After a miscarriage in November of 1982, a still birth in October of 1992 and a tubal pregnancy in May of 1993, all hopes of becoming parents was looking grim. Until January 27th, 1994. After years of fertility drugs and doctors, we managed to somehow to do it on our own. We were extemely happy, but also very worried. We were told after the loss of our son, Jacob that a possible incompetent cervix may have been the problem. We referred to a Dr. Charles Ryan an OB, in Lima, Ohio. We told him of the problems that we had and he decided to stitch her cervix closed at 17 weeks. We asked about the success of the procedure and we were assured that it had always worked well. In April we left for the hospital to have the stitch put in. I sat in the waiting room anxiously waiting for some news that it was over, so we could relax and enjoy the pregnancy. Dr. Ryan finally came in and told me it went real well and they did what they call a purse stitch.
The next month was great, we was starting to get things ready for the big day, which was still quite a ways off. The one thing that was going to be a problem was deciding on the name, as neither one of us could agree on anything. But we still had time and there was lots of names out there.... Then on Memorial Day, the relaxing ended. Tabbie was starting to spot blood. We called the ask-a-nurse service and they contacted Dr. Ryan. The spotting wasn't real bad so they said just to take it easy and call tomorrow for an appointment. So the next day, I was out mowing the yard and Tabbie said they wanted to see her, just to make sure everything was ok. Well, they didn't give us much time to get there, we are about 40 minutes from the office and we had about 35 minutes to get there. I didn't have time to shower so I told Tabbie when we get there, I'll just wait in the car. I sat there waiting, and the parking lot was just about cleared out because all the offices were closed for the day. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone walking towards me, and I noticed it was Dr. Ryan. My heart just about stopped because I knew it was bad news. " After all the doctors don't come out to your car for no reason". Well he informed me that the stitch had came out partially, and they were going to admit her to see what happened. As we was walking up to the office I could see them wheeling Tabbie across the walkway, which connected to the hospital. I finally caught up with them, I noticed that Tabbie was crying and I was doing all I could to hold back my own tears.
They got Tabbie all settled in her room and told her she couldn't get out of bed for no reason...not even the bathroom. I think it was the next day, Dr. Ryan came in to discuss our options. We had 3 options.. The first was to let her go and hope to go full term, staying on complete bed rest. The second was to go in and drain all the amniotic fluid and re-stitch the cervix but with that you have the chance of the amniotic sack not sealing back up. The third choice was to terminate the pregnancy and try again. Neither of us was open to the third option so it had to be one of the others. At this stage of the pregnancy (24 weeks) we was afraid of the second option, because if the sack didn't seal they probably wouldn't be able to save the baby as it would be to early. Dr Ryan informed us he needed at least 2 more weeks before they could even hope to save a baby that young. So we decided to go on complete bed rest and hope for the best.
Everything was going well at the hospital so they decided to let us go home on Saturday. We were all making plans on who would empty bed pans, and who would fix Tabbie dinner. I went home and we set up a twin bed in the living room for her so she could watch T.V. and wouldn't be stuck in the bedroom. Now the problem, Tabbie had to lay down all the time so we had to find a way to get her home. We decided to get Tabbie's Aunt Betty and Uncle Norm to pick her up in their van. This way the only time she had to stand up was when she went from the van to the house. They dismissed her and took her to the van on a Gurney and we were on our way home. Before we left the hospital Dr. Ryan told us one thing, he said " I don't want to see you back here until September". We had every intention of doing that too.
We got home and got Tabbie in the house ok, and got her all settled in. Her mom was coming down in the mornings, before work to empty the bed pan. Tabbie's friend Kathy was coming down to fix dinner for her and help if the bed pan needed emptied during the day. I would take care of supper and the bed pan in the evening. I wasn't to sure of it, but whatever it took.. Saturday night and Sunday went real good, wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but there was 4 months to go yet. Sunday night I got Tabbie all settled and I went to bed. I didn't know what time it was but I was woke up by Janet talking in the living room, I must have still been half asleep because I just heard bits and pieces. I wasn't paying to close attention because I knew she was supposed to be here. I remember Janet saying something like, "you sure", and then something about calling someone. Well I was still about half asleep, till I heard Tabbie on the phone with Robin, the nurse who was supposed to start coming out. I knew something was wrong..... Then they yelled at me to get up cause they thought she was in labor. I lay there for just a second and said a quick prayer and then I got up. Robin wanted them to call the EMS, but Janet said she could get us there quicker. We got Tabbie in the car and headed out. Robin was calling the hospital to inform them we were coming. I think this was the fastest trip I ever made to Lima, I looked over a couple of times and we were going around 70-75 mph. I was shocked that we saw no cops all the way there, but Janet said she wouldn't have stopped any ways.
