Tuesday, August 21, 2012

6 years ago today

Six years ago today. I can still smell the sterile hospital room. It was a day we remember for our entire life. 

  If you are tuning in for the very first time, this little one is our son. 
                                      Hudson Sawyer

 Lived among us for three months until this day six years ago he took his last breath in my arms.  Hudson was born with major defects of his heart you may read about him here .

  Six years ago and I am still surprised that around this time of the year  I am still aching most times I do not even make the connection of why my heart hurts this much around this time. You find my crying a lot around this time, you find me trying to 1.make myself so busy 2. wanting to be alone.  Then I remember this day.

 No one prepares you for the moment where you watch as the life goes from a person. Especially when that little person is yours.  

  I am not sure if I have ever written about that day and the specifics. If you want to come along read. on.  Warning you may cry once or twice.

   The Beginning of August 2006 we were preparing to bring Hudson home. We had nurses to interview, machines on order. I had even taken classes from Nurses on how to handle emergency situations. Hudson would be on 24 hour watch. He was coming home but it was not for hospice. This would be our lives. Everywhere we went we would have an oxygen tank with us. I believe we had even spoken about getting a new van to handle the machinery we would travel with when he came with us.  We could not be more excited for the task. I mean really this little boy would have put you over the edge with cuteness.  Chief and I could not be more excited to begin the jouney. We knew it would be hard, but   we would have our boy! In perepation to have our son, he needed one last surgery that would insert a GJ tube. 
                          Its so we can feed him. (See above) It gets inserted into the stomach. Easy peasy they do this as a routine surgery. Hudson has had so many surgeries this one was cake. So we even left a few hours after the surgery back home to enjoy a weekend with the little boys who needed back to home instead of running up and down the isle of the Seattle Children's Hospital.  
     One day later we were called in the late night "Mr. and Mrs. Teabo this is Dr. ____( I do not even remember that detail her voice was so serious my heart was already in my throat. ) Hudson is very very sick. We did and X-Ray and it seems that the GJ tube has punctured a whole in his in his stomach and the milk we have been feeding him has filled his body instead of draining...we are doing our best!" and then these words that dropped like rocks to an already hurting heart.  "He may not make it, you need to come now!"  We called Grandma to come see the boys. I remember being in my closet looking for my clothes, I could not fathom thoughts. We had our lives split. Many of our belongings were home and a good amount was at the Ronald McDonald House one hour away ,across from the Children's Hosptial. I was shaking, I fell to my knees and pounded the floor in my closet. At one point I remember Yelling "Don't take him. don't please. I promise whatever you want, don't take my baby boy!''   
  Chief came in lifted me up and we greeted Grandma in the driveway. We exchanged glances I could tell she was sobbing on her way over. I remember wishing our Van can fly.  We got the the hospital that evening the fastest we have ever gotten there. 
    We entered our son's room and there were many people in there. I ran to him his stomach was engorged and he was pasty white. 
    A Doctor came over to Chief and explained what they were doing. I watched as the brought what looked like an exacto knife cut his stomach right before my eyes, insert a tube and began to drain. Breast milk.  I had been pumping for our boy, and fought to have this as his major source.    They were preforming surgery right there with parents sitting and watching. It was surreal. BUT they were trying to save his life.  They emptied the liquid and got him stable. 
    We spent the night just on alert waiting to see what his out come would be in the morning.  He was stable. We were thinking we may have turned a corner. We had the brothers come up with us.  We visited and were so thrilled that he was out of the danger. We thought.    
   The very next morning his vitals were very alarming we were called into the room again. At this time our boys are asleep across the hospital and we called Aunty Amy to come be with them. She waited for them to wake up and took them with her to her house in Olympia as we waited to see what would happen.   It got worse.  They think this is it. I remember thinking 'yes, they thought this was it so many times. They thought he should not even have survived child birth, they thought he should have never been born!"   Our son was fading.  It was a sunny Seattle mid morning , I remember the tress from outside the window swaying there was a breeze outside. The Doctors surround us and said "Mom and dad this is it, it really is, he is fading fast" We removed him from all the tubes he had connected to him for his entire life.  I held him, the room got still, they gave us space. I wept over our son. My tears were hot.   Chief stroked his little head and tears flowed heavily from him too. 
    We looked at each other and then something I have never experienced in my entire life. There was this peace that come over my body this love, this inexplicable feeling of ease. As if everything was lifted from me I felt nothing but bliss over me with a warmth I felt loved and I felt secure and .  I wanted to stay in that feeling forever. I looked down at Huds and knew he was gone. The Doctor came over with her stethoscope placed it on his chest lifted it and placed it in another spot. She looked up at me and said "I am so sorry."

      At that moment I knew that feeling that I got Was Christ himself, I have not one doubt that he physically came into that room and scooped up our boy. That we wanted  to give me a small glimpse of the feeling Hudson would have for all eternity. The feeling I would one day get to have too.  I have never felt that again since. 
        Our pastor Jim happened to be in this hospital at the same moment with his son on a routine appointment. He came into our room and I told him it was too late. He held us. They took Hudson's body to patch him up and then brought him in the room to be cleaned. We told Pastor Jim he didn't have to be here. Who would want to see a dead baby?  He stayed he wanted to clean him up with us. We dressed him. I looked down and Huds. and I said "Finally perfect!' He was free of all the tubes and all the pain that laid ahead of him.  Free. Still to this day I wont forget Pastor Jim laying aside his comfort and being in this room with us, full of grief and pain. I mean seriously.
   They gave us the option to take his body outside. He had never seen the sun or even felt the warmth.  Chief and I walked outside in to a private balcony. Many many parents walked this balcony with their lost babies too. We wept. 
    It all happened so fast. It was time. Time to walk our son into the morgue  We got into an elevator and two nurses stood in front of us. I think they were protecting anyone from asking us questions. When we passed people in the halls a few smiled one person said "Cute" I knew they thought our baby was still alive. It killed me. 
    We were there. The long hallway got colder the closer we got. There was a woman with a coat waiting us.  She had what I know call the 'Sympathy smile" closed lips and halfway. This is the last time we got to hold our son.  I gave him to this woman . I wanted to say keep him covered its cold in there. Keep his hat on. That may have made me look crazy. I was thinking it. 
    We went back to his room, we didn't even exchange words. It was horrible. I had to throw away all 20, I counted, 20 bags of breast milk. No, they could not use it, I already asked. At this time my milk was coming in... and no baby. heart broken.

   We gathered all his belongings. Doctors were coming up to us tears in eyes. Nurses tears and hugs. We were greeted by councilors pamphlets of  "What to do now" Information. Information I just wanted to throw in the garbage.  I knew it was just protocol. We filled two red wagons with all his stuff and was escorted to our van. We passed the chapel room, I spent many days there on my knees. We passed Tullys coffee shop I would frequent there two times a day and many times fill the nurses cup.  Passed the gift shop, I remember folks bringing gifts for Hudson from there. It was time to leave and the place I wanted to leave so bad I wanted to stay. My son, I am leaving him there. 
   We drove home, everyone in traffic with some place to go. Why was the world still going my son just died.  
   We called the doctor that had performed the surgery. He has been doing this surgery for 26 years he never has had this happen. He was even in much turmoil. We watched him pace as he waited Hudson's fate at the hospital, hands over his head, he was in complete stress. It hit us, he felt responsible, he was awaiting  a lawsuit.  Chief called him at his home, he voice was quivered and very very nervous he was sorry to hear about Hudson looks like he called to check on him and found out the news. This will blow you away... Chief, called him to release him to say we forgave him and he need not worry we would not sue him.  He was shocked his voice was quivering and he said thank you so much.
  We pulled into the drive way. I ran into his room. The room we prepared for his arrival. Empty crib.   I wept there.   
     If that was not enough. 
  We had to go tell our sons, their baby brother was not coming home. Heart Break.one million pieces. Little A was almost 3, J-man was almost 6.  Then came the words from a six year old "But we prayed, why didn't God heal him?" 
    Toughest conversation ever.  The next days were filled with many many outpouring of love to us. We didn't feel alone. 
      The minutes became hours and hours days, the days weeks and months and years. 
   Here we are six years later. A Huge change in our family. We still remember him daily. Our boy. You are missed. 


Heckert's Highway said...

My heart weeps with you....
I love you sweet friend and can't wait to watch you dance in heaven with your boy.
Love always,

Mom2allofthem said...

I am sorry. I am praying. I relate. You are loved.


Kinsey Meredith Piscitelli said...

Natalie, I cried the whole way through. I can't even begin to imagine what that was and is like for you. I hope writing it out has brought some sort of healing you didn't know you needed. Love you!

Mom2allofthem said...

I am sorry. I am praying. I relate. You are loved.

lesliehas5 said...

Oh, Natalie, I have no words. Just a *hug* from me to you.

lesliehas5 said...

Oh, Natalie. I have no words. Just a *hug* from me to you.

Allie said...

Oh Natalie. I'm praying for you today.

joy said...

that was beautiful nat. simply beautiful.

Teabo Chica said...

So comforting to know you Remeber him along with us. Thanks everyone !

Jenny said...

I'm so sorry, Natalie. xoxo

Ellen Enright said...

Thank you for sharing. Tears rolled down my face the entire read. I am so sorry. Your family's strength is amazing. You have made it so clear in your blog that Jesus is alive in you.

Jen Gilday said...

Wiping away the tears right now, Natalie. I knew the basics of Hudson's story, but never those details. Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable.


Micah Couch said...

My prayers go out to you and the family!! I have no idea what Brandi and I would do if we ever lost Ethan. Its funny how the last 2 week's God has been bringing things into my life (like this one) and for some odd reason I keep coming back to the song by Matthew West - Strong Enough. God is the only one that can give us strength when we don't have any strength left!! Hang in the Teabo Tribe and be strong :-)

The Mobergs said...

When celebrate Taylor's birthday and regularly as we read your blog we continually are reminded how our lives intersected with yours over the next couple weeks. Natalie you were the first face we met as we first walked into Childrens, a friendly familiar face in the midst of the unknown, compassion and knowledge from someone in the midst of things as your led us to the ICU, and numerous conversations with both of you over the next 3 weeks as we both experienced the ups and downs of life within those walls. We are blessed that for those next 2 1/2 weeks God used both of you and your story to give us strength and hope and are encouraged to see how He continues to use it and you today.

With Love,

Kevin, Tabitha, and family

Kari Smith said...

Love you guys. I will never forget my time alone in the hospital room with Hudson - praying for him and you and wiping tears away (as I am now!). I remember how anxious I was getting every time an alarm was going off and no nurses seemed to be jumping to the rescue and wondered how you and Frank endured that feeling for so many weeks in that room. He won't be forgotten!

Teabo Chica said...

Kari...I Remeber too. Thank you so much for your kind words.

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Pray for sweet Abby Riggs!!