Do you ever have those days where you either want to curl up and cry or laugh hysterically? Neither of them being a great thing? That sums up my day. I fully believe that if I had not come up with all those positive things that are good in my life, I would have fallen into the “depths of despair”…to quote my friend, Anne Shirley.
I even added one mentally to the list: Happiness is…clean, soft sheets.
I thought we were going to have to take Indie to the hospital several times today…The night is still (kinda) young. Nate is holding him now. Unless God turns this around, it will be a long night. He has turned it around many times before and I will be grateful if He does again. I think I’m going to have to tell his story now.
About three years after my daughter, Greyley was born, we got pregnant. I lost the baby. And just about lost my mind. To make a long story not so long, within two years, I lost three babies. About a year after this process, I came to terms with the fact that I was not going to have another baby and got peace about it. I had a beautiful, sweet little girl and I doted on her. I still do. She’s worth it.
Early in the process, though…I was praying and begging God to show me if this baby was going to make it or if I needed to prepare for the worst. I prayed and opened my Bible, hoping that He would show me something.
I opened to 1 Samuel 16:12:
So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.”
All I saw was ruddy, anoint him, and he is the one. I jumped up, ran and told my mom (who was visiting) and Nate that this baby was going to make it. And it was obvious it was going to be a boy. I also looked up the definition of ruddy.
Ruddy~ 1. of or having a fresh, healthy red color: a ruddy complexion.
I wrote the scripture down on an index card and pulled it out of my Bible whenever I became anxious. Month after month went by…we had a Downs Syndrome scare around Month 4, but it was just a clerical error with my dates. I was sure there was something powerful about this boy. I had the promise.
My whole pregnancy, we tried to come up with a name. It couldn’t be just any name. It had to fit with Greyley. It had to be meaningful. We’re both musicians, so it had to be a little weird…well, not to us, but that’s what everyone else thought.
A few weeks before he was born, Nate said, “I’m feeling the name BRAVE. I think his name should be Brave.” He was so adamant about it that I began to consider it, even though I knew it wouldn’t be a hit with everyone.
I had a long labor and in between contractions Nate said, “What about Indigo?” I liked it and liked how it went with Brave…but we still waited to be sure.
Indigo was born on February 9th, 2005. He was three and a half weeks early. He was a nice, healthy size…but when he was born, he turned blue right away and was snatched away from me to get oxygen. The nurses and doctors worked around the clock to take care of him. When I went in the ICU to see him, I touched his little foot and his vitals went crazy. The nurse asked me not to touch him. This went on for a few days, until I could softly touch him if I could just be really still.
Miraculously, a few nights later, we were still in the hospital and an angelic nurse from the ICU called our room. She had taken the oxygen mask off of Indigo and he was doing fine. It was around 2 in the morning, but we didn’t care. We went and talked to our boy and touched him…ever so gently. He responded well and the next day, we held him. In the afternoon, I nursed him.
The doctor came in to talk with us and was amazed at his progress. He held Indigo up and said, “See his skin? This is what we like to call a ruddy complexion!” We laughed and thanked God. Two days later, we were able to go home.
Five days later, we took him to church and had him dedicated to the Lord. Our church family rejoiced in our miracle boy. The message preached over him was full of more promises and something I will never forget.
Greyley was so excited for a brother. She was heartbroken that she couldn’t hold him at first, but when she did, she beamed from ear to ear. She had an ultra loose tooth and we took pictures of her holding Indigo and twisting her tooth with her tongue. She also had a really bad virus. And a couple of weeks after we came home, I got it. I have never been so sick. When I nursed Indigo, I would try to hold back the cough, but was just terribly sick.
At about 4 1/2 weeks old, Indigo woke up and had a strange cough. He also hadn’t eaten well during the night, so just to be sure he was fine, we took him in to see our doctor. While we were there, they checked his oxygen level, listened to his heart and lungs, and within minutes called an ambulance to the clinic. We were rushed to Children’s hospital and XRays showed that he had an extreme case of pneumonia.
