Tuesday, January 19, 2010

i remember january 19, 2001

some years i don't think about it at all. some years it is something i think about only a few times during the day. and some years, such as this one, i think about it the whole day...almost re-living it. january 19, 2001. 9 years ago today. arguably the most influential day of my life. the day that colton felt cold, and i knew that a 5 day old bundle of sweet baby should feel warm and cozy. i was a new mom. it was uncharted territory for me. i didn't know anything about taking care of a baby. however, this much i knew...something was wrong with my baby. he wouldn't wake up to eat. he was listless and cold. i opened the thermometer package...the one that came with all the other new stuff at a shower that foreshadowed nothing but perfect happiness. i took his temperature and the mercury didn't rise. i thought it was broken, so i grabbed for a different one, fighting off the panic that was rising from within. this time, the digital reading blinked 94.3...and i knew it wasn't wrong. i bundled him up and wrapped him in a warm blanket and put a hat on him and held him as tight as i could while a called the doctor. they got him on the phone immediately, which now i understand meant it was considered an emergency. i will never forget his calm, but chilling words. "come straight to the office. now. don't stop for anything." chad met us there, and the next several hours are etched in my mind clear enough that i can revisit them and play them over and over like a movie. sometimes i wonder...if i could forget them, would i be different? would i not be so afraid and anxious all the time? would i be normal? would i be able to go to mcdonald's and let my kids play on the play equipment without getting a stomach ache? would my hands be cracking and bleeding most of the time from washing them so much? and those are just a few tangibles that may be different. we were sent straight to the hospital where the pediatrician called ahead to admit us. i remember chad walking ahead of me and carrying the infant carrier while i struggle to keep up. i remember my legs feeling weak. i remember his black coat that he was wearing, and the outfit colton was wearing. i remember trying to hurry through checking in...hoping to have answers soon. i remember them putting colton in a tiny hospital gown and gently shoving us aside to examine him. i remember them putting needles in him everywhere...drawing his blood for tests. and i remember how he never woke up or cried during that process. and even to a first time mom...i knew that that was not good. by this time, the darkness that was in my head had also become the night sky. they took him for a spinal tap and told us we couldn't come. i believe their exact words were, "it would be too hard for you to watch." i'm convinced that whoever told me that, did not know the strength of a mother when their child needs them. i didn't argue, but today i wish i had. i remember 4 different doctors drilling me with questions. i remember them saying they didn't know. i remember chad being calm. i remember fear. i remember begging...begging doctors...begging God. it took a little over 24 hours for them to diagnose him with meningitis. i remember the doctor telling me that someone had come in contact with him who had not washed their hands and that that is why he got sick...not realizing what that statement would do to me. i remember thinking it was my fault and vowing to never let it happen again. i remember the IV that was in his arm coming out in the middle of that first night while i was nursing him and pulling him away from my body to see both of us covered in blood. i remember screaming for chad to wake up and screaming for the nurse because i didn't know what had happened. i remember chad sleeping on a palate on the floor. i remember sleeping in a chair. i remember anyone who came in his room having to wear the yellow gowns and masks and the sign on the door that said "infectious disease". i remember not eating. i remember refusing to leave the hospital. i remember pouring my heart out to God in the shower, and that becoming my time of comfort each day. i remember God whispering His promises to me during those short times. i remember crying. i remember my parents having to leave to come back to texas. i remember holding tightly to my dad's shirt when he hugged me bye. i remember them telling me that they would not leave if they didn't know he was going to be ok. i remember chad's strength. i remember the IV in colton's head. i remember the doctor coming to see colton every morning during his rounds and i remember the day he realized what i needed to hear every morning. "he's not going to die." i remember him telling me every day. i remember getting to go home. i remember never being the same.

thank you God for protecting my baby. thank you for healing him. thank you for answering our prayers on that day. please be patient with me. i know i need to trust you more, and fear you less. thank you for knowing, that for me...it's alot to remember.


meredith said...

reading all this with tears in my eyes. i had no idea hard that was for you at the time. having kids now, it changes my perspective...well, it changes everything. i am so sorry that you had to go through all of that & all the ripple effects of it. sending hugs & love your way.

Lindsey said...

i read your words with a mixture of horror and gratitude. i can't imagine what a nightmare it was for you, but i am grateful that God spared Colton (and you.) love you, friend.