If my Mom's OB/GYN had had his way, I would have been one of them.
My mother had a difficult pregnancy; and that, plus the fact that she's blind (because of course no blind parent has ever successfully raised a child to adulthood...sarcasm note!), led her "Catholic" OB/GYN to say:
We can solve this problem real quick.
My mom said "no." I've heard different versions of the story from my parents; my mom's version is that my Dad, who's only 5'6", took the doctor outside, picked him up, and threatened him severely if he ever said those words in front of Mom again.
A couple of days later, the doctor said that I wasn't getting enough oxygen and that he'd have to do an emergency C-section. My mother wonders if he was hoping I would conveniently die, or something. I'll never know.
I gave a nice loud yell as soon as oxygen met my little lungs, to the astonishment of the doc; at 27 weeks, my lungs weren't supposed to have the capacity for screaming. But I screamed. "Hello, world!" I was a scrawny little thing: 1 pound, 8.5 ounces; 13 inches long. My aunt jokingly referred to me as "Six Sticks of Butter."
They gave me a 40% chance of making it either 24 or 48 hours. I had heart surgery two days later, on May 29, 1989, to correct "Patent ductus arteriosus," a condition in which a valve of my heart didn't close properly. I have a staple in my heart...it's still there; you can see it on X-Rays...and the nice long scar on my back also provides evidence. I went to the dentist the other day and shocked them by not only knowing that I had heart surgery at the ripe old age of two days, but knowing why I had had heart surgery.
So, I guess I owe some people some big "Thank-You's":
- My parents, for being pro-life;
- The doctors and nurses at Kosair Children's NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) who took care of me (I was there until August 1989...it took me 3 months to hit the magic number of 5 pounds);
- My aunt who came and stayed with my parents for several months to help take care of me (I was too tiny to even finish a 4-ounce bottle, and I had to eat every two hours, which meant that when I napped, Mom napped; when I was not napping, Mom was not napping either.
- and Our Blessed Lord for the gift of life. If He wanted me to make it longer than 48 hours, I guess there's a reason.
God Love y'all!