"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Friday, June 25, 2010

Unwelcome news

Saturday, June 19, 2010 I went through my day as usually as was possible, despite the fact that Audra was in labor with her first child. Little Zane Able finally joined us in the evening and Audra finally had her long awaited blessing in her arms. The following the morning the Pediatrician said the baby’s heart beat was little off and he should be brought in for an echocardiogram on Friday, just to be sure.

The days of the week crept by, his parents learning about night feedings, diaper rash, bathing the slippery newborn, fixing bottles that don’t leak. Danny and I flew in on Thursday and took the little guy into our arms, applied kisses, snuggled his neck and smiled into his unfocused eyes. The weight of the unknown hovered in the background, unacknowledged, as we chatted with neighbors over the back fence and shared potato salad and burgers.

Today is Friday. Audra, Zack and Zane left for the doctor at nine o’clock. Danny and I waited and prayed, read books, talked, hoped, and waited for word. They didn’t come back until two. We were in the basement, hanging the new curtains, doing something, anything, to keep our minds off the fact that four and a half hours at the doctor’s office usually means there have been additional tests and perhaps specialists. When we walked up the stairs and looked at Audra’s eyes we knew that it was all that we had tried not to imagine it could be. Not just a single opening between chambers, but Tetralogy of Fallot; four defects that occur together and require multiple surgeries to repair.

He is six days old and weighs 8.9 pounds; beautiful, blonde and pink skinned; he grins in his sleep. His mother knows too much about pediatric medicine to stand calmly and explain. Her father took her into his arms and she wept on his shoulder. Zane slept curled beneath my chin and all that was within me breathed out a prayer of pleading to the merciful Creator of the Universe.

We wandered numbly through the rest of the afternoon; phone calls, explanations, tears, more calls, more tears, cookies and pop, sitting silent with unspeakable sadness pressing the backs of our eyes and spilling down our faces. Intellectually knowing and trusting what modern medicine can do while not allowing ourselves to think of all that could conceivably go wrong.

Zane slept, weary from the happenings of the morning.

By evening the cloud had lifted somewhat; we found that we could have a conversation; we ordered pizza. Zack ran the numbers for Audra, so she would and could stop fretting about the money. He adores her and he is her strong shoulder and everything she ever wanted.

They seem incredibly young to me. They are strong and smart and neither of them backs away from a fight.

I hope their son has their strength and courage; both families and all who love us and them are leaning into the wind for him. Tomorrow is another day.


Jamie said...

No words are coming to me as I am sharing in only a piece of the tears and sadness that you are feeling. Please know that I am praying for all of you to have the strength, guidance and hope that this journey will require.


b said...

Debra, this is a boy with a strong solid name. Even stronger more solid is the blood from his family that runs through him. You are a survivor. I know your daughter is - because you raised her. God's comfort and the peace that passes all understanding surround you and yours. I love you and will lift you up in prayer often.

Anonymous said...

Debra and family,

Gina, Emily and I just read the very saddening news. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all especially Audra, Zach, and baby Zane. We are here for whatever you might need, just let us know. When you feel up to it you should call my mom, I think that she would be a good sounding board for this. We are sending our prayers for strength and patience during this diffucult time. We know that through God all things are possible. We love you all.

The Hladik girls

Anonymous said...

Debra and family,

The girls called me on my way home from work with the news about Zane. My heart just sank, but then I came back after tears and fears and thought things are going to be fine. Technology has advanced so much, many things are so much better now and with each day that passes. Zane has a wonderful family. His mother and father are two very special people along with his grandparents aunts, uncles, cousins and all his family and friends. All of you, especially Audra, Zach and Zane are in our thoughts and prayers. If any of you need to talk I am here for you. I know that the waiting and the unknown are unbearable, but view it as an opportunity to rejoice in the miracle of Zane and all he will become.

With all our Love & Prayers
Bernard & Mary