Monday, June 5, 2006

this day in history

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7 years ago today, I was in a hospital bed in Houston... it was my 4th day of bedrest after my water broke at 23 weeks and 3 days gestation.
At some point in the afternoon, my contractions started coming more regularly. I tried to ignore them... but somebody was ready to come and meet the Yablonskis.
After a little while. it was obvious that they had done everything they could do to stop labor and it just wasn't safe anymore. So off they wheeled me to the delivery room.

It's really a blur. I remember looking up at the ceiling as they wheeled me through the doorway and down the hall. Then I was in a different room with my mom and Richy I. Richy and I were both so scared. This was our first baby, our first pregnancy and everything had been normal until my water broke... So I laid there and Mama prayed and came in and out as there was a waiting room FULL of Yablonskis and friends waiting for reports. Richy cried and prayed and sang and almost passed out... He ended up out in the hallway for a while. I remember being in the room, just waiting for something to happen. A woman was screaming hysterically next door, and I had various monitors beeping and printing, and Daddy singing in the hall. And through it all, the steady thump thump thump of a very tiny heartbeat.
When he was born, all of us just held our breath for a moment. I remember thinking "Is he alive? Is he alive?" There is just a split second memory in my mind of a tiny gray body being lifted away from me and then the smallest hoarse little cry. Even in the insanity of the situation, relief flooded us. We just wanted to hear him cry. And then he was being wheeled at high speed down to the NICU, to spend his first hours being intubated and really, kept alive by Jesus and the medical team He worked through.

I saw him hours later, when the epidural wore off. I was so shocked. He was so small and red and I was so scared. I couldn't even talk to him... I just cried and cried. I had Richy wheel me back out in the hallway, where Mama was waiting to comfort me. " You better SNAP out of it!" she said. "That is YOUR baby in there. Now, you go back in there and talk to that baby!". Soothing words, those. So I snapped out of it and went and talked to my baby.

It was a scary day. It was emotional and it was hard. But every minute since he was born, he has blessed us.
He is the most pure, loving child I have ever seen. I don't even deserve the sweetness and trust he has. I am so blessed.
And I am so, so glad beyond what I can express that he cried. And that he fought his way through those 4 months in the NICU and that he is still such a fighter now.

a wee cry
and then beeping
and then more crying
and then you awe holy....
Oh ki gosh!
and singing
and singing
and singing
and praying
and laughing
and telling Buzz what's up
on the phone
banging loudly on the piano
and singing, hands flapping
the sounds of you
what joy

Happy Birthday, Richy.

This was the first picture we took of him. I remember thinking, someday we'll put this one up on a big screen as a testimony. He was 12 inches long and 1 pound 5 ounces.

That's his beanie baby, and Richy's wedding ring fit around his arm. He was a week or 2 old here.

We wrote these Scripture cards and taped them to his incubator to encourage our faith (or denial, some said)

Richard Lynn Clark II

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