Why me? Part 1
I wrote the story below to help our followers understand the Inspiration for some of our Projects. But also to inspire others with situations to do big things! Triathlons are what we do now, but we all have a story to tell…Because there is a Light within us all……
At the age of 21, I gave birth to my 2nd child, Kaila. Being I was barely old enough to drink, I didn’t think about any possibilty of what I was about to endure. Being a military wife they didn’t have ultrasounds to determine the sex, but like my first, I just knew I would have a girl. I can vividly remember her brother Keone, climbing up my hospital bed, so excited to meet his baby sister. That day when trying to nurse my newborn for the first time, she wasn’t interested in feeding and her temperature dropped. They took her back to the nursery to see if they could try to feed her and get her temperature back up….I could sense the worry in Keone’s face when they took her away.
It was 8pm, all of my visitors had gone home for the evening and I was alone in my room trying to call the nursery for an update on Kaila when the doctor had entered my room. I remember looking at her, not saying a word, frozen, just nodding when she spoke, I was having an out of body experience, but somehow through all the medical terminology I got that she suspected Kaila had Down’s syndrome and a chromosome test was being ordered.
Without skipping a beat, I distracted myself by pumping so that I could establish my milk supply for Kaila “when” she was given back to me from the nursery. After waiting for the fog to clear, I called Kaila’s father to tell him the news. We were both just in disbelief, too young to handle how to react. Our already tested marriage itself was too young to even withstand something like this, and I also felt it wouldn’t last.
The next morning, I didn’t want the sun to rise. I needed and wanted more sleep. I wanted more time to absorb everything that just happened the night before. I did feel at ease that I at least told my in-laws. My parents were out of town on vacation and would tell them when they arrived next week. I was too selfish, or maybe too confused to even have the energy to tell anyone else. I was in denial until that test came back positive, and I didn’t want to alarm anyone… so I withheld it. I grew up in a very non-communicative family, I was used to holding things in. I knew the support I needed came from within and came from praying.
Day 2 in the hospital… was important for me to get up and start moving. They kept Kaila in the nursery now because there were other “tests” they needed to do. I got up because I needed to know. I felt anger growing inside of me, maybe it was some post partum, frustration of not being able to know what is going on. I knew I needed to be proactive. They then told me Kaila never made her first bowel movement, which were signs of blockage in her bowel. They had put a tube up her nose to feed her because she wasn’t interested in taking a bottle, more red flags. I kept asking questions, but I always felt that some information wasn’t fully explained because maybe I wouldn’t understand. So I asked more questions. I think my age threw them off a bit. Being so young I think they thought I was irresponsible, or I couldn’t handle the truth. I would walk back and forth from the nursery to my room. I would call the nursery from my room asking how Kaila was doing. Knowing well enough they had to log everything. I wanted my conversations noted. I wanted doctors and nurses to know that I wanted to know everything. I started to get worried. I had to focus on keeping my milk supply going to Kaila. Pumping all day and night as if I was actually feeding her, pumping as much as I could to freeze for later.
Day 3 it was time to go home. Or was it??? Because Kaila’s father was in the army at the time, her further care needed to be at the NICU in the Balboa Naval Hospital downtown. It would be there that further Gastrointestinal tests would be run and her nutrition would continue, while monitoring weight and temperature. In the meantime, we were waiting 2 weeks for the Chromosome test. I got up that day and showered best I could while still in some pain, I realized it wasn’t as bad as my first c-section. I don’t know if because the adrenaline and the stress regarding Kaila had made me move more and forget about the pain. I refused pain meds because they made me groggy. I wanted to be awake and clear if anything were to happen to Kaila. I kept pumping in the morning after I got dressed and ready. They told me Kaila wouldn’t go home with me but that she would be medically evacuated to Balboa Naval, meaning she would be transported via ambulance. My heart sank and I felt a pit in my stomach. They handed me all of these papers, waivers, approvals, discharge instructions for me, breast pump rental information. It was all so overwhelming! I wanted to be with Kaila, PLEASE! Just let me see KAILA! I had only seen her for just a moment in the morning. They told me they had to do their rounds and that I had to go back to my room and get ready for discharge.
I was ready to scream now, I could feel my heart breaking, crying inside, but again I held it in, not even bothering to tell my husband what I was feeling, I sat quiet in my thoughts, and my thoughts turned to desperate prayers. The door to my room opened and a loud beeping noise from the hallway echoed, 3 men followed in with the nurse, the world stood still. All these people in uniform entering my room freaked me out. I stood up slowly in pain. I then noticed the men were pushing a piece of equipment. This cart on wheels, I realized was the source of the loud beeping then I saw Kaila was inside. ALONE…inside this incubator, hooked up to all these wires, tubes in her arms, tubes up her nose. I COMPLETELY lost my bearings. I wanted to scream. Silently tears came rushing down my face, the paramedic turned away when making eye contact. Silence fell, just loud beeping and the nurse explaining, “sign here”, “sign there”, I couldn’t stop my hands from shaking. It took everything in me to not fall to my knees…Please GOD get her out of there!!!! PLEASE, this is not happening is it? Tell me God Please!! Answer me Please!! I wanted to hold her just for more than 5 minutes. They opened a small circular window, letting me touch her hand, touching her as much as I could, like a dog in a kennel… I didn’t want to “pet her paw”! What I really wanted? Was to grab the Fire Axe on the wall and bust it open, pick her up, and run away. Why me God? Why me?……