learn that my son had been been deprived of oxygen. Not one, but TWO ways. He had passed a stool in utero and its tar-like consistency had clogged up his little lungs. His umbilical cord was also wrapped tightly around his neck. So my precious little boy could not take his first breath, a machine had to do it for him. When I first saw him, I had never seen anyone so perfect and beautiful in my life. I would just sit for hours staring at him. Looking and listening at all the machines that were administering medicines and pumping precious oxygen into his damaged lungs.The word overwhelmed does not even describe how I felt. I didn't understand how someone so little could be so sick. The doctors tried to explain all that was wrong with him. The list was dizzying and devastating to me. The list was as follows, swelling of the brain, kidney damage, lung damage, damage to the oculars nerves in the eyes, neurological damage,etc...I recall one doctor actually telling me not to "get my hopes up" on him surviving because he was so ill. I don't remember seeing that doctor anymore after that day. But, I do remember the doctor that said, "God is in control. Only he knows for sure what will happen to your son." I also hear the words of another doctor who ate lunch with me one day in the cafeteria of the hospital and told me that my son would heal. That the brain was a wonderful organ and could repair itself. He went on to say that my son would be able to learn anything he wanted to. He might learn it differently but he would be capable of learning anything and everything.

So, with those words from some special doctors and my faith in God, I believed that my son would come home. I went everyday and sang to him. I sang, God is Watching Us by Bette Midler. And when I could finally hold him (almost 5 days after he was born) I knew that this little boy would not only survive, he would be just fine.  The nurses that were assigned to him were shocked when I arrived for my daily visit one day and informed them that my baby was coming home the following day. They, looked at me and asked how I knew that. I told them that the doctor called me every night to update me on my son's condition. He told me that he felt that I could give him his medicine at home and monitor him myself with a portable machine. I didn't come to understand until later that this particular doctor had never done that before with any other patients.

So on October 28th (my dad's birthday) 1990, after spending 17 days in the N.I.C.U., my brother and I went to pick up my baby boy. I don't believe my brother had ever driven that slow in his life before.There was so much information I had to take in. I had to be certified in CPR just in case he stopped breathing. I had to learn about his seizure medication and how to hook him up to his sleep apnea monitor. How to feed him and look for signs of distress. Taking home a healthy baby was nerve-racking enough, but this was just mind-numbing! I was so glad to have my mom and brother there with me.He was welcomed home by my scores of family, neighbors, and friends. He was surrounded in love and prayers. The constant need for seizure medication and monitors quickly faded into a constant need for new toys, books, movies and music as my boy developed and thrived. He proved to be funny, smart, energetic and wise beyond his years.The very sick little baby that some thought would not survive did just that. And today, that same baby became a 21 year old man. I Love You Devin Alexzander Dorsey. Happy Birthday!

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