not so fast

Last week, we celebrated Wells’ sixth birthday. People always say, “They grow up too fast.” I never understood how fast until Wells came along. I also didn’t realize how heartbreaking it would be. It is not that I don’t want him to grow up… of course I do. I just wish he would slow down a bit, that’s all. But, that would be unlike Wells… he was in a hurry from the beginning.

Wells was due in June. On a Saturday in late April, my parents came to help get the nursery ready. Throughout the day, something wasn’t “right,” but I didn’t mention it to anyone. My dad and SK put the baby bed and a few other things together, and then we all had takeout and watched “Walk the Line.” Before bed, I told Stevie I was worried, and he thought I should call my doctor. I did, and the on call nurse said I didn’t need to come in. We got ready for bed, and then my phone rang. She had changed her mind.

We didn’t take anything with us, because we expected to be home within a few hours. When we got to the hospital, they did a few tests and found that my amniotic fluid was leaking. They admitted me for monitoring, but said I would likely be on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy (five weeks). During the night or early morning, the fetal monitor started beeping like crazy. A nurse came in and moved it around, but it continued to beep. She called another nurse in, and they both tried to silence it. I noticed the concern in their eyes and the urgency of their actions. I was scared. Within minutes, they notified the doctor. After what seemed like an eternity, the doctor came in and told me he would be doing an emergency caesarean because Wells was in distress. I immediately began shaking uncontrollably. I feared for my unborn child.

I will not torture you with the details of the delivery, but it definitely was not what we had expected. No contractions. No pushing. No family at the hospital. No camera. No hair and makeup. When they pulled him out, he didn’t cry. I thought the worst. The uncontrollable shaking returned, and a nurse assured me he was ok. I caught a glimpse of him as they took him from the room.

Although he was early, Wells weighed 5 lbs., 10 oz. I guess we grow them big around here. He was taken to the NICU and put on a ventilator. SK called our family and, even though she lives an hour and a half away, my sister was the first person at the hospital. I still don’t know how she made it so quickly. I was in recovery and couldn’t see anyone, including Wells. All I wanted was to be taken to my room so I could see him. I didn’t realize he would not be there.

It was late evening, and I still had not seen or held Wells. I could not go to the NICU, and he could not come to my room. He was off the ventilator and doing well, but still hooked up to monitors. Steve got to go back and see him, and he promised that Wells was going to be okay. My parents and sister had been in to see him too, and my sister had taken pictures of him for me. It wasn’t the same. I needed to see my baby. When the night shift came on, I begged my nurse to let me get up so I could be wheeled to him. She said if I could handle the pain she wouldn’t stop me. At that point, I could handle anything but being away from my baby for another minute.

Wells was in the NICU for ten days. I was released after four. Leaving him at the hospital that day was so incredibly hard. I cried and cried, but looking back I feel guilty because so many babies never get to leave the hospital. The night before Wells was discharged, Steve and I spent the night in a hospital room with him. He had been on monitors up until that point, so I was extremely nervous about him being “unplugged.” We stayed awake all night watching him breathe and poking him if we couldn’t tell. The next morning we took our precious, healthy baby boy home. I fell asleep on the way.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t called or if the nurse hadn’t called me back. But then I realize that those things happened because that is the way God had it planned for us… for Wells. We were extremely blessed.

And now a few pictures of the birthday boy over the years…

Time really does fly. And a few from this year…


Happy birthday, Wells. You are so loved.

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  1. Oh my, I got a little teary eyed reading that. Hope he had the best 6th birthday!

  2. I remember his second birthday (the farm cake). He stuck his shoes in the cake… the crocs cake.