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My Story of Seth

Friday, February 27, 2009 , Posted by Liz at 8:40 AM

I have had to gear myself up to share this story, because it can still be kind of painful to think about, and remembering all the details brings forth feelings that are still like open wounds. What brings this story to mind, is that we just had our March of Dimes kickoff lunch yesterday, and I wanted to share with everyone not only my story, but why the March of Dimes is so special to me. I believe if it hadn't been for some of the research that was funded by March of Dimes, Seth might have had an even harder battle than he already has had. I will be posting more about our March of Dime's team (Seth's Supporters) later. I believe this story is important to share, and my hope is that if it brings help to even one Mom, then it is all worth it!

When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I didn't give the pregnancy much thought at all. I had experienced a pretty uneventful first pregnancy, and had given birth to a healthy 7 lb 9 oz baby boy (and I was quite young, at 18) with no complications. So, being a few years older, and healthy, I felt like there was no reason to be worried or concerned during this pregnancy. I went along through the first trimester, and everything was a by the book pregnancy, nothing abnormal. During the second trimester, still nothing out of the ordinary, I wasn't gaining a lot of weight, but that wasn't raising any red flags amongst myself, or my doctor.

One day, on August 17, 2000 to be exact, I had a 33 week OB appointment scheduled. As my doctor measured my stomach, a growing look of concern crossed his face. He told me that he wanted to perform an ultrasound, which immediately put me in "panic" mode. During the ultrasound, the doctor asked me if anyone had come with me to my appointment, (no one had) so after I told him no, he told me I should call my husband, because my baby was in danger. The doctor explained that I had little to no amniotic fluid left in my womb, and it appeared that my baby had stopped growing at around 27 weeks gestation. My doctor went on to say that if this baby wasn't delivered within the next couple of days, he wouldn't make it at all. I shakily called my husband, and my parents (who were on their way to take my sister to her first year of college in Tennessee, and thankfully hadn't made it but a couple of hours down the road.)

After some preliminary testing at our local hospital, (and receiving steroid shots, to help Seth's lungs mature) my doctor told us that the best option would be for me to be transferred to a larger hospital in Oklahoma City, (approximately 100 miles from where we live) where the staff would be more prepared to take care of Seth. After a speedy ambulance ride, we arrived at University Hospital (which is now called Oklahoma University Health and Sciences Center) and we were basically briefed on the situation by a neonatologist, and given the possible scenarios our unborn baby faced. At the time, I was in so much shock, that I didn't really know what to think. The ultrasound showed Seth measuring around 2 lbs-3lbs, which in the year 2000, had fairly good survival rates, but was still a scary thought!

Early the next morning, I was taken into surgery, where Seth Adam Williams was born, weighing 2 lbs 10 oz and 15 inches long. Initially, Seth was breathing on his own, with some oxygen, and we were basically facing a hospital stay that would allowing Seth to grow and become more healthy in an isolette. But as time went by, Seth wasn't growing as he should, and he went into respiratory distress at around five weeks of life. At that time he was intubated and put on a ventilator. After an ongoing cycle of Seth's continued breathing difficulties, he was eventually trached, due to an airway problem, so that he could go home without experiencing these problems. During his four month hospital stay in the N.I.C.U. we experienced so much that words can't describe, (feelings of anger, fear, sadness, and doubt,) but it was a time to trust God, because ultimately he was and is in control of everything.

