Teddy's Story

Chapter 2: A Glimmer of Hope

At 3:37am on August 10th, 2016, Teddy decided he couldn’t wait a minute longer and made his grand entrance. In that moment the world seemed to stop. Everyone seemed to hold their breath. I remember asking if he was okay. I don’t remember a verbal response, but she gave me a little smile and placed him on my belly. I placed my finger in his hand and cupped his tiny body. There was no crying, no movement, just stillness. Jason and I just stared at this beautiful tiny miracle for what felt like an hour and immediately fell in love. In reality, this all happened in about 30 seconds. The doctor reminded Jason he needed to quickly cut the cord, which snapped us back into reality and the next thing I knew they grabbed him and quickly began working on him. The next thing the doctor said was that he wouldn’t cry. I told Jason to go to him immediately. I was still in a haze of magnesium and recovering from a natural birth and couldn’t see what they were doing. Jason watched as they tried to save his life and placed a breathing tube into his tiny little 2lbs 15oz body. When they had him stable, it was time to rush him to the NICU. Jason ran over to give me a kiss and I told him to stay with Teddy. The next thing I saw was Teddy being wheeled out of the delivery room with Jason close behind.

The next few hours were a blur. I truly can’t remember the details, just moments in time. I know Jason came back and let me know that he was still alive and I sent him back to stay with him. I remember my mother coming in to check on me. I know at some point they let me go see him briefly where I was able to touch his hand and fall in love even more. I know they dragged me back to my room and put me back on the 3rd round of magnesium and I again couldn’t think straight and felt like I was on fire. I remember the doctors coming in and telling us that he needed surgery. This 2lb 15oz baby needed immediate surgery 13 hours after his birth and we had to decide if he should get it. I remember at one point that day before the surgery, I begged and pleaded with the doctor to let me stop the magnesium so that I could go see Teddy. I could not imagine not being able to see him again, if he didn’t survive. I remember she gave pity on me and said I could go for a few minutes. I remember Jason wheeling me over to the NICU and staring at the tiny, beautiful boy. We weren’t supposed to touch him and we definitely were not allowed to hold him. I remember that my sweet husband somehow convinced the nurse that I would not survive if he died, and I did not get to hold him. She broke all the rules and placed him on a pillow that I held in my lap. I stared down at his sweet face and cried and told him we would get through this together. I told him that I loved him and that I was proud of him and that he would do amazing things. I have never missed a single night of his life that I have not told him that I love him, that I am so proud of him, and that he will do amazing things. I will be forever grateful for that nurse and my husband for giving me that moment with him. It will be burnt in my heart forever. Then we sent him off for his first of many surgeries.

Teddy’s birth day was a day of love, fear, tears, pleading, prayers, holding our breaths, and a glimmer of hope. We didn’t know if he would survive the night. The doctors were scrambling to find out everything that was going on, because it was clear just by sight that it was more than being small and having a heart defect. Even after his birth they were still saying he had Trisomy-13. We were scared and drained and having to decide if we should send him for surgery, they were not sure he would survive. Would we cause him more pain and suffering? Would we lose what precious moments we would have with him if we did? Is everyone wrong? Would this give him the chance to survive and thrive? While our minds were spinning, we had a resident come in to talk about the surgery. She sat across from my bed and explained what would happen. We asked questions and voiced our concerns. Then she looked straight in our eyes and said “I truly don’t believe he has Trisomy-13.” We had constantly been hearing from every doctor for a week that there was little to no chance, and she was the first person to honestly say that he might survive, that she thought he could survive. The weight started to lift just slightly and for the first time we started to feel HOPE.

I will spend more time in future posts focusing on the series of events that led to all of his diagnoses and surgeries, but for this post I wanted to just focus on that day. Because on that day, Teddy decided he was done listening to the doctors say he had a Trisomy-13 diagnosis and came charging into the world to prove to them they were wrong. On that day, Teddy showed the doctors that he was a fighter and that they were wrong to say he likely would not survive. And for the last 7 years, Teddy has continued to show that when someone says he won’t be able to do something, just how wrong they are.

Today we celebrate our beautiful, smart, silly, inquisitive, loving, and remarkable boy! The last 7 years have been the best of our lives. Teddy has shown us exactly what this world is meant to be. That being different with a kaleidoscope of colors makes the world a more beautiful place. He has made us better people and made our lives more beautiful than we could have ever imagined. He has changed the lives of all who have been lucky enough to be a part of his story. He shows us every day that patience, tenacity, and stubbornness can overcome any challenge set in your path. He has taught us to love bigger and smile more. To enjoy the little things and celebrate the small moments, just as you would the big. We cannot envision a life that does not have this amazing Teddy in it. We truly are the luckiest people alive to have been chosen to be his parents.

Our sweet Teddy Bear, we love you, we are so incredibly proud of you, and we know you are going to do amazing things!


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