It all began on July 2, 2007 when I had a routine appointment. I mentioned to the doctor that our baby didn't seem to be moving too much so she decided to run some tests. Within no time we found ourselves being sent to the hospital. My husband and I thought I was having some more tests run so we called our parents to give them an update. I was put in a bed with some fancy monitors hooked up to me and I remember saying to my parents, "Everything's fine...they just want to make sure the baby is ok." As I said this, I looked up at the nurse who was checking one of the screens. She gave me the strangest look and put her hand on my arm. Her words stopped my breathing..."Honey, you need to tell your parents to come on. You need to understand, you're in a hospital gown, lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to all of this equipment...you're having that baby today." I looked over at my husband who had our three year old son climbing on his shoulders and our two year old son in his arms. We both shot each other the same expression. "There's no way..." I told her. "We still have at least three or four weeks before he's due. We're just here for some tests, not to have the baby." She gave me an "Ok Sweetie, if that's what you think" look, then left the room. Not too much longer our doctor came in and explained that they did in fact want to "get the baby out" because he just wasn't moving around enough. The whole world began to spin. My husband got our family to come and I began to get prepped for a c-section. My mom and dad made it in just enough time to take our two boys so Adam could race to get into his scrubs. He got into the room and sat to the left of me as the team prepared for the procedure. We held hands and began to pray as we heard the hustle of the team behind a blue shield draped in front of us, covering our view. In what seemed like hours, after some tugging and pulling, I felt a huge sense of release as they pulled Preston out of my stomach. When we heard his little cry we knew that everything was ok. Tears poured from our eyes. They cleaned Preston off, wrapped him up and let Adam show him to me. I got to kiss his nose and try to hug him but the nurses wanted to take him pretty quickly. Adam followed the baby and I stayed still as the doctor stitched me up. I was taken to recovery for awhile but I knew that Adam was with our son. I couldn't wait to see him again. He was so cute and tiny...much smaller than his two older brothers were when they were born. After some time, Adam found me and said that the baby was perfect. He was sleeping in the nursery but Adam had to take our two older boys home and get them in bed. He promised that as soon as he got back, he would bring the baby to me. I waited. No baby, no Adam...I kept waiting.
Finally, Adam came in and looked around the room. "Where is he?" he asked. I looked at him confused and said, "What do you mean?" Adam looked back out into the hallway to see if he could find a nurse. He said back to me, "I just went to the nursery to get him but he wasn't there - I thought you had him." Looking again for a nurse, he began to look a little panicked. A nurse must have seen him and came into our room. What she said, made our world stop. She pushed the door slightly closed behind her and used a low tone, "It's not looking good folks. We're trying everything right now but we have him in the NICU and we're not sure if he's going to make it through the night. We've called some specialists in but we might have to transfer him to another hospital." I felt waves of pain and fear pound through me and I began to throw up everywhere. My husband looked at the nurse and said, "Take me to him now." I tried to pull myself out of the bed but the nurse said, "You need to stay here. We'll get you cleaned up but I don't want you to move. Dad, you can come with me." They left immediately and I began to shake and weep uncontrollably. I kept throwing up and crying all while trying to figure out how to get to our baby. Adam came back in the room and said that he got to see Preston through the blinds of the NICU window. "The blinds were closed but I looked through the slits and saw his little fist hanging off of the side of the table they had him on. The doctors and nurses were around him but I don't know what they were doing."
Eventually in what seemed like a lifetime, a nurse came to tell us that they finally felt that Preston was going to be ok. "We have been worried about his breathing but it's under control now. His lungs aren't developed enough yet but in time he should be just fine."
Preston stayed in the NICU for a few days and had so many things hooked up to him. It was hard not to be able to hold him, feed him, rock him. The things we completely took for granted before. When he was strong enough to come out of the NICU we were in awe of his little life. He was such a tiny little fighter. It's five years later now and he's the wildest one in our house. There's not a minute in the day that he's not wide open and full of "piss and vinegar" as my dad calls it. Preston came out fighting to survive and he's still just as strong to this day. We thank God everyday and are so grateful to the doctors and nurses who saved his life. Ours wouldn't be the same without him.
Happy 5th Birthday Preston! We Love You!