The crisis counselor finally got me settled down enough by telling me how much my son needed me now. This was so true, once I calmed down my son started to settle down. The morphine started to kick in and once we gave him his pacifier he stopped crying. The emergency room doctor insisted that I hold him because they noticed that he was looking around and when he saw me they knew he wanted to be held. I was afraid I would hurt him more, but after some coaxing and reassurances I climb up on the examination table and held my son. He looked at me took a deep breath and finally settled into a drug induced sleep. He wanted his mama and I wanted to hold him. The peace of that moment allowed everyone to relax and take a breather.
This is the point that I finally was rational enough to ask "how bad?". I was told that about 12 percent of his body was burned and that they weren't sure how bad the burns were yet because burns are tricky and tend to develop over time. I was told that we had to be transferred to a burn unit because his burns were too serious to be treated at the hospital we were at. This is the second blessing that I didn't know about until later. You see only two hospitals in my area have burn units and only one of these hospitals are covered by my insurance. One bed opened up at the hospital that my insurance covered. We didn't know that then, we were told that one bed was available at HCMC and that we would need an ambulance escort to the hospital. We jumped at the bed and later found out that our insurance would of only have covered an ambulance ride that was ordered. Double blessings in the matter of minutes and we weren't ever aware of this until later.
So, here I was holding my son and riding for the first time in the back of an ambulance. As he is resting, I used those quiet moments to smooth his hair over his head and whisper prayers under my breath. Heavenly Father, please take the pain away. Please heal him. Help us get through this!
|This blanket still brings him comfort.|
|You can see the burns under his chin.|
When we were finally allowed to see our son we were anxious for an update from the doctor. As the doctor told us that he was stable and that with burns they develop and each day he would be assessed and treatment would be adjusted. His chin, chest, and stomach were burned for a total of about 12 percent of his body. At the time, I was still nursing my son and the hospital allowed nursing mothers to stay with their child 24/7. So I moved into the hospital and my son went from nursing twice a day with three solid meals to only nursing about 5-6 times a day. Our next blessing is that I was able to meet all his nutritional requirements within a day! Only a mother who nursed really gets this. You see, when an infant suffers from a burn they tend to regress and lose weight and this is very dangerous. We had to weigh his diapers after every change. Anyone who entered the room had to wear gowns and "foam" their hands. The nurses told me that it is normal to have feeding tubes for infants to make sure that they don't lose weight. Oh no, I don't think so! So, I started praying. Dear Lord, make my body produce enough milk. Make my son nurse with no problems. Every time my son nursed, I went from producing 3 ounces of milk to 5 ounces of milk and my son ate it all up!
Control? What is that? Everything so far happening in our lives is completely out of our hands, but in this mess up situation things are working out. Why is that? It's really simple, we have no control. Only God has the control. We think that everything we do and all the decisions we make are solely ours, but that's an illusion. I started to realize that the only way my family was going to come out of this tragic event was to let it all go. I had to let it go, because it was crushing me. I stayed with my son and I let my husband handle everything else. He wanted, no he needed to stay busy and I let him. He text messaged our family, friends, and church. He called our principals and made arrangements for the last couple of days of school. He packed a bag for me and brought my breast pump with bottles to the hospital. Every time he came to the hospital he would say "what else can I do?". I let him do what he needed to do and he let me do what I needed to do. And so started our eight days in the burn unit at HCMC.