We got to the emergency room and they got all there info and finally got us up to the maternity ward. When we got there the labor pains had gone away so I thought maybe it was a false alarm. They got her in her bed and was checking her out, and then they hooked a fetal monitor up to check the baby. I don't remember how long it was till Dr. Ryan got there, but it seemed like it was forever. When he did get there, everything seemed to be going ok, no labor pains. Dr. Ryan did an ultra sound to check things out just in case, the baby was breech and he said around 1 pound. I think he was really wondering what to do. He said he would just kind of wait and see what happened. We asked about what they would do if she delivered, would they try to save the baby or just let it go. He told us," the baby comes before the mother". That kind of reassured me that they would do everything possible to save our baby, but in the back of my mind I was thinking "can they save a baby at 1 pound"? That is only 16 ounces, I really didn't have much hope, but maybe everything would be ok and they would send us back home if the labor didn't start again. Dr. Ryan started to leave the room and it happened, labor started again. My heart felt like it stopped. He said he was going to deliver now. He didn't want her to wait because he was going to do a c-section, they didn't want her to deliver natural because of the baby being breech. I noticed that there was a lot of activity at the nurses station people calling on the phones and a lot of running around, but I really didn't realize why. I went out to the waiting room to tell Janet what they were going to do, I think she was asking me questions but its really a blur what they were. I went back in and they was getting Tabbie ready, and a nurse gave me some clothes to put on. She said when I got dressed to come back and they would take me in to delivery. I got dressed and went to her room, it seemed like forever till they came to get me. A nurse finally showed up and took me to the delivery room. I walked in and I was amazed at how so many people could fit in such a small room. I counted several nurses, 2 doctors the anesthesiologists another 2 nurses and another man in another room watching. The first thing I noticed was Dr. Ryan standing on his tip toes doing the surgery. I was trying to see what was going on, but I really didn't have a good view. It seemed like no time at all I got a very quick view of a baby being transferred very quickly. I was trying to see but there was to many people. I did hear someone just say "he" just peed. Then Dr. Ryan said, " you have a son". The tears started rolling when I heard them words. "June 6th 1994 at 8:20 A.M., I became a father. I was still trying to see and was only getting quick glimpses of him. I was also watching Tabbie who was having lots of pain while being sewn back up. Then Dr. Romero, who was the neonatologist, leaned over to me and said that you have a very, very sick little boy, but from the signs we are seeing, he wants to live.
They took him out of the delivery room, to take him to neonatology where they take all the sick, and premature babies. I really wanted to go with him but I knew they wouldn't let me, because they was going to be doing a lot of tests and other things. I sat in the delivery room while they finished up on Tabbie. I then went out to tell Janet that it was a boy. I think she asked me how he was and how much he weighed, but I'm not real sure.
I went to call mom, who was camping at Chain-o-lakes. Really the only thing I remember about the call was, they were all congratulating me, and then it really kind of hit me, "I have a son". But in the back of my mind I was really thinking, " for how long though". I just really wasn't convinced that they could save a baby that little.
They got Tabbie back to her room and we were just kind of hanging out. Wondering..... at least I was. Janet had came in and she was telling us that she had got hold of Richard to tell him. The nurses were coming in and out doing different things and we were asking questions. One thing we was trying to figure out was how much he weighed and how long he was. One nurse said 1 pound and some change and she thought they hadn't measured him yet cause it wasn't that important. I thought that was kind of dumb, because I wanted to know what the change was, and it was important to us, but I realize now what she meant by not being important. A nurse from the nursery that we knew , Lisa Rippetoe had came in to find out how things were going and we asked her about his weight, all we knew was the weight in grams, and we had no idea. She left to find out and she came back and said she thought it was around 1 lb.7 oz.
