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Challenge: Digging Deep

The Day I Lost My Son

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No matter how far I have come in my life and my career, the birth of my son was by far the happiest day of my life. Jackson was born on a Monday in the Spring of 2010. While we were waiting to go home on Tuesday, the nurse came in to do final checks on Mom and Jackson

While she was checking Jackson, she noted that his temperature was a little cold. So, she took him to the nurse’s station to run further checks on him. But she insisted that it was no big deal. Less than 10 minutes later my mother-in-law came running into the room. She had tears running down her face.

She said, “Something’s wrong with Jackson. Something’s wrong with Jackson. Come quick.”

I started running down the hall and over the intercom I heard, “Code Blue. Code Blue. Code Blue.” A doctor and nurses were blowing past us at full speed.

Once we got there, we saw our poor little six-pound baby completely blue in color. He wasn’t moving.

The doctors and nurses started to work on him and get him breathing again. Thankfully, in just ten seconds (but felt like hours) his color started to come back and he began to breathe.

After a few moments, the doctor came out and said that they were going to have to put him in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).

They took him away from us and rushed him to the NICU. We had to wait about an hour before we were able to see him again – and when I did see him, my heart broke.

He had a breathing tube and all types of different monitoring devices on his chest. He was totally covered in wires.

He also had a huge needle sticking in the top of his head. and a shaved patch of hair. You see, a baby’s vein is too small for an IV in their arm, so they have to put the IV in their head. So, they shaved a patch at the top of Jackson’s head for it. They had to stick his head with needles three times before they could get a proper vein.

After a while, the doctor pulled us aside and said, “We don’t know what’s wrong with him. We’re going to have to do tests.”

He went on to the most horrible sounding things that you could imagine. Every single one was worse than the next. I lived at the NICU for the next several days. The doctors came back every day, and let us know what conditions they were able to rule out.

It started to look like what happened was “just something that happened” and probably nothing to worry about. Everything was going to be OK.

The nurses told us that he was doing very well. He was eating on his own and was off the breathing tube. It looked like we were going to take him home.

We walked into the NICU on a Thursday morning, just hours before Jackson was going to be discharged. The doctor was there and asked us to sit down.

The doctor said, “I’m sorry to inform you, but your son has Down syndrome.”

It was like the world stopped. I never thought in a million years that would be something I would deal with. Everything was in slow motion.

Then the doctor proceeded to list all the things that Jackson was not going to be able to do. The first thing he said was that he wasn’t going to be able to crawl like a typical child. He would be much older before that happened. He also said that he would not walk until he was much older. Jackson would probably not recognize us as his parents for a while. We would also have to take care of him for the rest of our lives. But if we were lucky, he could have a job sacking groceries one day.

It was crushing. At that moment it was like my son had died.

The little boy I’d dreamed my whole life about was gone, and I had this new child. I was still excited about him and still loved him, but everything the doctor was telling us was awful.

I was angry at God. I thought this was punishment for all my past sins and mistakes. My faith was gone.

As his health continued to improve, we brought him home with us early the next week. He was doing extremely well…eating great, sleeping 6 hours at a stretch, etc.

Even though everything was going perfect, I couldn’t get what the doctor told us out of my head. I kept thinking about what he wouldn’t be able to do, especially the crawling.

Playing on the floor with my son crawling to me was a mental image I carried with me for as long as I can remember. That seemed to be tainted now.

Well, a couple of nights after we brought him home, I was lying in bed watching TV with Jackson on my stomach. Suddenly, he started to kick and push with his little legs. So I put my hand by his feet and he pushed off of them.

He slid up. I put them a little higher, and he slid up. Within 20-30 seconds he had moved all the way up to my neck.

I was crying like a baby.

Jackson “crawled.”

The first thing the doctor said he wouldn’t be able to do, he did within two weeks. God spoke directly to me that night.

Jackson didn’t listen to the doctor; I did. I listened to every single word he said. But Jackson believed that he could do things. That was a powerful life lesson I learned from that little two-week-old baby.

That simple act of him crawling up my chest renewed my faith.

When I felt like giving up, I was missing out on what God has to offer. Know that you are not alone, and know that we are in the hands of God. He will provide us with strength when we need it…. just like Jackson had that strength to crawl up my body.

At that point, I wiped out everything that the doctor said he wouldn’t be able to do. I didn’t believe a word of it anymore.

There is something that an “expert” has convinced you is impossible. But it’s not impossible through God.

There is no limit and you can do anything God puts on your heart.

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