Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Year Ago...A Day of Visits and Getting To Know Our Son

Sleeping peacefully, Calvin at one day old.
Calvin on CPAP

Having been removed from CPAP, taken on Shane's Blackberry.

Calvin with his soother in the ICU.

I had called my grandmother to tell her about the births of the twins and arranged for her to come and visit. I knew she would be there sometime around three o'clock when visiting hours in the maternity ward started. Meanwhile, we had another consultation with Dr. S explaining what Calvin's condition was all about and the repairs he would need to fix his heart. We still had no surgery date or time and because it was a stat holiday, the hospital was on bare bones staff and we wouldn't know when his surgery would be until sometime the following day.

Shane spent most of the day going back and forth between the NICU and our room. He spent hours visiting with Calvin, holding him, snuggling him and singing to him. In between visits with our son, he would come back to the room and show me pictures taken on his Blackberry and tell me what was going on with him. He had been put on CPAP the previous evening and his breathing was improving enough that the doctors were preparing to remove him from it. It was good news. I had been highly distressed to see Calvin on the CPAP machine (constant positive air pressure), his little face almost obscured by the mask. All around, Calvin's condition was improving and it gave us hope that things would be alright. I couldn't wait to get my catheter out so that I could go down to the NICU to visit him. As it turned out, my aunt, uncle and grandmother arrived before that would happen and we spent a happy hour in the room. My grandmother who is ninety, took great joy in holding Georgia while we talked about the births and about what might happen with Calvin's surgery. Shane offered to take her down to the NICU to see Calvin and she went happily only to tell me that he was absolutely beautiful and that she would never forget him sucking away on the big green soother the nurses had given him. For once, it was a pleasant visit with my family although very short and they left shortly after seeing the babies.
Sometime around suppertime, I got my catheter out and Shane offered to take me down to the ICU where Calvin had been transferred. All cardiac patients are transferred to the ICU when they are stable to await surgery and to receive specialized care. When we got there, we went through the ritual of washing then disinfecting our hands and then Shane led me over to the bed where our son lay. He was awake and looking around and when the nurse asked me if I wanted to hold him, I eagerly said yes. It was such a beautiful experience, even in the ICU with all the monitors and alarms going off all the time and for a few moments, it was just Calvin and I. I couldn't get over how much hair he had, curly strawberry blonde hair tufting everywhere and the biggest blue eyes. His eyes were such a deep shade of blue that in all of our pictures, they look black. He was so beautiful. I just kept staring and staring at him, looking at all his little features. His nose was all Shane, same with his lips, but the shape of his eyes, his ears, his hands and feet were all me. All my babies have been blessed to get my Dad's hands, long slender fingers and just really beautiful hands. All too soon, it was time for me to go back. There is no special care nursery for situations like ours, so Georgia was being watched at the nurse's station. I kissed him several times and told him how much I loved him and needed him to be strong and told him I'd see him later. I was expecting to hear from the surgeon that night, so I knew I'd be back to see him again shortly.
The first two days of Calvin's life were fairly uneventful and gave both Shane and I good opportunity to spend time with our son. We were left hanging on a surgery date and time however and that had made me very nervous, not knowing when our son might be whisked away. Looking back, the day he was born, and the next two days are times I treasure. Days full of love and hope for our boy, spent snuggling and kissing him and telling him how much he was loved. He was so very, very loved.


  1. Oh Margaret your Calvin is absolutely beautiful. I am so glad I got to see him. I can imagine how joyous those two days must have been. Both Sunil and I can relive the 3 days we spent with Akul over and over again. They were full of pain but absolutely beautiful and unforgettable.

  2. He is just beautiful. He is so very loved, but so are you guys. *hugs*

  3. Margaret,
    Thanks so much for sharing these happy memories. Calvin is so beautiful.Love you.

  4. Calvin was, and is, so very loved.

    He's absolutely beautiful Margaret. He looks so gorgeous in these photographs, those deep blue eyes.

    I know that I have said this before, many times, but I am truly so, so sorry. I wish that you and Shane had your baby boy with you, that Lorelei had her little brother and that Georgia had her twin here with her. xo

  5. Such wonderful memories, Margaret. Calvin is so, so gorgeous. I am so glad that you had the time you did with him....

    Strength to you, friend.

  6. What a precious boy your Calvin is. I hope you are finding some peace and comfort during this difficult time. xx

  7. Calvin is such a beautiful boy. I am happy that you had this time to snuggle with him, but so wish for you that he was still here.

  8. I am so glad you are telling this story. I hope that it has given you a feeling of release. I can feel how much you loved your babies. I am so sorry you lost Calvin. He is very precious. Love Lindsay

  9. Calvin is just beautiful...
    it's so nice to hear happy memories.