Jaden's Journey: Laughing and Loving
At 4:00 am, August 12, 2003 my husband and I got into our car to make the hour-long trip to the hospital where I was scheduled to have a C-section. I couldn’t wait to see and hold my baby boy for the first time! We had picked out the name Jaden, which means “Jehovah has heard.” Looking back, the name I chose was quite ironic but I never had a clue at the time.
As we neared the hospital an overwhelming feeling of fear came over me that something was wrong. I became very worried. I told my husband to turn the car around and go back home! Of course, he did not do that and instead; he said what he could to alleviate my fears.
I was in the operating room when the nurse told me the anesthesiologist’s name. The moment she said the name, “Michandra”, I knew my fears were justified. I worked as a substitute teacher at the time and one of my coworkers told me about an anesthesiologist whose name was Michandra that almost killed her during her C-section. I wanted to scream, “Get me out of here!!!” But I knew I had to go through with this to have my baby. What else could I do at this point? She obviously was keeping her job, so she must be doing something right.
My husband was allowed to come into the room following my epidural. Because of my anxiety, I was given additional medication in my IV, which caused me to hallucinate. I was reaching for my husband’s face and talking out of my head! The anesthesiologist offered to give me additional medicine to help my situation but my husband emphatically said “No! You are killing my wife!” The medication had me so dizzy and out of it that I did not really know what was happening around me. The surgery continued Jaden was born; but he was not breathing and his fingers were clenched in fists. This was very alarming to say the least.
The doctors worked on Jaden until he started to breathe. However, they thought it would be best to life-flight him to Iowa City hospital for some tests. They brought him into my room so I could see him and say goodbye. I was unable to hold him but I held his precious little hand. My husband drove over to Iowa City hospital so he could be with Jaden. I prayed and prayed constantly that my son would survive this ordeal and be Okay.
When my husband arrived at the hospital he told them not to give Jaden any more anesthesia–but unfortunately, they did not listen. Jaden was given a light sedative in order to get an MRI. He died in the MRI tube for several minutes-his heart stopped. Two days later I joined my husband and Jaden at Iowa City Hospital. The doctor told us that Jaden would most likely have cerebral palsy and would probably never walk or talk. I was heartbroken and devastated. But I never, ever gave up hope.
Jaden was in the ICU for three long, arduous weeks. Finally, the day arrived that I was able to take my son home! From that day on I dedicated my life to caring for Jaden. I quit teaching school to have the time for my son. I researched everything I could to educate my self on Cerebral Palsy. I was determined that my son would walk and talk someday. I ordered all of Glen Doman’s books “How to Heal Your Brain Injured Child,” and began applying everything that I had learned. I prayed day and night that God would heal my son.
As time went on, I saw one miracle after another. Jaden began drinking from a bottle a few days after being released from the hospital. He started talking at 18 months-old! When he turned 2, he took his first step … Jehovah had listened!!! Jaden would go on to learn to read as well as accomplish many other things in his life. He enjoys playing on his hand-held DS and he has become a computer genius! We can truly see our son’s wonderful personality, his humor and wit! He tells jokes, he likes to make people laugh and feel good and he does and says the most interesting things just to get our reaction! We love it! I remember I was on the phone with Amy once and he could tell that she was feeling down. He said, “Mommy, I am going to sing Amy a song so that she can feel better.” When Amy heard him say that – she was so touched by his desire to make her feel good. It opened her eyes to the caring side of him that is just so sweet.
The journey with Jaden has not been easy but it has been well worth it! Jaden is always happy and smiling regardless of his disabilities. He makes everyone around him laugh. People cannot wait to see him in the store or on the street. He makes their day with his funny ways and the crazy things he says! He has brought so much love into our home and has taught us many valuable lessons!