By Jordan Stowe-
It was a Wednesday. My wife’s platelet count had been steadily
decreasing as well as her blood pressure rising. She had been in the
hospital for almost a week. She and the baby were hooked up to all
sorts of monitors and had tests ran around the clock, to ensure mother
and baby health and safety.
As a father, I will never forget Dr
Adkins walking in the room and telling my wife to get prepped for
surgery. I remember being so terrified. First for myself, then for my
wife, then for my little girl that was about to be introduced into this
world. I looked at Shanna, my wife, and she was
smiling as she said, “We are about to be parents!” I remember my mom
just happened to have dropped in to see us, and I’m so glad she was
there when she was. I was a nervous wreck. I had this abundance of
thoughts, feelings, and emotions flowing. I was scared for my wife who
was about to go into surgery. What if something happened to her during
surgery? What if something happened to my little girl while we were in
there? Did I remember my camera? Man, I’m hungry… Just a rush of ideas
and questions now enter my mind.
I sat in the OR waiting for the
anesthesiologist to do his job, and for the nurses and doctors to put up
screens so I couldn’t see anything. I’m petrified of blood. But, as I
sat there waiting for them to come get me all I could think about was
Adeline, my sweet innocent little girl about to be born. I had no idea
the events that would soon unfold.
After what seemed liked hours,
they finally came and got me and led me to the OR room. My wife was
laying on a table with a screen hiding her from the neck down. There
were two doctors behind her monitoring her blood pressure and three
doctors beside her assisting the surgeons. I could hear every incision,
every drop of blood as it hit the pan, and every spoken word in the
room. The one thing I didn’t hear, was Adeline cry when she was born.
It was the most terrifying moment I’ve ever experienced. She would be
started immediately on a C-PAP to help her start breathing on her own.
Dr Adkins had announced her birth and the Neonatologist that night
brought Adeline to her mother and I for a brief second before being
whisked upstairs to the NICU. That two seconds would be the only time
my wife saw her daughter for another 24 hours.
As I walked into
the NICU for the first time, it was very dark and almost morbid. I saw a
father holding his little girl in one hand, cupped to his chest. I’ve
seen Barbies that were bigger. It was then that it hit me, that our
little 3lb baby was going to be on a journey. Little did I know, that
place that was dark and dreary would soon become a beacon of hope for my
family. In a room full of chest tubes, IV’s, and feeding tubes there
my little Adeline laid sleeping in her isolet. All I could do was look
at her through the glass. I felt so helpless. I wanted to pick her up
and tell her about her mommy, daddy, her dog and cat. I wanted to pick
her up and know everything was going to be okay.
That first night
she had a desat and a brady episode during the night. I remember
starting the day at the NICU and finishing the day at the NICU. I
didn’t want my daughter to fight alone. Since she’s been home, I still
make a bed in her nursery, the nights my wife works, so I can be close
to her. I will always be grateful to the NICU nurses and doctors who
gave her the best fighting chance at this world.
I have accomplished
great things in my life. But none greater the feeling, than to hold my
daughter every night now, and know that smile on her face… I put it