We was sitting in the room and I was getting kind of stir crazy, I had to go smoke a cigarette. So I left for a few minutes and went outside to sit, and think. When I got back Janet and Tabbie was calling Kathy and Corinna to let them know, they said they were on there way to the hospital. About 1 or 2:00 Dr Romero and his nurse came in to let us know how things were going. He explained to us the problems with the lungs, possibility of infections, possible brain bleed, it was just very overwhelming to hear all the things that could go wrong. We asked him about transferring him to a bigger hospital, just because we both thought they would. We figured Toledo, at MCO. But he said no, for the time being he would stay there. He told me to come with them so I could see my son, so I eagerly followed them to the unit. When we got there, they told me to wash my hands good and to put a gown on. Well, I washed my hands and kind of stood there stupid because I wasn't sure how to put the gown on. I seen a nurse looking at me and she must of knew I didn't know what I was doing because she came out to help me. They then took me in, it was so crowded with machinery I had to turn sideways to get through. I got up to his bed and.... Well I just couldn't believe my eyes. He was all naked with his eyes covered, wires seemed to be running from his whole body, he was very dark colored and all I could do was watch his chest, it just didn't look real. He looked like a little machine laying there. I asked if I could touch him and the nurse said they encourage it and to talk to him. I took my index finger and put in his tiny hand, and he very gently wrapped his tiny fingers around it, like he knew who I was. I told him that I loved him very much and that his mommy loved him to, and to fight as hard as he could. Dr. Romero then came over to talk with me and explained how underdeveloped his lungs were. He showed me x-rays of them and how they showed up white, they are supposed to show up black. They then got busy with him so i had to leave.
I went back to the room and tried to describe everything to Tabbie and her mom, but you just had to see him to believe it. It wasn't too much later, someone from the health department came in. She wanted to know if we had decided on a name. Tabbie said, "ask him, I'm not allowed to name him". I always liked the names Jacob and Jordan, since our first baby that was stillborn was named Jacob, it was going to be Jordan Tyler. So that was that, he finally had a name. She said she would take care of it and we would get a birth record before we left. It seemed like right after she left, Dr. Romero's nurse came back. I don't know what Tabbie thought but I was not wanting to hear what she was going to say......... It wasn't what I thought, she said that the ventilator they had Jordan on was not working good enough, she said it was literally hammering his lungs and he needed a special ventilator called a jet ocsillater, that gives very fast short breaths. The closest one was Childrens Hospital in Columbus Oh. So they was going to transfer him there. She said the transport team was on there way and would be there in a couple of hours. I asked if they would take him life flight and she said no, something to do with the altitude. They would take him by ambulance. She also said that they may bring him by the room first so Tabbie could see him before they left, as she hadn't got to see him yet. Right before she left she told us Dr. Romero was the best, trust him, he knows what he is doing. Whatever he says, go with it.
Kathy and Corinna showed up I believe around 3:00 and we told them they would be able to see him before he left if they waited around. At about 3:30 the transport team showed up and introduced themselves to us and told us that they would be taking Jordan by helicopter instead of ambulance, because they needed to get him there sooner. They had papers for us to sign and gave us papers about Children's Hospital, where he would be and phone numbers so we could call the unit to check on him. They told us that they would be leaving around 4:00, and they would bring him by the room first so we could see him. I noticed there was a helicopter landing across the street, so we knew they were getting ready to leave. We all just sat there talking in the room and heard something rolling down the hall so I went to look, it was them. They wheeled him in the room in his isolette, along with oxygen tanks, monitors and lots of plastic. She said the plastic was to keep him warm, and it was the only time they let babies play with plastic. They wheeled him over by Tabbies bed, she had a hard time seeing him, because of all the wires and plastic. Everyone went over to see him real quick, then they gave us a picture of him and left. I sat at the window, seemed like forever waiting for the helicopter to take off. It had been almost a half hour and still nothing. I was really starting to get nervous, thinking that something had happened. Tabbies nurse Linda Holycross had came in so we asked her if she could find out if there was a problem, and she said she would. A few minutes later she came back and told us they were already in Columbus. Apparently the helicopter I saw land, was not the only one they use...................
