Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Father's Story

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 there.

3 comments:

  1. Very sweet story, and very descriptive! I knew she was going to be okay, and that what she experienced her first few weeks of life would make her a tough little cookie! Well written, Jordan! You must have been holding back in High School Literature... Mom

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  2. Wonderful story! Thank you for sharing those difficult moments. You did a fantasic job! Kay Cheek

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  3. Beautiful story! Well written! Close to our story that brought back the memories and how my husband must have felt too.

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