Sunday, September 15, 2002

Family Reunion 2002

This is me when I was only 5 months old. I'm not very happy in this picture.
My Uncle Zach and I sharing a moment together.
My very large extended family from my mom's side. Can you see me all the way in the back on the left side?

Saturday, May 4, 2002

Spirit To Spirit

by Kenneth G. Hutchins
Softness in the air heralds reverence for life newly come;
Tangible quiet surrounds a hundred tiny breaths of one,
Who hears whispers from the heart of his Mom.
Tender beeps from machines full of a life of their own
Reassure parent's of fragile life, so recently sown,
Who hears whispers from the heart of his Mom.
And angels come, to shelter him, with healing in their wings.
Heaven sent, to shepard and perserve him for all the things
That whispering comes from the heart of his Mom.
This is a sacred place, where life clings to slender threads,
Connecting us all to Heavenly homes and dreams unsaid,
That whispering comes from the heart of his Mom.
And heartfelt prayers welcome each moment in time,
That life's gift stays with him and become more refined,
By whisperings returned to the heart of his Mom.
Kenneth G. Hutchins - April 8, 2002
(Benjamin Orton's maternal grandfather)
(This poem was written while sitting in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. The newborn son of my daughter Becky had been taken there shortly after his birth due to life threatening conditions that we may never fully understand. It was such a privelage to witness the extraordinary levels of competent, compassionate care given by the nurses of this unit. They are the angels spoken of in this poem. The poem itself speaks to the spiritual communication that takes place between a mother and her child. We onlookers cannot see it, hear it or perhaps even understand how it happens - but I know it does. Heart to heart. Whatever may become of little Benjamin, his mother will always know his voice.)

Thursday, April 4, 2002

Welcome to Earth

Benjamin McKay Orton was born on April 4th, 2004. After about an hour or so after he was delivered, the pediatrician at the Laconia Hospital in NH noticed that Benjamin's head was small. He was also having myoclonic jerking and/0r seizures. He became very concerned for Ben's wellbeing and shipped him to Dartmouth so that they could better care for him. Steve went with him and I had to stay behind until I was stable enough to travel. My mom drove me up the next morning and this is the first time I got to see Ben. It was an overwhelming site. He was intubated, hooked up to an EEG (looking for seizure activity), IV's, heart monitor, blood pressure cuff and some other tubes and wires.
We were told that Benjamin would never come off the vent and he probably wouldn't live and so we had to prepare ourselves and children for that. After the 3rd day on the vent, Ben started breathing above it and was able to convince the dr.'s that he wanted to stick around for a little while.
Since we couldn't really dress Ben, we amused ourselves with many different hats. My favorite was the pumpkin one seen above.
It was such an emotional rollercoaster, those 11 days. My family and Steve's parent's were able to come and witness his father give him a name and a blessing. At that time we didn't think he would live and so they all flew in from all over the country. We were so grateful to be surrounded by such love and support.
When we took home Ben, we also took home a pulse oximeter to measure his blood oxygen levels, oxygen, a suction machine, and many other forms of equipment needed to take care of him. We were elated to bring home the 6th member of our family. He's been growing on love ever since.