We all set around for the next couple hours just talking, Tabbie was in a lot of pain and was also throwing up. She had got a few phone calls, I had to take one of them because she was busy throwing up at the time. To tell the truth, I really wanted to just leave and head for Columbus, but there is no way I would ask if it was ok, because I knew Tabbie would feel left out. And anyways I didn't even know how to get to Columbus, let alone get to the hospital, so I just decided to wait. After every one left, I decided to go home to get some sleep. So I gave Tabbie some kisses and left. I stopped at McDonalds on the way home, had been a long day and I was starving.
I got home and it seemed like it had been forever since I had been there. I straightened up the house a bit and headed for bed. I no more than got in bed and I got a phone call from Children's Hospital. It was real confusing, I was talking to some nurse, then a doctor got on the phone. He asked me what I wanted, I told him that they had called me, I told him who I was. I heard him talking with someone in the back ground, then he got back with me. He told me his name was Dr. Sequin and he was the one taking care of Jordan. He explained a little of his condition but really didn't go in to many details. He did say they had him on the new ventilator and it was working well, but babies this small had a history of having many problems and a lot of them don't survive. He told me that Jordan's chance of survival wasn't very good as he was very little and very sick. He also asked when we would be down and I told him probably as soon as Tabbie got out of the hospital. I got off the phone with him and I called Tabbie to let her know what they said. I got off the phone and sat on the end of the bed and prayed for about ten minutes, not trying to bargain or anything, just asking God to watch over him and to do what he thought best. It seemed like it took a long time to fall asleep that night, I just kept thinking of our new little son. But I finally did fall asleep, and slept pretty good considering.......
The next day I got up and headed for the hospital to see Tabbie. It was just kind of a long day, just sitting around and watching T.V. We did call the hospital to check on Jordan, but its just kind of like the same stuff they had told me on the phone the night before. We did finally find out his weight, he weighed 1lb. 9oz. A little bit more than Dr. Ryan had thought he would be. But still no length yet... Tabbie was starting to get kind of stir crazy, she wanted out so she could go to Columbus, but we knew they usually kept you about 3 days for a c-section. Linda, Tabbie's nurse had came in that day to see if she was going to breast feed Well I don't think we really had thought about it, after all," how do you breast feed a 1 pound baby"? Linda told us that it would take a while to get it started, then they would freeze the milk at the hospital so they would have it when he was ready for it. She said later when she got time she would come in and show Tabbie how to get started. Someone had brought in a big envelope with things in it, like coupons for baby stuff, the name card that was on his bed his tiny little blood pressure cuff that looked like a little doll toy. So we were looking at that stuff for quite a while.
Later Linda wheeled in a weird looking machine, I had no idea what it was, she also brought in all this other stuff. It was a breast pump. Looked like something from a machine shop. So they sat there and was getting all that stuff figured out and I watched more T.V. Tabbie's mom and dad showed up later but that was it for visitors that day.
The next day, Wednesday Tabbie was really ready to get out and after talking with the doctor, trying to persuade him to let her out, they said they might let her, but she had to take it easy. Although he knew she would head for Columbus as soon as they let her out. So we had decided we would go to Columbus on Thursday if they let her out. After dinner Linda had came in and said they were going to dismiss her in the afternoon some time, so she would go ahead and start to get things around. Tabbie had called Columbus that morning and Jordan was doing about the same, we would call again in the evening after we got home. The lady from the health department showed up to give us the Birth Record, it had 1 tiny little footprint on it, they couldn't get the other because of wires or something. About 2:30 or 3:00, Linda came in with some forms to sign and the normal do's and don'ts when getting dismissed. She also brought in a cheese and meat tray in that they give to parents when leaving. (It was really good). We just had to wait for a volunteer to come to take us out. The same guy that took her out of the hospital when she was to be on bedrest, took her out this time, we asked him if he remembered us and he did. Tabbie and I said our goodbyes to Linda and told her we would keep in touch to let her know how Jordan was doing, and we left.
