It was mid November and already very cold in England. We blew smoke out as we breathed, it hit us in the faces like icicles as we surged forward relentlessly. Both of us were tired after a very long 16 hours, tension and stress wearying us as the hours wore on. But the adrenalin coursing through our veins kept us going. Eventually we reached our destination and our footsteps rang out on the steel stairway leading up to the apartment. Midway we paused….my son-in-law and I. We looked across the landscape as we caught our breath and silently watched the the sun rising over London. It was going to be a beautiful day after all. We could not contain our elation, excitement and relief that it was finally over. We needed sleep but we were both buzzing, gratitude overflowing from our hearts. It was his birthday and he had just cut the umbilical cord to his perfect 30th birthday gift. His joy ran over there on that stairway and he turned to me in the golden glow of that London sunrise and said to me “Moo, I could become a midwife at this moment and do this for the rest of my life!” Amazing words for me, retired midwife, to hear this man uttering, this chef with big rough hands, full of burns from gas fires, used to wielding a chefs knife and cleaver! Forever changed because they had held his tiny newborn son. I smiled as my heart and soul resonated with what he was saying and the reason for him saying it. How very precious an experience it had been for me to be allowed to be a part of my firstborns first labour ward experience, my hands the very first to welcome this new life, to become the light of my life, into the cold harsh world. Little did we know what was in store for us then.
When he was just a couple of weeks old one night, at around 2am, I heard my daughter struggling to get Ty to sleep so I got up and went through to the lounge to help her. She handed the colicky baby to me to settle while she went off to the kitchen to get a drink. As I held him he settled and fell asleep. I got up off the couch to place him in his crib and as I looked down at him he went limp and started turning a dusky dark grey colour. I realized immediately that he wasn’t breathing and began resuscitating him as my daughter came back into the lounge. Wailing sirens split the still night air as the angels of mercy came to carry him away back to the hospital where he was born just weeks earlier. But he was breathing fine at that stage and they could find nothing wrong with him. So they sent him home. The same thing happened again the next night and once again he was resuscitated and rushed to hospital where he spent two weeks being monitored 24 hours a day. Many apnea attacks followed and we got more and more concerned for his survival. After having had every conceivable test carried out on his tiny body, every inch of his hands and feet punctured for blood test after blood test, lumbar punctures, cardiac tests, CAT scans……they discovered that Ty was suffering from reflux. Reflux so brutal that the burning took his breath clean away …Once on the correct medication he was sent home again with an apnea mattress and instructions on how to feed and care for him. He took his medication for 18 months and then we started weaning him off it.
He’s a wonderfully caring and compassionate brother….and joker!
My beautiful boy – the light of my life – we share such a special bond and I thank God I was there that night……
earlier tonight we celebrated his life and gave thanks for the wonderful 8 years that he has spent with us.
We are so blessed to have him in our lives!
Happy Birthday Damon and Tyler! You are both very precious and loved!
We pray that God will bless you both richly in the year ahead and hold you always in his infinite care!