Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Quick Look Back


The day our son was born and the subsequent month was a most adventurous time for Mrs. Blackwell, the little guy and myself.

A complicated pregnancy was capped by a complicated birth. We thought we’d be having a natural childbirth, then complications arose.
He's a bit bigger now but the expression
of skepticism is still very much intact.

We thought we’d get a chance to enjoy time together as a new family in the hospital but, then they shipped our little guy off to specialists at a bigger children’s hospital two hours away in St. Louis.

As that day proceeded and in the days that followed, I chronicled developments as they occurred. Being a reporter doesn’t exit the bloodstream even when you change professions it would seem.

So, rather than sit in a book gathering dust, I thought I’d take some snippets of those first few hours and days and share them. Here goes:

“Hours after he was born, I went to Applebees with my in-laws. When I got back to the hospital we learned that doctors were transporting him to the children’s hospital in St. Louis. The doctor had a thick accent so both Meredith and I misunderstood at first. But, less than an hour after we learned this, about six hours after he was born, he was taken from his mother and father for a two-hour car ride to see the Arch and a hospital.”

“Meredith held him for the first time, for barely an hour before they took him.”

“I am sitting here in a dimly-lit hospital room, just five feet from my son, who is facing the other way. He is sleeping quite well and his breath soft but steady.”

“Today I held my baby boy in my arms for the first extended period of time. It was indescribable. He cries only when he is directly physically disturbed – diaper changes, being moved or re-swaddled. Typically, he winds up for a big cry and then slows down as soon as the ‘assault’ is over. He quickly draws down into a scared, stuttering coo.”

The calm after the storm.
“His mother gets here tomorrow and I can’t wait to see him in her arms.”

“If we have any inclination to feel sorry for our son, or ourselves, they are dashed by our neighbors here in the NICU (Neonatal intensive care unit). Throughout the ward, are many babies who are truly suffering and defying all manner of odds.”

“I spoke with one dad whose daughter has heart problems that will require ‘dozens of surgeries.’ He was kind and upbeat. If he can do it, we have no excuse not to be the same way.”

All told, we were in the hospital for three weeks. Our little guy will be 22 weeks old this Sunday. 

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