Unconventional Family

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

A narrative collage of the story of our son from birth to him coming home from the hospital.

 

Unconventional Family

“His head is right there ma’am. We need to rush you to the delivery room!” Hearing these words from a doctor can be a shocking thing to any parents. With the mother only being twenty three weeks along it can be absolutely terrifying. Then without any hesitation four nurses ran into the room and threw the locks off the wheels of the bed and we were off.  Rebecca with a look of terror on her face throws me her cell phone and screamed “Call my mother and tell them to get here now!” I was dialing the phone as we were running down the hallways. People that were in the hallways were a blur as we passed. Pictures that are beautifully painted or photographed hanging on the walls were just a haze of colors as we sprinted to the delivery room. Upon arrival I finally managed to reach the family and I could tell there was worry in Rebecca’s mother’s voice as soon as she answered. “What’s wrong?” It was the first thing that she said. “They say that the baby isn’t going to wait. You need to get everyone here now!” I hung up the phone and ran inside the room to be greeted by about ten nurses and two doctors doing everything they could to stop our son from being born so soon. A nurse was on either side of Rebecca trying to get an IV into each of her arms in an effort to pump her full of fluids to stop labor. All I could think was some of this was too little too late. After almost an hour of that and family members arriving the doctor came back in and examined her again. “Things haven’t gotten any better ma’am. We are going to have a baby tonight. Do you want us to do everything we can to save the baby or do you want us to let nature take its course?” We both starred at each other in fear not knowing what the other was thinking and then we both answered at the same time. “Save our child doctor! We want him to live!” This seemed like a decision made in a hurry at the time. Some might say that we made the wrong choice. We knew what was best for our child all along though. What we didn’t know was this was the start to a long road that had many twist and turns but we were ready for the journey.

 

Getting woken up by a phone call is never fun by any means. Most people are still drowsy and don’t comprehend what the other person is saying at first unless it is an emergency. That was the case today. It was about eight thirty in the morning. Answering the phone I hear our son’s mom on the other end with panic in her voice. “I’m at work and the hospital just called and said Ben is going to need emergency surgery! You need to get up and get my parents up and get to the hospital now! I will meet you there!” she said and then the call disconnected. Without hesitation I sprang out of bed and ran down the stairs and into her parent’s room and woke them up and told them what was going on. I have never seen senior citizens move so fast in my life as those two did. We were out the door and in the car in less than three minutes. In the car her mom asked “Did they say what happened?” I replied “No she didn’t give me details and I didn’t need them.” She said “It must be pretty serious to have us rushing in like this.” Impatiently I said “I would imagine that too but we will have to see when we get there. It is a good thing that we only live five minutes from the hospital”. When we got to the room his mother was already there and the look on her face was not good. There were three nurses and a nurse practitioner standing around Ben. She explained to everyone that he had a large sized hernia in his abdomen and his bowels were starting to push through it and clip it off. Without the surgery the bowel might die causing further complications. “Authorization was already given by the mother over the phone for the procedure so we are off to surgery now!” she said with such urgency everyone in the room could feel it. Off we went whizzing past nurses and parents of patients trying not to see the looks of sorrow and pity in their eyes. Arriving at the surgery center the nurse there said” If you want to talk to him and give him a kiss now you can because we are going to have you go to the waiting room until after the procedure.”  We both kissed him and told him we love him and then they wheeled him down the hallway and out of sight. At that moment a feeling of uncertainty rose up in my gut. Would we see our son alive again? Even if he did survive would he be the same? This was the first time these emotions were felt by all of us there waiting and it wouldn’t be the last. We had no idea where this rollercoaster ride was taking us and all we could do was hold on and pray for the best.

 

It was a hot day in July. So hot it felt like you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. We were on our way to the hospital as was our usual routine after work. It was about a five minute drive so there was always time for chit chat on the way. “All I have to say is these doctors better not mess with me and push his release date back again. I might hurt somebody this time if they do! You better hold me back I swear!” Rebecca said. “I know it would be very upsetting.” I replied. ”But even if they do it would be in Ben’s best interest I’m su-. “She interrupted me. ”Don’t even let those words come out of your mouth. You are starting to sound like them.” After arriving at the hospital we went up to Ben’s room and was greeted the most happy and smiley baby we had seen for a while. It was almost like he knew what was going to happen already before it even happened. The nurse walked in and told us that the doctor wanted to know when we got there so that she could talk to us. Both of us said at the same time “Well send her in!”  She ran off down the hallway to fetch her for us. The wait was short but it seemed like an eternity to us. The doctor walked in and greeted us with a smile and shook our hands and sat down. She said “So I hear Mr. Benjamen is ready to go home?” Rebecca said “I think we are all ready for him to come home. It has been a long time coming.” The doctor said “Well about that.” She paused as she was looking at her paperwork. We both kind of looked at each other with a sinking feeling then looked back at the doc as she was getting ready to speak again. Rebecca had a look that was a mixture of fear and anger. The doctor spoke again “As long as we have no changes for the worst I don’t see that as being a problem.” Instantly it felt as if a ten ton weight had been lifted off both of our chests. Rebecca’s anger turned into a look of joy and enlightenment. She ran over to the doctor and gave her a huge hug and said “You don’t know how long we have been waiting to hear those words! Thank you!” With that being said the doctor shook both of our hands and said “I wish your family the best of luck. I know that you all are ready for this and you can handle his care. I have faith in you. See you tomorrow at his release!” The feeling in the room was incredible at that point. Looking over at the baby he smiled at me right away. Rebecca looked at him and said “You get to go home with mommy and daddy Benjamen! What do you think about that?” He seemed to bubble with excitement and when we saw that we both burst into tears. We both knew that the next day our family would be complete. After eleven months of what felt like riding a rollercoaster of ups and downs that part of our journey was complete. It was one of the best feelings in the world. We didn’t know what our future was going to hold from that point on but none of that mattered as long as we had each other. Though our family was small we were tough because our journey made us that way. We could make it through anything now!


Submitted: October 07, 2012

© Copyright 2020 Joseph Morris. All rights reserved.

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Alivta Wright

What a beautiful story.
I enjoyed it. I could feel the emotions you and wife(partner/girlfriend?) went through on the premature birth of your son, and felt the same joy you felt when you described finally being able to take him home.I am glad everything worked out.
Keep up the good work!

Mon, October 8th, 2012 12:22am

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Joseph Morris

Thank you alivta!

Wed, October 10th, 2012 2:49am

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