Jackson turned 8 on February 7. I really can’t believe that he is 8, seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the NICU of Sunrise hospital in Las Vegas, NV, praying that my 4lb baby, would see and hear and breathe and….live. It’s amazing how God protects you in situations like that, situations that could be absolutely terrifying. I had no idea, yeah, don’t judge me, but truly, I had no idea the complications that could arise from having a baby 2 months early. I just figured, hey, I’m impatient, so is he, let’s get this show on the road. He must be “cooked” enough…on with it!
Our lives are busy, at 31, I was on top of the world, traveling the world, booking business left and right, no end in sight. As I was running through a hotel to meet a client in the busiest time of my industry, a man turned to me and said, you shouldn’t be running with a baby inside of you, slow down and take a breath. I smiled as always, said, hey thanks mister and kept on running…My client greeted me with an OMG you look like shit greeting. Thanks, one eyebrow raised? She said, you have it all under control, go home and get off your feet. No way, not gonna do it…because I was the BEST. That night in a sheer panic, Chris drove pensively to the ER, where I would remain on bed rest for the next 3 weeks. Let it be known, I hate Drs., I will not under most circumstances, go to the Dr. unless my brains are coming out of my head…but I was greeted by an Angel, truly the sweetest nurse ever. She took great care of me, assured me that being upside down on my head for 5 days was going to be REALLY fun. It sucked, but she was still, really sweet!
The morning, Feb 6, 2001, I begged and pleaded with my darling South African Dr to let me get out of bed and take a shower…he finally relented and said in his sexy accent (hey, I’ve been couped up in this shitty hospital for 2 weeks and 6 days, I’m allowed to think he is sexy!) shower…bed…that’s it. Ok, I took a shower, you have no idea how great it was…then got back in bed, but I did figure out how to McGuyver the hairdryer from the bathroom to the bed so I could dry my hair-straight! If not, I’m tellin’ you, it’s not pretty. Approximately 12 hrs later, and two months early, I gave birth, but by God my hair looked damn good. I didn’t get to see Jackson for a lot of hours. When they finally showed him to me, I was so drugged up and exhausted that they could have handed me a guinea pig, I had no idea what had just happened. And had no idea what was going to happen…
Five weeks of sitting in a NICU is a hell of a long time. Back and forth from the house, everyday and every night, I almost can’t remember it, except for feeling really robotic. I have a certain empathy for all kinds of mothers. I have to say, about the worst feeling in the world, is leaving a hospital without your baby and leaving your baby in a incubator with people you don’t know, yeah their nurses, but truly, you don’t know them. And going home to try and sleep, but really tossing all night to return in the morning with baited breath, praying that he is still ok. We had an interesting 5 weeks, Jax and I were front page of the Las Vegas Sun, starring in an article about preemies and mother’s who smoked! Yeah, apparantely still drugged when I agreed to that. We witnessed so many things and people and stories…although Sunrise Hospital has one of the best NICU’s in the country, it is still a seedy hospital that is a block off the strip. Not ideal. While we were there, babies died and we mourned w/ the parents, babies lost their breath and their eyesight and hearing…it was a tramatic five weeks. But our little dude, he did just fine.
And amazingly, 8 years later, he is healthy, happy, smart, talented, athletic and you would never know he was a preemie. But before he was even here and then when he arrived, all 4 lbs of him, shaped me into the person I am today. Eight years of teaching me, to slow down, breathe…and appreciate how God protects us from situations that can be absolutely terrifying. He might be the same angel that was in my hospital room, day and night for 3 weeks, except when his horns poke out and then I know….he is mine…and I love him all the same!