The second night in the hospital, my friend Teresa came to stay in the hospital with me. I had a high fever with still being sick and hadn’t slept well in over a month. She stayed while I slept that night and it was such a gift to have her there. Around 2 AM, the nurse came in to check Indigo’s vitals and while she was in the room, he flatlined. There was a code blue and within literally seconds, our hospital room was filled with about 25 people. I called Nate while they tried to revive Indigo. He was home with Greyley. They intubated Indigo and rushed him to NICU. And that was the beginning of our month long stay in the hospital.
When Nate got to the hospital, the doctor who had put the breathing tube in spoke bluntly with us. He showed us how his lungs were completely white and said we would just have to see how he responded to the ventilator. We found out later that a couple of days later, he called in and was shocked that Indigo was still alive.
It was excruciating to see my precious baby boy hooked to a machine. Every crevice of his body had a tube coming out of it. He began to get puffy from all the drugs. They put him in a drug induced coma. About a week after being on the ventilator, the same doctor came to us and basically gave us very little hope. He was maxed out on the ventilator and it wasn’t working. He gave us a few minutes to call our family and to pray over him one more time before they did the last dangerous procedure. This time they hooked him up to an oscillator, which puffed air directly to his heart. His whole body shook with the breaths. It was loud and horrifying to watch.
As I tried to pray over him, I really thought God might be wanting him back. I knew he was special and thought maybe God had just given him to me for a little while…I pleaded with God to let me keep him. I tried to hold onto the promises I knew God had given us about him, but it really did seem hopeless.
While I was having a hard time even praying about it, Nate stormed the very gates of hell. I have never seen him pray so fervently, so powerfully. Day and night, he prayed in the spirit. Friends and family prayed all over the world and I was so grateful that the prayers were being prayed when I could not.
What I did was compulsively pump breast milk. I pumped until the nurses laughed and said, “Can you have a friend bring a cooler?” (Teresa was glad to oblige.) With all the drugs they had pumping in him…and the list was long, my breast milk was hanging at the very top, feeding him through a tube. It felt like the only thing I could do for him.
The nurses became our friends. They were our angels. Our saving grace. They were hovering over his bed 24 hours a day. They loved him and we loved them.
Amazingly around week three, something shifted. They began to talk of trying to move Indigo back onto the ventilator. It was risky and when they did the switch from the oscillator to the ventilator, the NICU was full of all the best doctors, standing watch to see if they’d have to revive him. They switched him over. There were a few panicked minutes and they questioned whether to hook him back to the oscillator, when he took a deep breath with the ventilator and everyone rejoiced. The doctor who made the call to leave him on the ventilator ended up being his pulmonologist. Dr. Kubik…a wonderful, brilliant man.
From that day on, he steadily improved. They gave him methadone to go through the withdrawals of all the drugs he’d been on. And when they finally removed the tube from his throat, he couldn’t make a sound, but he’d still cry…a silent, pitiful cry. But he was alive.
The day I held him again…words cannot describe it. I didn’t think I would ever let him go. Ever. And the day I nursed him, the hospital staff was elated.
When we finally got home, we spent hours looking at him…not wanting to leave his side. God helped us to gradually get back to real life and to not be worried sick every minute.
A year later, when we went for one of our routine checkups with Dr. Kubik, he yelled when he saw Indigo. “Indigo Sabin, our miracle boy. This boy’s a miracle. I KNOW how sick this boy was and he’s healed now. You’d never know how close we came to losing him.”
We went a couple of years being really cautious. No daycare, no nursery, no Sunday School…but about a year ago, Dr. Kubik said we could slowly start doing those things. He hasn’t had to stay in the hospital since that time, even though they said he’d probably make a yearly trip due to pneumonia for years. He does get really sick, but God touches him every time and I know He’ll do it this time too.
This post has taken hours to write. Indigo’s in bed with me now. He’s thrown up. He’s wheezing. But he’s alive. He’s a gift…a miracle. And I know he’s going to be just fine.