We got down to the car and Tabbie had a very hard time getting in, after all the stupid thing almost sat on the ground. We took off down the road and was only about 1 minute from the hospital, Tabbie said "give me a cigarette"! I told her she had went for 6 months with out one,and she didn't need it. Well I should have just gave it to her and kept my mouth shut....... She said after all she had gone through, she needed one. So I thought I better just shut up and give it to her, so I did. We got home in about 40 minutes and immediately started making plans to go to see Jordan the next day. I studied the map of Columbus that the transport team gave us and tried to figure out the best way to get there. Tabbie had talked with her sister Corinna, and her boyfriend said to take 75 south to 70 east. He said it was the best way to go. We started to get things around for the trip, the camera, the video camera battery was charging and Tabbie got some snacks for the drive down. The next morning we was on the road by 8:00 a.m. I just dreaded the trip on the interstate because the semi's blew the Fiero all over the place, but that wasn't going to stop us. The trip on 75 wasn't to bad but it seemed like it took forever to get to 70. We got on 70 and everyone seemed to be in a race to get to Columbus, and the road was in terrible shape. I apologized to Tabbie all the way down for the rough trip, but there wasn't to much I could do. We got t Columbus and it was hard to decide what lane to stay in there was so many. We was real glad to finally see Children's Hospital. We got off on our exit and went to the parking lot of the hospital. We had no idea where to go. We did know we had to stop and get parents badges to wear. They told us there where to go to. We got on the elevators and made our way to the N.I.C.U. We went in and they had us sign in and showed us the sink and told us to wash our hands real good and put gowns on. We got all ready and walked in to find his bed. I was shocked at all the little babies and all the beeps and alarms going off. We got to his bed and I was shocked, he looked so much smaller than he did in Lima. The equipment was just mind boggling, all this for 1 baby? It was unbelievable....... A nurse came over to ask us if we were his parents. We told her we was. She said she would be with us in a few minutes. Jordan was laying there with a tiny mask over his eyes, ventilator tubes in his mouth, 2 patches on his chest, and 1 shiney one on his belly. He had wires and tubes running in his umbilical cord, he had I.V.'s in his legs, a red light taped to the bottom of his foot, and he was laying on something that glowed blue. His bed was completely covered with saran wrap, and he had heat lamps above him. The tape that was wrapped around his right leg was his name tag, he had tape around his other leg holding tubes. The tape made his skin look wrinkley. He also had a lot of black hair, and his ears looked funny because they had no cartilage yet. They looked paper thin. You couldn't see his face real good because it had so much tape on it, but you could see his nose. He got it from me! He was laying on a preemie diaper that could have been used as a blanket. He has wash rags rolled up and wrapped around his head to keep it from moving from side to side. His nurse finally came back to talk with us about Jordan. She went through and explained all the machinery and I.V. pumps and the monitor. The monitor was a real attention getter, you just find yourself constantly staring at it. Watching his heartbeat, respirations, and blood pressure. When the alarms would go off, you just about come unglued, wondering how bad it is. She explained how the one line in his umbilical cord was called a main line for his main pressure. Similar to the blood pressure. Another monitor that kind of kept you watching was the pulse oxymeter, which checked the pulse and oxygen saturation in his blood. The little red light on his foot was for getting the reading for that. We also got to see the doctor that was taking care of him, but they all seemed so busy it was hard to talk with them. I felt real uncomfortable being there for some reason. I just felt like I wasn't supposed to be there. We took some pictures, they assured us it was ok, and I got the video camera out and took some real good video. We was just sitting there watching the nurse do things to him, she started out by changing the diaper under him, and then she suctioned out his lungs through the ventilator tubing. She said it would be a lot better when the change the ventilator tubing, they could move him from side to side. We never knew they have to move them often because the bones in preemies heads are very soft and their head will be misshaped if the lay one way too long. She also informed us that preemies tend to take on the personality of their caregiver and she said she was picky... She was a real nice woman but she just didn't seem real friendly at first, at least that was my first thoughts. But after all, we just met and didn't know each other yet. Little did I know that Sharon Gaddis would become one of the most important and friendliest people we met down there. At the time we didn't know that she was Jordan's primary nurse, and someone said she specifically asked to be his primary. We later learned that she was the most experienced and caring nurses there, They all called her mom.
