It was a warm September day, even for Las Vegas.
I’d taken the day off so I could take my wife to her fetal monitoring appointment.
I’d missed all of them to that point because of work and I refused to miss that one.
We were a little more than a month from our due date. Our daughter was scheduled to arrive October 27th, but things changed that day.
I’d dropped our son off at Kindergarten and was able to sit with my wife for a few hours before we had to be at the appointment.
I don’t remember what we talked about, only that she looked beautiful.
We left the house a early because we didn’t want to be late and we both commented on how warm it was.
Once they hooked her up to the machine there was a flurry of activity around us, which got us in a panic.
We’d already had a miscarriage and other complications prior to this pregnancy and were fearful of anything going wrong.
The doctor came in and told us, “Your baby’s heartbeat is low and there’s little fluid in there with her. We’re sending you to hospital. You’re having her today.”
It was 6 weeks from our due date and I immediately called my mom to make sure she could get our son from school.
We arrived at the hospital, the Vegas sun beating down, my wife sweating, my stressing and they wheeled her up to the maternity ward.
My mom was able to get our son, and they arrived a while later.
My wife was hooked up, given her epidural we were ready to roll, then our little girl’s heart rate began to drop.
We were sent in for an emergency C-Section, which scared the hell out of both of us.
They started her and told me not to film them doing the surgery, which if you’ve never seen a C-Section, it’s surgery.
They pulled our girl out, she screamed, but it was labored.
Walking across the delivery/operating room, they were poking and prodding her and took her out of the room quickly.
When we got back to my wife’s room, they told us the bad news.
Our little girl’s lungs weren’t fully developed and they’d be watching her closely.
That night was one of the hardest nights I’ve had as a parent.
I couldn’t sleep and our little girl was in the Neonatal Infant Care Unit or N.I.C.U., a place she’d be staying for the next month.
Over the following month we watched our little girl fight with the feroctiy of grizzly, which is why I call her my little bear.
We were finally able to take her home from the hospital on her due date.
She was and is a strong willed little girl.
Today she turns six and is every bit the strong little bear she was in the hospital.
Happy Birthday my little bear.