Part Two of “34 Years Ago Today” ~ if you did not read the previous post and want to start at the beginning of the story click here.
After finally getting settled into my room I slept for about four hours. I then got up and walked down to the nursery to check on Royce. He was so tiny they had him in an incubator. I could not hold him, but oh how my arms ached to just do that. And then I wondered what was going on with Jamie (James was too formal for such a little guy and I didn’t want Big Ron/Little Ron and I hate the name Ronnie so my mom suggested Jamie and it has stuck. And I think it fits him just perfectly!). After watching Royce and stroking his skin for a little while I went back to my room and cried. I was so worried about the boys. Jamie was born so sick and Royce seemed okay. I had a few visitors – Pastor Adrian Hall, my mom, sister, and of course Ron was there as often as could be.
He shared with me what had happened at the neonatal unit once Jamie was settled in there. Ron was touching Jamie and he grasped his daddy’s finger. Ron has talked often about that first touch and Jamie’s response. I think it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship that Father and Son have.
About 3:00 p.m. (Monday 8/8) the doctor came into my room and told Ron and I that Royce was struggling and needed to be transported to the neonatal unit too. All I remember is Ron holding me and we both crying into each others arms. Our babies were so little, 8 weeks early and so very sick. About 8 p.m. the doctor came back into my room and wanted to talk with Ron & I. He said the situation was serious. He said 5 years earlier and who knows if even one of them would have been born alive. 10 years before neither of them would have born alive. I heard what he was talking about but I just kept thinking…please tell me they will be okay, they just have to be okay. He then said he would do his damndest to give us one baby to take home BUT the next 48 to 72 hours were going to be the hard ones. We called our pastor and he came back to the hospital. We prayed. He put it out on the prayer chain – to lift those little boys up for healing and for me to not be too stressed being separated from Ron, from the boys.
Tuesday was mostly a blur. The one thing that I remember from that day was the interactions with the lady from the business office about naming our boys. We had six names picked out – 2 for two girls, 1 boy & 1 girl and then the boys names and the order the boys would be named. We had to wait for the 2nd birth to know the name of the first!!! Royce Alan was named for one of my best friends from high school…Royce Jones. He encouraged me to attend Young Life about a month before I graduated from high school and that is where I accepted the Lord as my savior! Thank you Royce for facilitating that life changing moment in my life. Ron had said if we had two boys he wanted to name one of them after him…we laugh that he had no ego problem!!! So that is how the boys were named. Well this gal came into my room and said we needed to complete the birth certificates. Twin A – Royce Alan (spelled A-L-A-N) first argument with the lady – the spelling of Alan. Twin B – Ronald James, Jr. You would have thought I said name him the devil or something. She started saying no, twin A should be the junior, no twin B is the junior. After about 20 minutes of arguing and my crying I yelled her right out of my room. About two hours later the doctor came in and asked what was wrong…I was still peeved and letting everyone who came into my room how much that lady was wrong. Ron and I told the doctor and he said he would be right back…that same lady came back in along with the doctor and she filled out their birth certificates the way we wanted. I don’t think she said five words to either of us the whole time which was just fine for me.
Ron spent his time on Tuesday going back and forth to the neonatal unit and seeing me in the hospital. Late Tuesday night he went to the neonatal unit and got worried. Jamie was no longer on the Ohio Open Bed and in an incubator. He thought Jamie was worse – so not the truth. Jamie was doing better, no more on Oxygen, breathing on his own and all his blood tests were coming back with good numbers. Thank you Lord for healing his little body. He wasn’t out of the woods but it was a good sign.
Royce was on an Ohio Open Bed – he had tubes coming out of his little foot, his head and one arm. And Oxygen tube in his nose. He was a very sick baby. Each time Ron went to the neonatal unit he prayed over both babies. And he hated to leave them but he felt he should be with me as well. Tuesday was a very long day.
Wednesday morning I begged the doctor to release me. I did not have a cesarean and I was feeling okay, just tired and a little sore, after all I gave birth to both of them vaginally with no meds – they didn’t want to give me medication because it would affect the babies. After much pleading and promising to go right home the doctor let me leave (little white lie #2).
As soon as we got out to the truck I told Ron he had better take me to the hospital to see the boys. Ron said “you promised the doctor you would go home.” “I Know, but I have to see them!!!” “Please!!!” and 35 years later he still doesn’t deny me anything I want. We went to the hospital. We had to gown up when we got there. It seemed to take forever and then finally we were in the neonatal unit. And then there they were. Jamie was in a diaper, in the incubator…he looked so tiny and that diaper was so big on him (they didn’t have preemie diapers then). And then we went to see Royce – in comparison he was so big compared to Jamie. The difference of 1 1/4″ in length and about 8 ounces really made a big difference. The boys were fraternal twins – Royce was dark haired and chubby, Jamie was so blond he looked almost bald and so long and skinny!!!
We stayed in the neonatal unit for about an hour and then the nurses suggested that Ron take me home, I was having a hard time staying on my feet and not wobbling. I think they were afraid that I was going to pass out on them.
So we went home early Wednesday afternoon.
**Stay tuned for part three**