It was starting to get late and we wanted to get out of Columbus before it got dark, so we decided to leave. Well we left and lets just say it was a real trip. We got lost and ended up in a bad part of town. I was scared to death! I thought we would never find 70 west. We drove for about an hour, and finally found it and we got out of there. I was going to have to do some studying on the map to find a better way down there and a better way to get out of Columbus. The next day we stayed at home, Tabbie needed to get some rest after all it was a real long day. We called the hospital in the morning and at night just to make sure Jordan was doing ok. He was still very sick and had a very long way to go, but every minute he survived had to mean someone was looking out for him. That night I went to mom and dads house to look at the map, they were going to take us down on Saturday so dad was finding a better way to go. Saturday we left for Columbus, Tabbie wasn't feeling real good, she thought she had a fever. When we got there she decided to wear a mask, just in case. They got all the ventilator tubing changed and Jordan looked a lot better, she said they had a time getting all the tape off his face, Sharon said you have to be real careful because their skin will tear just like paper because it is so thin. Tabbie had left the unit because she was feeling worse, so I took mom in to see her new grandson. All I really remember her saying was, "well he's tiny". Dr. Sequin was there that day and he came over to talk with me. He told me of all the possible complications and a lot of the things that Dr. Romero had told me in Lima. He was real nice, but he seemed real shy. He told us that there was a possibility of Jordan having a brain bleed, very common in very small preemie's. He said it would cause cerebral palsy effects. That scared me to death, all this other stuff to worry about, now this. We started to learn some new terms while we was there too. Jordan was born with R.D.S. which is Respiratory Distress Syndrome . He also had B.P.D. which is Bronchial Pulmonary Displasia (lung disease) from his lungs being under developed. The doctor also told us that sometimes the valve between the heart and lungs don't close like its supposed to, but they had medicine to give them for it that has worked real well. Again we took a lot of pictures and video that day. Dad had said at one time that day that Jordan looked like a pop can with legs. Kind of an odd description of him, but that's about how big he was. Dad set out in the waiting room most of the day trying to figure out how to get home, which I didn't care as long as he found a good way to get on 70 west. Tabbie was really staring to feel bad so we decided to go home for the day. We got home about 8:00 that night. After going to bed Tabbie woke me up about 1:00 and she was burning up, so I called her mom and they took us to the hospital. Well Tabbie wasn't too happy but they admitted her. She had an infection in her uterus. Probably from not taking it easy like they told her.......She was not a real model patient while she was in there, she just wanted to go home. I understood why she was so unruly, after all it seemed like we had been there the last month straight. And I have to admit I was getting pretty sick of the hospital scene too. I just wanted her to get better and for Jordan to get big and healthy and to come home so we could stop living our life at the hospital.
Tabbie was in the hospital for the next couple days so we never made it down to see Jordan. We called twice a day and we were informed that Jordan had some type of infection. We went down there and decided to stay at the Ronald McDonald house. It was cheap to stay there, but little did we know that you had to spend the whole morning doing your assigned chores. We had to wash our sheets and towels, clean the kitchen area and empty the garbage before we could even go to the hospital. Well I don't know about the other people staying there, but I was there to be with my son, not to do housework... The next couple weeks kind of had there ups and downs, his weight was finally starting to go up a bit but nothing like I wanted. They told us that they didn't want him to gain to fast though. They started to give him half of a c.c. of milk at first, but after a couple of days they had to stop it because he was showing signs of an infection, and they wanted to make sure that it wasn't in his intestines. If it gets in the intestines that young, it could slowly kill off the intestines and that would mean surgery. So we just waited and prayed that it wasn't nothing to serious.
On July 2nd 1994 we went to the hospital as usual, but it became a very special day for Tabbie. She finally got to hold Jordan for the first time. They worked for about 5 minutes getting him ready for her, making sure his hat was on and making sure all the wires and tubes were taped to Tabbie so they wouldn't move. They said that they would let her hold him as long as he tolerated it, usually about 5 or 10 minutes they said. Well he must of wanted to be held because she held him for about 30 minutes. I never told any one but I think Tabbie knew that I was extremely jealous that I didn't get to hold him that day. But I suppose it was for the best. At least I got some real good pictures and video of her holding him. They finally got rid of the one infection but Jordan now had a staff infection, yeast infection and klepsiella,(sp) another real bad infection. He was moved to isolation and we had to start wearing gloves to touch him. Jordan also had dropped in weight to 1 lb. 1 oz. I was really starting to get worried. Any of the infections he had could end it all. We were also told that Jordan had a Grade 4 brain bleed, which was the worse. Something else to worry about. How bad would it be? They said it would effect his left side and his speech. I figured that we would just have to deal with the problems when they happened, there was really no reason to dwell on what might happen. Now they just had to deal with trying to get rid of Jordans infections, and finally they managed to get rid of them. Then it became the weight issue and pulse and oxygen level drops. We now had a new Doctor, "they change off every month". Dr. Rosenburg was Jordans new doctor. She was great, she would talk with you a little more down to earth (not medical lingo), than Dr. Sequin. We were really starting to get close to Sharon and would look forward to seeing her because she always told us like it was, no sugar coating anything. We were told one time that Sharon was a great nurse, she knew just how far to push these little babies and she would do it for their own good. So we really trusted her judgement on things. "What a great person she was"!!!
