1 Year

March 26, 2011

It has been forever since I sat in front of the computer to type an entry to Joshua’s blog.  Part of it has been the journey myself and my family has been on and part of it has been the battles of emotion, lack of motivation and sense of loss this past year has brought into my life.

It is weird to me to be sitting here typing in my blog because about this time last year, we made the final venture into the hospital in an emergency situation because Joshua had decided to come 10 weeks early.  This was the final event in a very tumultuous pregnancy that had many twists and turns that many of you read about along the way.  The strange part is that right now I am feeling the very raw pain, fear, anguish, anxious feelings that we had in the hospital as we waited for the staff to prepare the operating room in preparation of Joshua’s arrival.  I don’t believe that I explained to the wordpress world the events of Joshua’s birth.  It was just as crazy as the rest of the story is and as I remember, I can’t even believe that the events took place as they did.

At about 1am or so, Kelli got up to use the restroom as is common for a woman later in the pregnancy.  Remember it had only been 2 days since we were discharged from the hospital because Kelli was leaking amniotic fluid and the doctors were concerned that Kelli would go into preterm labor.  The NICU doctors from UNM had already met with us and said that if Joshua did come early that he would not survive.  The poor child already had the odds stacked against him but the final blow would be if he were born early.  When Kelli went to the restroom she saw blood in the toilet and immediately got my attention.  Since blood is never good to see during pregnancy (Kelli bled 2 other times in pregnancy with Joshua), we took a trip down to UNM.  Once we got there, we waited for the doctor on call in labor triage to see her.  We were both scared and nervous what the blood meant this time and when the doctor came in and did an examination, our fears were realized.  The doctor’s eyes grew as he reported to us that Kelli was dialated to 9 cm and that her water bag was on its way out, albeit intact.  This caused a panic with the nurses and doctors as they carted her immediately away with me following to a hospital room in labor and delivery.  We were then told that Joshua was coming and coming very very soon.  Kelli was especially in disbelief because she had no contractions that she could feel and no pain to speak of.  We were both very scared because after all this, we knew that this meant that our Joshua would not survive.  There has been no greater fear in my life than this moment as I held Kelli’s hand and squeezed it trying to reassure her that I was going to be there for her no matter what happened.  Once the doctors and nurses got the OR set up with the NICU team setup in the adjoining room, they made me put scrubs on and they whisked us away to the OR.  There had to have been 15 doctors and nurses in the room with us but they were all very quiet and somber.  This was not the way it should be for a woman who is about to give birth but because no one expecting Joshua to be breathing when he was born.  The only thing I think that kept us going was the faith that God could still perform a miracle and Joshua could come out perfectly healthy.  As Kelli started to push, things went from bad to worse.  Kelli pushed for so long without any progress and she started to bleed a great deal.  The doctor then popped her water and once he did that, he realized that Joshua was still very high in her uterus.  Between that and the blood loss Kelli was suffering, the doctors decided that they had to do a C-Section.  After all that we had already had been through, I couldn’t believe that this was happening as well.   Again, the glimmer of hope was still in the horizon knowing that our God is powerful and could perform a major miracle for us as well as the doctors and nurses to see.  As they extracted Joshua from Kelli, I heard 2 or 3 tiny little squeaks and I was a little encouraged by that.  The nurses immediately got him into the other room with the NICU team and they immediately intubated him but they did not have to resuscitate him which again was very encouraging.