During this extended hospital stay, we couldn't have made it without our Lord, but also without our loving family! Not only did everyone pull together to "help" us, but we had so many extended family members, and friends come to "stand" beside us and offer us anything they could give. I am so greatful to my Grandparents, for letting me basically live with them during the four month hospital stay, as well as my Grandma for keeping Tristan (my oldest son who was three at the time) while I spent most of my days at the hospital with Seth. Also thanks to Jason (my hubby) who spent so much time traveling to work, school, the hospital, and to see Tristan. Both my parents and my in-law's offered so much support and comfort during these difficult times as well, and I will be eternally thankful for all. I know it is only by the grace of God that we made it through!
I could write a book about all of the different situations and experiences we went through while Seth was a patient in the hospital, but I won't bore you with all of the details. As a Mother of three other "healthy" children, I can say that the experience I faced with Seth opened my eyes to so much that parents go through, and has given me so much empathy for special needs children, and families. All I can say is that Seth must have a purpose on this earth, because God surely wouldn't have allowed him to come back from the brink of death on more than one occasion, if not. Seth, who is now going on nine years old, (and fairly healthy at this point)has gone through multiple surgeries, therapies, medications, etc. but you know what, he is God's child and whatever time he is allowed to spend with us on here on earth is a blessing.

If you actually made it through this long post, then thanks for hearing me out, and I just wanted to share this story. Every time I talk about this chapter in my life, the healing gets a little more complete.

On a side note, March of Dimes will be featured in this Sunday evening's Extreme Home Makeover episode, (in which parents of a premature infant receive the home makeover) so check it out!

Currently have 15 comments:

  1. CaseyDeuce says:

    (((hugs)))

    Thank you for sharing!! You are one blessed lady and Seth is very lucky to have you as his awesome mom!!

  1. MaryAnne says:

    Thanks for sharing, I'm glad your story has a happy ending!

  1. ShaRhonda says:

    I remember it like yesterday. My little nephew has come so far. Thanks for writing your story, it is great to see how you have grown and healed over the last 8 years!

  1. Thank you for sharing Seth's story. You and He are amazingly strong.

  1. Megan says:

    XOXOXO
    Thanks! I had a different and difficult experience when Cayson was born, and he almost didn't survive when he was born. Luckily he is doing good now, but it was a hard journey!
    Seth seems like a sweet and happy spirit, and I know you feel lucky to have him in your life!

  1. wow, thanks for sharing friend!! i did not know that. what an amazing story:)

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  1. Thank you for sharing Seth's journey! It is evident that he is strong and a survivor and that you are a wonderful mom.

    My son was born a tad bit premature. He had the steroid shots, too, at 28 weeks when we thought we were going to have to deliver him. We're also going to be doing the March for Babies walk for the March of Dimes. Our walk is in April!

  1. Fergie says:

    Liz, this is such an inspirational story. I still have Seth's first March of Dimes poster (which I keep in my classroom- it traveled with me from Turner), and every year when it's time for the March of Dimes, I move it from its place on the wall, to my classroom door and post more information for the entire school to see. I miss getting to do the March with you guys (I think it's been two years since I've been able to come up), but I never stop thinking of you! Let me know if there's anything I can do to help! Love y'all!

  1. Liz says:

    Thank-you for sharing the story of Seth...He is one blessed little boy to have you as his mother!

  1. Jennifer says:

    Beautiful post. Fortunately for me, my preemies and myself were at a University hospital only 10 minutes from our home.

  1. Sarah Berry says:

    Thanks for sharing I am so glad that Seth is doing well! Thanks for bringing up the March of Dimes I have been wanting to do the walk this year!

  1. Wow. Thanks for sharing the story! I hope it helps you heal just a bit. That's hard to go through and also hard to see your child have to go through.

    I was just stopping by to say thanks for entering the Nicholas Landon giveaway on my blog!

  1. Reiza says:

    Lurker coming out of hiding.

    I had no idea about your story. My daughters were the ambassadors last year for our local MOD walk. We've been doing the walk for 5 years, but last year was their first year as ambassadors.

    I completely understand about healing as you tell the story. For the first year, I didn't want to talk about it or even think about it. Our daughters' first birthday was very difficult for me because I saw it as a reminder of almost losing them. Now, though, as time goes on, it's easier to celebrate their survival rather than dwelling on almost losing them.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story and support for the MOD.

  1. What an amazing testimony.
    Thanks for sharing your story.