July 7th 1994 we were getting pretty close to leaving, and Sharon said if we was willing to wait around till she got back from supper that she would let me hold Jordan. Well, Sharon always knew we liked to get out of Columbus before dark, but there was no way I was leaving early that night so we waited around. I was so nervous thinking about holding him, because he was just so tiny. Well all the nerves and fear left the second that she put him in my arms. I just couldn't believe it.... It was the greatest feeling I think I ever had. I sat there just looking at him, I couldn't hardly take my eyes off him. I held him for quite a while but not really long enough, but he needed to get back in the isolette. I could have held him all night....... The rest of the month was going pretty good, no major problems. A lot of work trying to get the ventilator and oxygen settings down. It was going real good as far as the settings they were gradually getting them down, and he was gaining weight at a steady rate. They told us a few times the weight may not be accurate because he may be retaining water. So they put him on Lacix a drug for water retention and it really didn't change things that much, then they changed to Diuril, the same kind of drug just stronger. Well his weight gain stayed about the same. They told us about 30 grams per day was normal and Jordan was gaining up to 95 grams. " I think he just wanted to hurry and come home". The last week of July, Jordan had to have broviac surgery. They was having problems getting I.V. lines in so they had to surgically put them in. We didn't get to spend much time with him that day.
Jordans 2 month birthday his weight was up to 3 lb. 11 oz. A long way from 1 lb. 9 oz. He was still having a lot of saturation drops, which they couldn't figure out. I was starting to get worried about it because he was on 100% oxygen just to keep the level up and I was afraid he wouldn't get off the ventilator. In August he also started to have more thorough eye exams. They were worried about R.O.P. We talked to the eye doctors assistant Rae Fellows about it and what they may do. She explained Retinopothy to us and the way they treat it. But she told us for now everything looked good. The next week Dr. Bremer, the eye doctor, told us that Jordan had signs of retinopothy and he was starting to get "clock hours". Which is abnormal blood vessel growth. They would keep an eye on it and see what happens. The ventilator settings by the end of the month had gotten down pretty low and we were looking forward to getting him off of it. Dr. Menke who was the doctor for August asked us one day while passing through, " How is care bear doing"? (That was his nickname for him). We told him he was about to pull the ventilator out a couple of times. He told us we may just let him go and see what he does....Well I thought he was joking but, he was very much serious, because August 26th 1994 Jordan had enough and extubated himself. He had enough and that was that. He did real good on his own too. He was still on oxygen but no more ventilator. The only drawback was, if he needed surgery for his eyes he would have to go back on the vent and Sharon said sometimes its just as hard to get them off of it the second time. We just hoped that he wouldn't need surgery. Since the ventilator was gone, he could now learn how to suck on a nipple. Luckily he took right to it.
