In the Rear View Mirror: Facing our Fears and Then Driving Away

All week I’ve been saying to myself…”I can’t believe it’s been a year.”

A year since I was airlifted from the ER to a strange hospital hours away from home. A year since I cried from the my depths of my soul “NO – I WILL NOT HAVE THIS BABY TODAY!” A year since the delivery room was silent. And a year since we heard that first tiny mew – a sign of life – at a an age where many doctors won’t perform life-saving procedures. A year since we heard the words “4% chance of healthy survival” and “he might not make it out of here…”

A year since we watched our baby struggle to survive, fight off sepsis, get at least 6 blood transfusions…

A year since our lives changed forever. A year since we fell in love with the strongest, sweetest, and wisest baby who proved that miracles actually do happen.

And a year since I stopped wishing to win the lottery because I realized that I already had.

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You all know how anxious I was to go back to Boy Lake, the place where our adventure all started. It was hard being there. The whole week played out in my head…this is where I first felt the cramps. This is where I realized that something might be wrong. This is where I called my nurse. This is where we were when she said “Get to the ER NOW!” I had more than a few moments of real, honest-to-God flashbacks and PTSD symptoms.

But, it was also really healing, too. I had time to reflect on the events from last year and put them into perspective. My family was really supportive and understanding. They helped take Jax when I needed some time to clear my head and cry. Each year will get easier, I think.

On the way home, we stopped at the Crosby hospital. It felt like the right thing to do and both Steve and I were really glad we did it. My heart was beating out of my chest when we pulled in. Last year, I left this parking lot in a helicopter. I needed to be here and then leave here…in our car!

We stood on the helicopter pad and gave thanks for the pilot, the EMTs, and the dispatch people who made the life-saving flight happen.

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We also wanted to say thanks to the staff for their quick work that ultimately saved Jax’s life. Coincidentally (or not?), both my nurse and doctor we on duty! They recognized us almost immediately. I think they were happy we decided to come back – they had wondered what had happened to us. And, to be honest, I don’t think they thought it was going to be a good outcome.

I got to give Nurse Dana a hug. We both teared up a little bit. She got to hold Jax.

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The doctor said: “23 weeks? And nothing was wrong with his guts?” Nope! “And he had no brain bleeds?” Nope! “Wow!”

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It was amazing being able to say thanks in person for their work. We appreciate their skill and compassion so much – they, and all of Jax’s care team, are our real life superheroes, for sure!

So, it was good closure. Full circle. And it was awesome to drive out of that parking lot and head on down the road to home. In our car. With Jax in the backseat singing us a song.

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Author: Andrea M

Oh man, what an adventure! I went into labor unexpectedly when I was 23w3d pregnant. Jaxson was born weighing 1 lb 8 oz. A tiny little peanut, but boy was he feisty. He still is! We love it now, but we probably won't when he is a teenager. I write about our journey and all other things that come with it, including a brain tumor. We look forward to "meeting" you - come hang out with us...we're pretty cool.

15 thoughts on “In the Rear View Mirror: Facing our Fears and Then Driving Away”

  1. It is still a book waiting to be written. Yes, a year ago our hearts were aching and with each accomplishment, it renewed my faith in the power of love. Baby Jax knew from the start that you were all the right “stuff”and all he had to do was fight. You said it right, “In the rear view mirror”!
    God bless you all and all your circles of support. Happy Birthday Baby Jax!

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  2. Amazing! I am so happy for All of you to be able to make the Full Circle! Again, Thank you for All the updates, it has been great getting to know what is happening in Jaxson’s life. I hope one day you will take a trip to San Diego so we can meet Jaxson and see All of you! Happy Birthday Jaxson, you are a True Blessing! Love, Teresa

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  3. I love your posts and honesty!! Jax is a miracle. And both you and Steve are so strong! You deserve and got the best – Jax!! Happy 1st Birthday to an extremely cute little boy! Can’t wait to watch him grow up! Hugs to you!

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  4. Simply amazing! Tears were flowing as I read. Thanks for sharing! (The months after the first year anniversary were the hardest for me…we had survived and I was finally able to process what happened. We are coming up on our 3 year anniversary…can’t believe it…3 years…Jack will be 3!!!)

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    1. Thanks, Heather! Wow – Jack will be 3?! Awesome – these little guys are incredible. I’m finding that these last couple of weeks have been the hardest for me. I’m so grateful he’s doing well, but it’s starting to actually sink in what he had to go through to get to this point. {tear}

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