It is so strange to me when I think back to all that happened the days preceding Joshua’s birth, the birth itself and the miracle 16 days that we did have with him.  I have the same racing heart beat and physical pain in my heart.  I have the same, “I have a problem but don’t know what it is and can’t fix it” type feeling.  I have insomnia.  I just can’t believe how fresh the pain is.  A lot has changed in a year but at the same time, I feel that I have shed part of myself in the process.  As I type this late at night, it floods memories of when we were in the midst of the angst of trying to hold on to our son as he was slowly slipping out of our grasp.  The thing that kept us going was the glimmer of hope of knowing that our God can do anything and at any moment he could step in and heal our son.  Even as the nurse removed the breathing tube from Joshua’s mouth, I held fast to this and as he left us from this world, my prayers changed from, “God heal our son,” to, “God thank you for the time you gave us with him and please take care of him.”  In looking at those precious 16 days we had with him, God did perform miracles to give us that time.  We got out of it precious gifts of being able to hold him and teach him love.  These are the things that Kelli and I grasp onto as we try and move forward with our lives.  Every step has been of faith for God to help us keep moving one leg in front of the other.  As we drove away from the hospital on April 11th without our son, a piece of us stayed with him and that piece will never be filled in this life.  But we know that he is with God and does not have to suffer.  He does not have to live this life with the inevitable list of problems and complications that come from all of the birth defects he suffered from.  These again are gifts from God as hard as it is to experience.

People have said all kinds of things to help us along the way and have helped us get our feet somewhat on the ground.  I am so thankful for all the help that we have received.  I don’t think we will ever be able to repay the kindness that has been shone us.   We just hope and pray that God uses Joshua to touch people and that his little 16 day life means something to those who were a part of his life in person and through this blog.  I have had over 16,000 views of my blog and I am grateful of the support of those who have read through this and all your prayers that came from this.  There are lots of tough times ahead for us and we appreciate continued prayers.

Happy birthday Joshua!  Daddy and mommy love you so much and wish you were here to show you!  We miss you and we will always think of you!  I can’t wait to see you some day!  I love you!  Happy 1st Birthday!


7 Responses to “1 Year”

  1. Pamela Caffery said

    Jeff and Kelli,

    I wish very much for you all the healing that I know in my heart only comes with time, and lots of it. The wound never goes away it only scabs over and reopens over and over again throughout the first couple of years. But got does bring relief and peace and hope. I am a firm believer you have to work the process and go through all the steps of the grief process so as to not get stuck in one of them later in life. You keep doing what your doing and sharing with us, we are all strong enough to take it and give you the outlet such as this blog for your healing process. Peace to you my friends.

  2. Mary said

    I can’t believe that a year has already passed since we first laid our eyes on beautiful little Joshua. I miss him so much that it hurts; yet I am so very grateful to have had those 16 days with him. I wouldn’t trade those days for anything in the world. I was blessed to have held him, kissed, and hugged him, sang to him and said all the things I wanted to say to him. I was given those precious moments as a gift from God and I cling to those precious memories now. One day we will be reunited and I will be so excited to be with him and with our Lord Jesus!!! What a glorious day that will be!!! I love you my sweet baby boy…my little peanut.

    Nene (Naynay)

  3. Beth brown said

    happy birthday Joshua. I hope your parents find a wonderful way to celebrate.

  4. Melinda Mages said

    I am in tears right now and don’t have a lot of words. I can remember this day a year ago like it was yesterday because not only was Joshua born but my own life became threatened. Joshua’s life had meaning to me that day in a way I would never have expected and I will so look forward to meeting him in heaven since I never got the chance to meet him in person here in this life. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I am just one out of the 16,000 that was impacted by your sweet precious son. You gave him unconditional love and did everything within your power to give him the best chance at life. Blessings on you and Kelli, today and always.

  5. Tracy Meats said

    Sending Joshua heavenly birthday wishes today. Thinking of you and your family today. Joshua was blessed with two caring parents, willing to do anything for him. He truly was a perfect little boy, a special angel looking down upon you today. May you feel his love around you today.

    Tracy, Ian’s mom from CHERUBS

  6. Jennifer Tenney said

    Happy Birthday sweet Joshua! Thinking of you guys! I remember Joshua often, how he held on and how you guys got to hold him. Hugs!!!!!!!!!
    Mom to Dakota, RCDH survivor

  7. Denise Frame said

    I don,t know that you remember me but my grnaddaughter was in the NICU with Joshua. There is not a day that goes by that I don,t think and pray for you and Joshua.
    My heart goes out to you guys. Just know that you are always in our thoughts. We keep the angel you gave to Hayden in her crib always. Lots of Love and Prayers.

    Denise Frame

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