Sunday, August 21, 2011

Reflecting On a Tough Time

I am usually not the over sentimental type but something about Allyson turning 2 this week has caused me to reflect back to the week she was born.  As you can see by the picture to the side that was quite a few pounds ago for me and for her.

Allyson is our second child and one we weren't sure we would be able to have. The nine months leading up to her birth were relatively uneventful, well except for several late night tips to the hospital for false labor, and some special medicine to keep her from coming too soon.

Finally on August 18 we were close enough to full term that when the wife went into premature labor, the doctor did  not stop it.a few hours later I held my little Ally-gator in my arms for the very first time. That moment of joy soon turned to terror.

A few minutes after they took her back to the nursery her Dr came to tell us she was having some trouble breathing and that they were going to put her under an oxygen tent. He tried to reassure us everything was ok, but she just laid there looking helpless and we couldn't hold her. I could just look down at her and stroke my finger along her tiny little legs and feet.

This was how we spent the first 24 hours. As we were preparing for bed on day 2 we were expecting them to wheel her in so we could see her before bed, but they never did. We decided we didn't want to go to bed without telling her good night so we began to make our way to her nursery. As we were walking down the hallway we were stopped in our tracks by an overzealous nurse who insisted we not go any further. She tried to tell us if we would go back to our room a Dr would be with us shortly.

As you can imagine this approach only added to our anxiety especially since we could see all the Drs and nurses gathered in the nursery surrounding her little bed. I tried to politely stick my head into the room and find out what was going on with my daughter, but was threatened with security. Now if you know me, you know I am not a loud, pushy boisterous person, and even in this time of anxiety I was polite and acted calmer than I really was, so the threat to call security was not unnecessary, but only served to make matters worse. I am standing there with my wife who has just given birth to our precious baby and we are watching an entire ward of hospital workers busily buzzing around and none of them would stop and give us an answer about what was going on with our new born.

The next few moments are a blur, the next thing I remember is the baby's doctor coming to talk to us. He had raced in on his day off and inserted a tube into Allyson's little side and re-inflated her tiny little lung. He explained that this hospital was not equipped to deal with problems like this and told us he wanted to move Allyson to another Hospital that had a NICU.  That left another dilemma, Reagan was only 24hours removed from her C-section and wasn't scheduled to be released from the hospital for another 24 hours, but there was no way I could have them in different places, and no way Reagan could mentally deal with Allyson being somewhere else. Reagan's Dr made an exception and released her early advisiong her to make sure she rested.

For the next seven days we barely slept, we watched out tiny little gift lay in a bed covered with tubes and wires. We  cried a little and we prayed a lot. We learned a few things during this time, we learned that the NICU at Gulfport Memorial Hospital was filled with wonderful Doctors and nurses and that we were blessed our little angel was getting the treatment she needed. We most certianly learned Allyson was a fighter, every time we would come in to the NICU they were telling us about how she would holler and try to pull her cables and tubes out, she was ready to go home. Mostly we learned to trust God. I wasn't always sure He was going to let me have the joy of bringing this precious little girl home, but eventually He did, and for this I am so grateful.

There is a lot in my life that I have to be thankful for. God has blessed me in so many ways. As I reflect back on one of the toughest weeks of my life, I realize that even during that time I have a lot to thank God for. I don't know how I can ever express how grateful I am that God gave us the opportunity to bring this precious little angry Gator home. She is sweet as sugar and has so much personality. I can not imagine my life without her.  Thank you God for putting everything in place to teach us during this tough time and thank you.

I think Allyson and I have both changed a little bit since the pictures at the top.


  1. Awwwww...Eric that was so touching ESP with having mine 6 weeks early. A lot of scary moments that you just don't understand until you have been through it. God has blessed you with a beautiful family. Happy 2nd birthday to her.....She's beautiful.

  2. You are very special Eric, just like your "Gator". A father's love is much different, hard to explain, but you'll understand what I mean. Having a 23 year old daughter myself, with 93 days in the "NICU" and somewhat a "Gator" herself, allows me the understanding role of your post. God has blessed, and continues that blessing today through your writings. Thanks Eric. Good job Dad!