I have a daughter that was born in the 25th wk of my pregnancy 8/16.
She was 3 pounds and only 14" long and very weak. She stopped
breathing and her heart stopped 3 times in the first 24 hours of her life.
From the time she was born, we were seeing the paramedics and
hospitals constantly. In all of this time, my daughter could not seem to
keep the weight on her. Finally on 11/23, my daughter's heart stopped and
the hospital said that this time she would not get to go home again until
she weighed 8 pounds and kept it. This was not easy since Rayna
would gain weight and then lose it every time her heart stopped or she got
sick. I was there every day to be with her and feed her. On Christmas
Eve, the doctor told me that Rayna still only weighed about 6.5 pounds
and would not get to go home for a long time. She was still having
problems with her heart and breathing. It seems that every time she
would get two steps ahead, she would fall back one.
The hospital was planning a big Christmas party for all of the long
timers. They told us that we could bring in presents for the kids in
the hospital and their siblings for the party on Christmas day. So I left
with the parents of the little boy who was in the same room as my
daughter. He had had surgery in early November and could not keep
food down very well. His family said that they would come and get me and
my other two kids to have Christmas at the hospital.
We got there early Christmas morning and went right to our kids room.
When we got there, the room was dark and the beds had been stripped and cleaned.
The machines were gone and no sign of our children. We went all over the hospital looking
for our kids. No one could seem to tell us where they were. Then one of the
nurses told us that the doctor wanted to talk to us and we should go to his office
on the floor. We would have to go through the room with the party and we did not
want do this. We were already in a state not knowing where our babies were. When we
got to the party room, there was a great big tree in the center of the room. Nurses
and doctors were gathered around the tree and there was Santa in his chair passing
out presents. As we started to go through the room to get to the doctors office,
Santa called out my name (!) saying that he had a present for me!! I was taken aback
that this man knew my name. When I looked at the present, it was my daughter in a
little red dress. She had a no machines on her. She was smiling, and holding her
arms up. Then Santa told the other couple that he had a present for them too. It
was their son was in a little red suit. Both of our children had little tags on
their wrists. The note on my daughter’s wrist said:
Merry Christmas Mommy, Krystle and Marrco
I weigh 8 pounds and have kept it for 7 days.
Santa said it was time for me to go home.
I looked at the family that I came with and they were crying too. Their
note said about the same thing. It seemed that Rayna did get the
weight on her but the doctors did not want to tell me in case she lost it.
Rayna still had a long way to go before she was totally healthy, but
today, she is a beautiful 18 year old who is going to give me my first
grand daughter due on 1/1/04. She shows no signs of the medical
problems that she had when she was born and is very active with her
Every Christmas morning, before every one else is up, I sit in the dark
and remember that Christmas long ago and I thank God for the gift
that I still have up stairs.