Preemie no more

Isaac Dec 2008

Nine years ago today Isaac was born.  It started as all babies do.  I’ll spare the details, but we found that Isaac was to be born on February 14, 2000.  Emily’s pregnancy progressed normally until the middle of December.  Isaac had always been a bundle of energy, even in the womb.  We called him popcorn before he was born since we didn’t find out his sex.  Anyhow, a few days before he was born, Emily noticed that he had stopped moving.  She waited a day and then another and still no movement.  We were new parents and didn’t know any better.  We decided we’d quell our new parent fears and she called the doctor who recommended that she go straight to the hospital.  She headed to the hospital and 2 1/2 hours later, Isaac was born.  He would not survive long enough to go through normal childbirth so they took him the hard way.  He was suffering liver and kidney failure as well as congestive heart failure.  We later found out that Emily had fifth disease, a common, typically childhood disease that is not terribly serious for kids, but very serious for unborn babies.  So, Isaac contracted it in utero which caused his loss of movement as he was dying.

Isaac Dec 1999

So, the doctors delivered him and rushed him to the NICU at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, TN.  Baptist is a huge hospital in Nashville and is generally considered “the baby hospital”.  They have a fantastic NICU and a great staff.  Anyhow, since he was born 2 months early, and without advanced warning, he was not given steroids to prepare his lungs.  A typical NICU ventilator would have killed him.  Fortunately, he was put on a jet vent which puffs lots of little bursts of air into his lungs.  They also filled his lungs with some sort of liquid to ease his transition to the ouside world.

Isaac Dec 1999

Because of his liver failure, the medications he was given processed through his system slower than expected so he didn’t not proceed as expected.  Initially, the doctors were not aware of this and suspected, instead, that he had suffered a brain hemmorage and was brain dead.  We kept faith through it all but feared the worst.

I can’t really bear to relive all of the details, but slowly, Isaac started to wake up and to move.  And slowly he was transitioned off of the jet vent and placed on a regular ventilator.  Slowly, he was moved from a feeding tube to eating a few cc’s of milk at a time.  He pooped 8 days in to this ordeal!  It was only then that his body started to really heal.

Isaac Jan 2000

We still weren’t out of the woods.  Doctors recommended all sorts of treatments, one of which they warned us, would likely make him deaf.  Due to all of his issues, they warned us that he would likely have some mental disabilities as well.

So, here we are 9 years later.  From the boy we were told was brain dead, we have come so far.  From the 3  1/2 pound baby to the 5 foot tall, 90 pound eating machine who wears a size 8.5 men’s shoe, he has exceeded everyone’s expectations.  From the baby who would likely be mentally disabled, to the boy who has just started gifted classes, we remain astounded at how we have been blessed with and by this child!  He suffers only one of the afflictions the doctors warned of.  Isaac has moderate hearing loss for certain frequencies.

I love my little boy so much and he continues to delight me.  I had no idea, 9 years ago, that I could possibly love that kid more…but I do.

20 thoughts on “Preemie no more

  1. I took Isaac to the doctor today and he was diagnosed with strep. As I was lamenting the fact that he was sick on his birthday, he said, “It’s okay Mom, I was sick 9 years ago and it turned out okay. At least I’m not in the hospital this time.” Sometimes I need to be reminded how far he has come.

    He is “celebrating” his birthday by taking his meds and watching “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” followed by “Spiderman 2”.

  2. What a scare Isaac gave us all. His Grandma and Grandpa P also want to wish him the best birthday ever and look forward to seeing him as well as the rest of the family real soon. Watch the cake. By the way Grandma is bringing Cherry Juice Pie!
    Love you all.

  3. What an amazing story! I cannot imagine having to go through all of that. Although I had a lot of complications with my own heart when I had Ibby, my children were were fine. That must have been terrifying to stand by your child’s side not knowing what was going to happen. But then to look at him now you’d never know! Wow! That story really puts things in perspective. Happy Birthday, Isaac!

  4. Oh, and I think us readers need to know what the “Cherry Juice Pie” is that “pa grandma” mentioned! Sounds like a good one!

  5. Lynnie – I can tell you it was terrifying. I am not a crier but I have never cried uncontrollably so much before in my life. Even as I sit here now, I am crying. The emotions of that time were incredible and awful but ones that I never want to forget. It’s amazing to me how powerful and innate the love for your own kids is. I didn’t know Isaac on the day he was born but I loved him so much even then. Those emotions are powerful reminders to me of how I do love him, even when he does crazy stuff that makes me nuts. I just think back to those days and it puts everything into perspective. I wouldn’t wish the whole thing on anyone, but I also wouldn’t trade it for the world.

    Now, about the cherry juice pie…my mom makes the very best pies in the entire universe. Emily and I really like cherry flavor and we like to make mountain pies over a campfire, but neither of us likes the actual cherries. We used to make cherry juice mountain pies from just the cherry pie filling goo…no cherries. Most pies my mom makes from scratch, but cherry pies are always made from canned pie filling. A year or two ago, my mom made a regular pie out of just the filling for us. We ate some of it, but Isaac ate a bunch of it during the next week that he stayed with my parents. He loves cherry juice pies made with only the goo of the pie filling, not the cherries.

  6. Happy birthday Isaac!

    His story is amazing. From being born so early to being 9 years old – 5 foot tall and 90 lbs. It’s great to hear that he is doing so well.

    My daughter, Brianna was born early also. We knew she would be so I was given Betamethozone (sp?) We were lucky because she only came 5 1/2 weeks early (well my doctor said 6 1/2 weeks but I know it was only 5 1/2 Our second child, Corey didn’t want to come out… Go figure!

  7. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes after reading your account. My 10 year old (soon to be 11 in January) was born 12 weeks prematurely. He weighed 2lbs, 5oz. They sent him home after 6.5 weeks in NICU – he weighed only 3lbs, 12oz. We went thru a lot of the same scary stuff you did – the lung medication you mention was probably theophylline. My son had that too. The only complication he had was to his vision – retinopathy of prematurity and he has worn glasses since he was 18 months old. Other than that, he’s a normal kid. 🙂 Happy Birthday to Isaac!

  8. That’s not a preemie, he’s was just getting and early start. Their the ones that get the worm ya know. Great looking young man, must take after his mother. hehe!

  9. What a wonderful blessing Isaac is to you and Emily. I remember being worried and scared for you guys. God is good and your faith saw you through that very difficult time. When I think about children, I think of Psalm 139:15-16 ” You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth…The days of my life all prepared before I had even lived one day.” Happy Birthday Isaac!

  10. Isaac was so pitiful last night…poor kid could only stand to watch Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull 2 times. Assuming he is better this evening (he still had a fever this morning), I am sure he will read these comments. He is a great kid and we are so thankful for how he has blossomed since 9 years ago. I can’t hardly look at the pics and videos without crying. Now it is tears of joy!

  11. Ahhh that is so sweet, my last child (now 18 months) was a preemie too (4#5oz) he is doing great also.

    It amazes me the strength of these little preemies. God has certainly blessed them…abut mostly us for getting to be their parents!

    Happy Birthday!!!

  12. What an AMAZING story. Thanks for sharing it. What lucky parents you are to have such an awesome young man. Happy Belated Birthday!

  13. Isaac is getting over his strep but now had pink eye! Oh well…

    Several folks posted comments on here who have had preemies and other birth issues…it’s an amazing ride that seems so out of control at the time. I appreciate knowing others went through it as well. Thanks everyone!

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