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.