Eight years ago on May 15, 2006, I was 38 weeks pregnant. It was a Monday. I had a doctor’s appointment, and because of my BP, my mom drove me to Birmingham that day. We happened to stop by the office on the way, and while there, I had a little “discussion” with my dad, lol. He talked, I listened, we left, I vented to Mom and she listened.
When the nurse took my BP at the doctor’s office, she looked at me, said, “let’s do that again,” and proceeded to do it again. That reading earned me a trip to L&D (labor and delivery), and 2 hours later, the doc said, “call your husband, you’re having the baby today.” This was about 2 pm, and Hubs was there by 3, and Alexander Price Wilson (aka Monkey) was here by 3:47 pm.
He was 2 weeks early, but weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces. He was perfect, APGAR I think was 8, but he was breathing a little fast. I got to hold him, let everyone else hold him, love on him, forgave my dad for making the 15th his b-day, lol (I really don’t blame Dad, God is ultimately in charge of things like that), and basically acted like a new mom.
Until 8 pm. The nurse never really left him alone, and she asked for a neonatal consult. The doctor (I nicknamed him Dr. Doom for the duration, because he always told me the worst case scenario) said, “Mrs. Wilson, the baby is breathing too fast, we can’t feed him, he might aspirate, so we are admitting him to the NICU to put an NG tube in so he can eat, and it might be cardiac, it might be neurological…”
I heard nothing else he said. I looked at Hubs, the in-laws, my mom, and started feeling this icy sensation up the back of my neck that made my jaws ache and clench. I can only imagine, now, how new parents feel when they are told that something is not right with their baby. I had everything flash through my mind when they took Alex to the NICU. The next time I saw him was at 5:15 am the morning after he was born, and he had an IV in his head, and all sorts of apparatus attached to him. I had been wheeled over to see him that morning; by that afternoon, I was walking behind a wheelchair, after my c-section, to see him. I could be there all the time, except during shift change, and let me tell you, they got pretty tired of me, and I would almost guarantee that Dr. Doom remembers my last name.
I asked a parent in the NICU what advice they would give me, the first day we were there. She said, “You won’t go home as soon as you think.” I thought to myself, yeah, right, I am taking my baby home in a few days. Yeah, right.
26 days after Alex was born, he came home. He had been through a spinal tap, an EEG, dozens of x-rays, blood tests and exams. He had been attached to a PICC line for ten days. He couldn’t be held for ten days. I had a crisis of faith during that time…I wrote a FB note in 2009 describing what we went through…here it is:
The day my first born son turned nine months old, I found out I was pregnant with our second child. My first thought was, “I can’t do this”, thinking of the nine month old in the next room; two babies at once would be overwhelming. Yet I knew at 35, I was blessed to be pregnant at all, and trusted that God had faith in our abilities to parent two little ones, or it wouldn’t be happening. It took some time before we became used to the idea of having babies nineteen months apart, and then at the first ultrasound, my doctor informed me that I was really 3 months along, and baby number two was due sixteen months after I had given birth to number one.
I really freaked out then. All I could think of was, “two babies in diapers, two babies not sleeping through the night, two babies to bathe, feed, nurture”. My mind was focused on the things I thought I needed to do, instead of on the blessing that this baby would be. I became less apprehensive as the baby’s birth approached, and was very excited to find out we were having another boy. Yet in the back of my mind were the anxious thoughts of “How am I going to do this?”
My pregnancy was uneventful until the last two weeks, and Alexander Price Wilson was born two weeks early because of my blood pressure. He was beautiful and perfect, but four hours after delivery, we were told that he was breathing too fast, and he was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for observation. Two weeks later, our precious son was still in the NICU, having undergone a dozen tests and IVs and medicines, and we were told that he had contracted a very dangerous infection in his intestines, called NEC (necrotizing enterocolitsis). We were devastated; the doctors said this was a deadly infection, and Alex would have to be intravenously fed for ten days, with no bottle feeding, and the worst part- we couldn’t hold him for ten days, for fear of making him want to suckle. I, especially, was despondent, having imagined Alex at home already, and now I was told I could not even hold my baby. That Sunday morning, I told Rod to go to church without me; I couldn’t bear all the questions, and well-meaning remarks. I just wanted to lie down and wake up when Alex could come home.
God, though, is our refuge, and our ever-present help in times of trouble. Rod told our church of the illness Alex had contracted, and then and there, my church family prayed for our son, and his mother and father, and for the Holy Spirit to lift us up. This was about 11:15 am; and this was the turning point for me. For no reason that I knew of (but God did), I felt unexplainably hopeful right about that time, at home, in bed. I felt thankful, and joyful, and I got out of bed, got ready, and was actually smiling when Rod came in the door from church. My whole family sensed a change in that moment, and I know that it was my church family’s prayer for me and our child, when I was unable to find the strength to pray for myself. Our Alexander is a healthy, active 2 year old today, and we will always remember from whom all good and perfect things come.”
So today, my Alexander Price Wilson turns EIGHT. It seems like yesterday that I was having a come apart that I was having baby number 2 while baby number 1 was still a baby. He is the Cream in our Oreo. He is the Ham in our sandwich of sons. He is the one who makes me laugh the most. He is the one who taught me that God is my Refuge, and no matter what, I can put my trust in Him. He is my middle child, but he is not Jan to Weatherman’s Marcia. He is Alex, my heart, my faith, and my confirmer.