Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My Premature Baby

Still fresh in my memory, almost 10 yrs ago, when I was having my second baby, that evening after got home from work, my water broke. It happened with my first baby, so I know what would happen, although it was not the time yet; so I called my doctor, Dr. Sudibyo, and he asked me to go to hospital right away. The problem was, no one can take me there, my husband (then) was in business trip to the site where I couldn’t reach him, and my mother was in her trip to America; then, I called our family-friend, but she wasn’t home yet, so I tried to contact some other friends. While I’m waiting, I cleaned up myself & prepared all the stuff that I need. Half an hour later she (our family-friends) called, she knew that something might go wrong coz I’ve been calling her so many times. She rushed pick me up and drove me to hospital and friend of mine with her husband was waiting for me there.

My husband (then) was surprised when he heard the news, right after he arrived in harbor. My aunt, who was in trip with my mom, called the doctor to find out what really happen & asked what would be done, coz she saw her sister so quite & stress out.

Actually my baby was not due till couples more weeks, it was only 32 weeks; he wasn’t old enough to be born, so doctor asked me to take fully bed-rest for 3 days, while he gave me some injections & medicine for making my baby stronger. The night before the caesarian, doctors came to us & explained all the possibility that might happen & what might be done, and asked our permission to do so. My doctor also informed us that he called Prof. Dr. Monintja, specialist for baby premature, to take care of the baby after he born; because two week ago there was a similar case, but the baby couldn’t make it. After hearing all the explanation, we just prayed that everything would be fine & I knew… they would do their best for me & my baby.

I realized my pregnancy was different from the first one. Unlike his older bother, Dimi, who was so calm while in my womb, which sometime made me so worry & asked him to move or gave me a sign that he was fine; this one (second baby) was so active, moving & kicking a lot, this caused his placenta twisted around his neck & he wasn’t in the right place, his head was on the top, there was no question I need an operation for his birth. I quest he couldn’t stand any longer in my womb, he just wanted to get out to see his parents & bother; but… he didn’t know the way out :) We know it would be another boy so his dad already had name for him: Aristotelis Justin Balaskas (Telis).

Friday morning, August 15, 1997 I went to the operation room; I didn’t know anything and what happened, until his dad told me. The baby wasn’t cry! Few hours later, doctors told us what actually happened & what they had done to save him. After the birth, they let Telis tried to breathe by him self, but his lung couldn’t blow; therefore, they decided to give him the injection of sufactam (twice) directly to his lung, to help it blow. His condition was not really good, yellow & need a blood transfusion too and had to be placed in incubator.

The next day, when I was able to walk, with all the pain I still had, step by step I slowly moved my feed to his room and I saw him for the first time. He was so weak & small, weight only 2 kg. With an infant breathing aid through his nose, an intravenous injection in his tiny hand and all the medical apparatus around his tiny body, he laid there alone receiving no hugs, no kisses and no one who hold him, only the warmth of an incubator. I stand close to him, genteelly caress his tiny hand and told him how I love him, how I wanted him to fight and get well, so he could go home with us. When the doctors came, they told us that the day Telis was born, they had done all they can to help him alive, but they cannot guaranty anything, there was no definite predicament of what might happen to him in the future; and we had to be prepare for all the possibilities, event the worst.

On the third day, while we were visiting him, his condition has suddenly worsened. The nurses tried to help him, but he didn’t improve, so they called the doctors; in a minute, the situation became so intends. We couldn’t do anything we just stand there outside the room tried to be calm, while watching them trying to re-stabilize his condition. I asked his dad “What’s happen?” he reply: “I don’t know, it had happen earlier during the day as well.” Seeing all the equipments that had been prepared to help him, including the heart pumping machine, I felt helpless & asked myself how could my baby’s tiny body could take that? At that moment, I surrender & said: “God… if you want to take him, take him! But if you believe I can take care of him, please…. give that chance!” Not long after that Telis’ condition was improving and continues to become better; that incident had never happen again.

After three weeks fought for his life inside the incubator, the glorious day has finally arrived. We were finally able to take Telis home to be with his family that long been waiting for him. His small body, tiny arms and legs discouraged me to hold him in my arms; while he was at his grandma’s arms, he opened his big round eyes & gave me a warm glare. I was grateful that God has given me the opportunities to look after him and that was the beginning of my journey of what God’s believe in me.

Physically, Telis grown almost like a normal baby, only his food is shorter then another, and he respond well when we called or played with him; however, due to his premature birth, he had some imperfect organ inside, such as: a little problem with his lung, asthma, hole in his heart and 3 hernias; but all that cases were shadowed by his charming smile. When we asked whether or not he need any operation, Dr. Monitja, with his wise word, said: "Just wait and see, it will be much better if you ask God for the cure than the operation.’"

As time went by, we were also notice that Telis was slow in growth and was not interested in television or any other activities that other children his age would be attracted too; first, we thought, it was normal for a premature baby, but we were wrong. Premature or not, babies are babies, they should growth in their path; if they are not, it could be meant something might be wrong or need some actions.

Then his doctor referred him to check his eyes to Dr. Rini, the result turned out his vision was +5 like an elderly person; that explained why he wasn’t really exciting with television, because he couldn’t see clearly. He might need to use glasses to see, but meanwhile Dr. gave him vitamin to improve his vision & he has to take several tests for his eyes & brain. The results EEG Report (for eyes): his eye balls didn’t move balance. ERG report: His right eyes weaker then his left one. CT-Scan: his left brain is smaller than his right side this effected his motorist skill and needed to have therapy to improve it. Dr. Rini invited me to the parents meeting who has same problems like mine, she prepared us for the worst possibility that might happen like blindness.

Although he grown like a normal kids, but he still couldn’t walk by himself, we took him to Dr. Subroto, in 2000 Telis had an operation for his tendon, in both feed, to make his feed set on the ground in the right position. In 2004 he had another operation for his lazy eyes. To see how he was, Dr also suggested taking an IQ test, the result was not that good, and he couldn’t go to a regular school, he should go to a special school.

I took everything about Telis quite well, I was not complaining, I just thankful for having him. I remember the first time I took him for the therapy… I couldn’t thankful enough to see that my baby was still much better, there were many parents that had to go trough the situation that harder than mine & I prayed for them to have extra ordinary strength. Kids like ours are special, if God gave us trust to have them, its means we are just different and there are something more about us in God’s eyes.

So… what happen with my Telis now??
Do you believe in miracle?! Yes… miracle do happened, for me there are many types of miracle: “miracle” – MIRACLE – MIRACLE - MIRACLE

Telis… is a living miracle for me & my family. He is almost 10 year old now, a very healthy boy, his lung is much better, his asthma doesn’t suffer him, a hole in his hearth closed by its selves & his hernias also. His vision improved and he didn’t ware glasses too. He is in the 3rd grade (primary) in a National Plus School and he can speak 3 languages: Indonesia, English & Mandarin.. Although he still walks with his walker but… it doesn’t meant he won’t walk; one day with God willing that miracle will come true. We know Telis was not as normal as other kids, but we treat him no different; we build his confident so he can face this world without any fear.

The chance that God gave to me, not only add happiness but also a life learning opportunity for me. The birth of Telis made me became a better person by allowing me to see, accept and embrace all deficiencies and extra abilities in every human being and my journey with him makes me able to understand better the meaning of surrender, grace and love; those are miracles that God gave to me.

jg: TQ Lord for the chances & opportunities. TQ to all the doctors, nurses & others for taking care of my boy. TQ mom, mba Fifa, Iyam (Telis' nanny), family & friends who always there for me & my kids, love you all.

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