Unfortunately 5 days later Jordan would have to have laser surgery on his eyes. It was real hard to see him go off to surgery but it had to be done. He came through the surgery real good and other than the people in surgery not putting in the right size vent tube in, everything went ok. He came off the vent in 4 days. Jordan was also on an R.O.P. study for the next 2 weeks. They was doing this nationally to see if the effects of high oxygen levels were to blame for retinopathy. So he was hooked up to a laptop computer for two weeks collecting information. Jordan was really starting to do great, he was doing well off the vent and gaining weight real good. About 5 days after coming off the vent Tabbie called to check on him and we kind of got a shock. They informed us that Jordan was not there..Tabbie said well where is he? They said that he had been promoted to the Newborn Development Unit. It was great, he finally was out of intensive care. Now we would be able to start feeding him with a bottle and holding him more often. We would be able to get him in and out of bed by ourselves. Our first trip back after he got moved to the N.D.U. Tabbie got to feed him. Well It really didn't go to well.... The nurse forgot to tell her that there was little tricks to feeding, like squeezing on his cheeks and massaging under his chin, to keep him sucking. So we got all the little tricks figured out and it started to go a lot better. We also enjoyed not having to get a nurse to get him out of bed. We was now having a blast with him. He was mobile and responding to us. He also was finally able to wear P.J.'s. We used to race to the unit to get there first,(I always won). Think that Tabbie was letting me win though. About the second week of September we were literally floored by our phone call one morning, Sharon said she hoped she would have him ready to go home within 2 weeks. Well we hoped but really never thought it would be that soon. We was on top of the world. We had to buy a car seat because he would have to pass a car seat test before he could leave the hospital. We asked them how long they would test him, Sharon said he would have to sit in it for 3 hours without having any problems, since that was how long it took to get home.
We was getting ready for him coming home, his room was getting ready and we would have to get set up for oxygen and a monitor company. The hospital did a good job arranging those things for us. Jordan was eating better everyday, and things were looking real good. We had to take parenting classes, CPR classes, learn how to give aerosol's, and learn about his other medication's he would be on. On September 24th, we headed for the hospital to stay with him for the weekend in the family room. They make all parents do it before they can come home, its to make sure that you can give medications and feedings. The nurses only help if really needed. The first night I was real nervous but, I was determined..... We decided to take shifts since he needed fed and medications every 3 hours. Tabbie took the first shift and I would take the second. It went real good, Bev Carter one of our nurses was a blast, she set up the room for us like a hotel. We was doing real good at everything and was looking forward to Monday morning. But on the other hand we would be saying good bye to a lot of good, new friends that we would miss. Sunday came without any problems, and it was seeming more realistic. Soon we would have Jordan home with us......
Monday morning September 26th, 1994. We was watching for the shift change because we knew that Sharon would be there, and it would be a hard day for us to say goodbye. We saw her come in and it seemed like she was keeping herself busy on the floor, almost like she was ignoring us at first but we knew she wasn't. She was getting things ready for us to go. She finally came in and asked us how things went through the weekend, and we told her we thought we did good. Things were kind of slow motion that day, seemed like everything was just taking forever. I had to go down to the pharmacy to get his medications for home, and that took forever. Janet and Richard showed up in early afternoon to pick us up. We loaded some things up in the car but still had to wait for the Doctor to dismiss him. The closer it got to going home, you could tell it was going to be hard on Sharon, after all Jordan was her baby for three and a half months. Sharons daughter came in to see him before he left, she said that Jordan had been the topic of conversation the last three months at home. Some other nurses came in to see him too. I had made a quilt some time before Jordan was born and finished it up those last 2 weeks to give to Sharon as a gift of thanks. I gave it to her and she really liked it. She also gave Jordan a little stuffed animal, that she sprayed with her perfume, so he would remember her. Julie, Jordans' associate nurse came down to say goodbye. We got Sharon and Julie on video saying their goodbye's to Jordan. Sharon was starting to cry. We got Jordan all bundled up in his car seat, with oxygen, apnea monitor and headed out. It was kind of a dreary day, kind of cool and humid. Kind of looked like rain. Sharon carried him out of the hospital, to the car. We got all loaded up and said goodbye one more time and pulled out. I turned around to see Sharon just standing there watching and waving. It was very hard leaving with him, because I knew she had grown very attached to him. Which who could blame her, he was her "son" for 3 1/2 months. Monday, September 26th, 1994 we arrived at home with Jordan Tyler Bair, our son........... Age 3 months and 20 days old, weighing 5lbs. 11 oz. This date is very special for 2 reasons. First, it was the day Jordan came home and second, it was also his original due date which no one in Columbus knew...... Quite a coincidence I thought!!!!!
In our three and a half months there, we met some very special nurses, doctors, therapists, and many other people that we will never forget. They deserve many, many, many thanks, and we will never be able to pay them back for all they done for us................................................All the information in this story is, as we remember it. There was a lot of bad days, so some of the terms, spelling, may be wrong. And this story is very condensed. As anyone knows this long in a hospital, you could write forever.