You plan your trip, pack your bags, and head to the airport. You are so excited to get to Rome and can’t wait to see all the sites. They call your flight and you board the plane. As you get comfortable in your seat, the captain announces right before you take off:
“There’s been a change in plans. We are heading to Rome, GEORGIA. Enjoy your flight.” First you blink then you sink. What is happening here???
This is the best way I can describe having premature babies. You make plans for one destination and end up at another. Rome, Italy was not where we were going.
It’s National Prematurity Awareness Month and this is my story of a “change in flight.”
The prognosis was not good. The doctors told us all the complications and the possible demise of our first baby while in the womb. But we took the risk, or shall I say God told us we would take the risk, because he had other plans.
Our first son, “Mr. President” had some pretty daunting stats:
- Born 10 weeks early because the placenta failed and he wasn’t growing
- Weight: 1 lb 13 oz with a hole in his heart (later fixed)
- In the NICU for 93 days with all types of things going on
- Came home on 12 medications, a pulse ox machine, oxygen tank, and feeding tube
- Had every doctor you could name with “gist” at the end – cardioloGIST, endocrinoloGIST, gastroloGIST . . . you get the point
- Two surgeries by the age of one – heart and hernia
Mr. President met a lot of people by the age of one and will talk to anyone now. I’m sure it had something to do with his introduction to the world.
Then there was the second born son, “Secret Service” whose stats weren’t as serious but nonetheless, it wasn’t easy for him either.
- Born 6 weeks early due to preeclampsia
- Weight: 4lbs 3 oz
- In the NICU for 34 days; meds, pokes, and prods
- Developed hydrocephalus that led to surgery after he turned one.
Secret Service is a tough cookie which I know in my heart started early. Homie don’t play that. . . and his mamma is tough too (wink!).
But there were plenty of tears and sleepless nights. All I can say is where would we all be without family and prayer? And the doctors and nurses at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta –they were phenomenal.
We were also surrounded by friends who could offer encouragement. But in some instances, people didn’t know what to say, or in my mind, said the wrong thing. Thus, I became cautious about who I told.
Now I am open and it’s my intent to help someone who may be going through this or went through it in the past. You will make it and you will stand tall.
There were so many lesson; but the most important was to keep the faith no matter what. I always thought about the beauty of the end destination. It wasn’t easy but I knew I was going to make it there and that our kids would be fine.
The Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, or the Vatican City are all splendid I imagine. But I am so thankful for that change in flight. We made it to Rome, Georgia and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .