Over the past year I have watched Evan blossom in to this amazing, bubbly, strong willed, gorgeous person, who's insisted on leaping over milestones and showing no weakness. Looking at him now, I sometimes forget how hard of a start he really had, but over the past couple of weeks while planning his first birthday party, emotions of the last 12 months have to started to overflow, starting from the very beginning.
Being he was our second, I had prepared from what I had learned from the first, I was hydrated, stretched and knew all about breathing through contractions. I knew what to expect, or so I thought, he was 10 days late, I was clearly in no hurry, things just weren't 100% ready, and it didn't occur to me that the extra 'cooking' time calls for extra growing.
Which led to complications during the birth (due to the recklessness of my midwife), he got stuck and remained that way for 23 minutes, without oxygen to the brain. He was lifeless and had to be resuscitated, which he later was en-route to the hospital. Shortly after arriving he experienced a seizure, and was intubated and sedated.
His best option was to be bay flighted to All Children's Hospital in St. Pete for a cooling treatment to stop whatever brain damage that had occurred. They cooled him for 72 hours, which meant he was sedated and couldn't be touched, for the risk of 'warming' him up for 3 days, 3 looooong days. Finally the days had passed he was slowly brought back to normal temperature, as well as easing up on the sedation, he finally opened his eyes for the first time and looked right at me, it made my life just to see those little brown eyes, I worried for 4 days that I might never get to, but I did.
The next day they extubated him, and we finally got to hold him, I just wouldn't put him back, I slept in that hospital chair just holding him for hours. He was still on oxygen, and being fed through an IV, but we were going to start a bottle soon, I was relieved.
We tried the bottle, and feeding was difficult, he was still on anti seizure medication and he made him sleepy, so he wasn't able to stay awake long enough to feed, it was trying and emotional, I had expected him to be a natural like his brother, but it was proving to be difficult. I was discouraged.
After my husband and I spoke to the doctors about easing up on the medication so he could be more alert, they did, and man was there a difference, night and day, it was amazing, he took the bottle like a champ, nursing was a more difficult situation, but I was determined.
Finally after a week or so of trying he figured nursing out, and we finally clicked, he got his MRI after day 14 in the NICU, and it showed up clean and he was able to go home the next day. I finally was able to take my baby home and finally have him to myself, no nurses, doctors, just my little family and me. A week later he was off all medication, and was already pushing himself to such accomplish achievements. His strength throughout this whole ordeal has proven to be inspirational, and I look up to him everyday.
The neurologist told us, that we'll really wont know how Evan will be until his brain stops developing at 25, so at every appointment I hold my breath, just waiting to be in the clear. So far he's jumped leaps and bounds over every milestone and has amazed not only his doctor's but his family as well, developing as any other child, perhaps a little better ;).
I still look back to that day, especially today, because it's his birthday and I feel rushes of emotion, anger to the midwife who so carelessly put my son's and my life in danger, only for her selfish reasons. I'm still not sure I'll ever fully forgive her, after 365 days she has not once said she was sorry and has only gloated to her peers (which I know) about how she 'saved' him, which she did not, It was the incredible paramedics that came to his rescue and brought him to life, it was the doctors and nurses that helped him and were there for us every step of the way, right along side our family.
It's been an emotional year, but I look back and can't help but feel more humble, and grounded in my life, our little family was somehow blessed, and I am so grateful to be a healthy family of four.
Happy Birthday Ev.