Mom to Dillan Jesse P. Leombruno
September 17th, 1999
12:20 a.m. – 1:52 p.m.
Clifton Park, New York
It’s been a little over 11 years since my Son returned to Heaven. I decided to re-write his story….this time from a point farther down the road in my grief journey.
I was admitted to the Hospital on August 31,1999, at approx. 24 weeks pregnant. My membranes had been ruptured for at least 2 to 3 weeks. It was a slow and infrequent leak. I was placed on complete bed rest. I was only allowed up to go to the bathroom once an hour and shower once a day.During this time I prayed and prayed that my Baby would be ok. I was scared to death knowing what the statistics were. He had a good chance, that’s what the Neonatologist said anyway.
My morning routine was just lovely (most of you know how much of a morning person I am). The nurse would come in and strap that awful heart monitor and toco meter on. Boy the Baby hated that !! He would try to kick it off. The poor kid would kick himself into a fit of hiccups, everyday for 3 weeks straight. He hated anything touching my belly. He would try to kick my book off or what ever happened to be resting there.He mostly slept all day and was up all night, just like his Mommy. I really was unable to sleep at night anyway. It seemed like every time I drifted off, the nurse would be in to check my vitals. At night after everyone had left, my baby and I would have our “together” time. I would read or watch TV and I’d strap my headphones on my belly and play Classical music. He really seemed to enjoy it as this was the only time at night that he sat still. My Doctors were all wonderful and so were my Nurses. They were always stopping in to say Hi, I think they knew how discouraged I was becoming. Dr. Christine Herde….my Resident OB was a pure GOD send to me and my Family. She was such an amazingly gentle woman.
On September 15th, I started having contractions. I was put on I.V. meds and after several hours of awful contractions and heartbreak they stopped. Thank GOD. We got through another day. The longer he held on, the better chance he had. I was so relieved. Each day I became more and more aware of the fact that I was TOTALLY unprepared for the coming of this Child. I was scared to death. I watched all kinds of Labor and Delievery and NICU video tapes. The Doctors and Nurses wanted me to be prepared for the “BIG” day. Well I tell ya the more of those videos I watched….the more scared I got. It wasn’t fear for my Child’s life at this point…(ingorance is bliss)…I was scared of the physical pain. I would look my Mother in the eye and cry “Mom I don’t think I can do this, I’m not ready” Each moment that I spent alone in those 3 weeks were spent worrying and wondering. I worried about how I was going to raise this child on my own…How was I going to afford diapers and baby food (again I say Ignorance is bliss)?? If only I knew then what I know now……those 3 short weeks would have been spent bonding and enjoying each hiccup and roll over I felt.
On September 17th ….a Hurricane was raising hell down south and it’s pounding rain and winds were hitting Upsate New York. My Mother had left at 10 pm to go to work. At a little past 11 pm the contractions started once again. I waited hoping that I was exaggerating. I called the Nurse and told her what was going on and made a call to our friend Carol who only lived a few minutes away. I knew deep down that this was it…this baby was coming and there was no stopping him now.
At 12:00 am I was wheeled into a delivery room, where they proceeded to check the baby’s heart rate. I swear I thought I was in aerobics class the way they had me moving around. The baby’s heart rate had dropped dramatically and they were no longer sure if they were hearing my heart beat or his. By 12:10 am I was being wheeled into the operating room with absolutely NO clue as to what was going on. No one bothered to tell me…..GOD was I scared….no scared wasn’t the word…I was terrified. I remember them telling me to breathe and that it would be ok. I remember them putting that mask over my face and feeling as if I was going to suffocate right there. I remember crying so hard that I was shaking…..then nothing.
Approximately 2 or 3 hours later I woke up in the recovery room with NO idea that my Baby had been born. I had a pretty good guess though because when I looked up there was my Mother with this look on her face. I don’t think I could ever find the words to describe it. I remember her telling me that I had a little boy and that he was “fine”….from there out for a few hours it was all fuzz. All I wanted was to see my Little boy…..I didn’t care about stupid hospital regulations….I wanted my son and that was that. Finally at around 4 am I was able to see my precious little boy.
This part even now is hard for me to write…I never dreamed I would be saying “Goodbye” to my Son…so shortly after our first “Hello”.
I remember being so excited as they wheeled me (bed and all) to the NICU and right into the nursery. There he was a tiny little baby with all sorts of wires and tubes coming out from that plastic tent. I couldn’t believe that he was mine. I had made that beautiful little boy. His Nurse lifted the plastic tent and I reached over to touch him. What an amazing moment this was for me. I had a baby. I was a Mommy !! As I touched his little head, he opened his eyes and looked at me as if to say “Gee Mom you need a Tiktac !”. I told him I loved him and I left the NICU so that Him and I could get some rest. As far into that journey as I was…..I remember leaving him as being the hardest thing I had ever done. I wanted so badly to stay by his side. To watch him sleep. I don’t remember the few hours after that…….I barely remember my Nurse coming in to take my vitals.
At around noon a Nurse came in and told me they were going to take me to see my son. I cannot even explain the sheer terror that filled my body when I saw the look on her face. I pulled myself up into the wheelchair and tried to fight back tears as they wheeled me to the NICU. As I entered the Nursery, I noticed several Doctors and Nurses surrounding Dillan’s incubator. My heart dropped to the floor as I realised they were performing CPR. I am not sure if I actully yelled out loud but, I do remember screaming in my head “OH GOD NO PLEASE”. The Doctor came over to me, knelt beside my wheelchair and told me that my Baby was dying. There was nothing more that they could do for him. I remember the look on his face, it was awful. I remember the look on the Nurse’s face as she disconnected the bag, reattached his respirator and handed him to me. As I look back now……I don’t believe that there was a dry eye in that Nursery.
I held Dillan, rocked him, kissed him, touched his little fingers and his hair and begged him to move. I begged Him to prove those Doctors wrong. I pleaded with God to spare my precious baby. But that was not in the cards. At 1:52pm the Doctor listened for a heartbeat and then pronounced my Angel dead. There are no words to explain the flood of emotion, shock, terror, anger and pain that shot through my body at that moment. WHY ? Why did God send me this beautiful, amazing little boy only to take him away so soon ? My Mother and Our Friend Carol were able to spend time with him,kiss him and hold him. My Grandparents were also able to see him and hold him. As I look back….our time was too short. Four short hours to live an entire lifetime…..it hardly seems fair, even now.
On September 21, 1999 at 3pm….Dillan Jesse Peacock was buried at the Ballston Spa Village Cemetery. It was a cold, rainy day. It was only fitting as it was cold and raining in my heart. My whole entire world had ended 5 days before that. Almost all of Dillan’s Family was there….including his Father.”The Dance” by Garth Brooks was played graveside. I wanted my family, friends and the entire world to know that even though losing Dillan was pure hell….something I wish on NO ONE. I would do it all over again…..with out a second thought. Just to hold him, smell, kiss and feel him again.
I had never planned to say goodbye to Dillan, until my life was over. It’s only natural that parents out live their children…..In my case sadly I have out lived my precious Son. I will never know why…..But I will always be a Mom and I will always love my Angel Boy !! Nothing and no one can take that away from me. I can’t even explain how proud I am of Dillan. For only weighing 2 pounds, 2 ounces……….he fought with the courage and strength of a full grown man. My son lived outside of my womb for 14 hours in my arms for 4 of them but that short time will forever remain the most precious hours of my life.
Stacey blogs at http://www.thoughts.com/Whispersonwings
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org