This is a story of a miracle. At least it is a miracle for our family.
When my son and daughter in law after 10 years of marriage still had not produced any children much to their unhappiness decided to take classes on adoption...they took one class and 6 weeks later our DIL was pregnant. It was a normal pregnancy and they had a beautiful baby boy. No problems,no real anxiety. We were all delighted when a year later she announced she was pregnant again..
this pregnancy became a life changing event for our family,friends and community. Sometimes it does take a village to raise a child.
Lee was born four months pre-mature weighing 1.9 pounds with a 5% life expectancy. At that time if you had told me that the State of Arkansas had the third best Neo-Natal Hospital in the World,I would have said "no way"..but lucky for us and our premature Grandson we found out this was true. In the picture above Lee is two months old and it was the first time I was allowed to stick my hand in and actually make human contact with him.at two months he had improved to the point that he was upgraded to a 20% life expectancy.
We lived 100 miles away from the hospital that Lee was in and with a year old brother at home. Life became a complex rotation of schedules and much road travel in order to have a family member at home making life as normal as possible for Lee's older brother,while someone was at the hospital with his baby brother. One day in the third month of Lee's life,his head nurse said she really needed to talk to me. She was very concerned about my daughter-in-law who I admit was beginning to look haggard and sick. The nurse explained to me that this was going to be a very exhausting and long road if Lee survived..even more so once he was able to leave the hospital and go home. To please talk my DIL to spend less time at the hospital and more time at home. It would be several months before they would even think about taking Lee off life support a d even though occasionally at this point we could put our hand in and touch him..we could of course not hold him,feed him, just sit there and watch him,and of course talk to him.
I think by the 4th month when he was taken to another hospital to have surgery to close the vessel to the heart that closes naturally if it is a normal birth..I was pretty much exhausted and was very stressed that his life expectancy was only at 40%. The new hospital was just not up to standards of cleanliness or care that we had been use too in the past four months..also he was put into a POD with several sick babies instead of the private room he had at the Neo-Natal hospital...I walked in one day and his incubator looked down right dirty and for the first time since his birth...I lectured one of his caregivers,asking what was the filth on his incubator. Realizing I was about to burst into tears and I was totally out of control,I quickly excused my self,went out to my car and cried for over an hour..even though this was not the first time I had shed tears since Lee's birth..at some time during this meltdown I realized our family needed help. Spiritual and physical help. We were exhausted both mentally and physically. We had been trying to handle this on our own. It was time to admit to myself that since the moment he was born I had been preparing myself for losing him. NOW..I was going to prepare my self for the fact that he was going to survive and we were going to be ready!
No secret how this story ends...we brought Lee home after 6 months on life support..he was still on oxygen..and we all became experts on oxygen mixture and feeding tubes. My son became an expert on how to pay for this especially since their health insurance was cancelled just weeks after Lee's birth. When the Medical bills had topped over $ 1 million dollars,we knew that even with our help or the communities there was no way they could pay these bills and that is when the State of Arkansas stepped in. They haven't made it easy and question everything about Lee's care and enviroment,but they did keep our kids from having to declare bankruptcy or lose their home...Lee turned two years old this past September and is normal as any child in the world,except he is still rather small for his age but he is as sharp as a tack and doesn't take any crap from his big brother! These days Medical Science does not call Lee's birth and survival a "miracle" But, you want to know something Folks..This Grandmother does!
some of you may remember Lee in my article "Feeling the crunch already" where I introduce him as my new Finicial Advisior...update he is doing a great job :-)...