Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Year Ago Today, Part One

Over the next three days, I'm going to - to the best of my ability - recall the days surrounding Ira's birth and his actual birthday.
Because Ira stopped taking in any of Laura's fluids in utero, Laura's amniotic fluid was high. Dangerously high. Ira wasn't supposed to be born until early May but Laura's high-risk pregnancy doc said Laura needed to be induced early. Ira was to be born on April 20 but then our doc decided that all of Ira's necessary docs would be in place on April 21. So the plan was to go in on the night of April 20, get settled in and have Ira on April 21.

Before we went in on the night of April 20, there was much to be done. I needed to get some last minute laundry done and run a couple of errands. I went upstairs to start the laundry. In order to speed the process of getting the washer's water hot, I turned on the kitchen sink faucet. After I got the laundry started, I needed to hop in the car and run a couple of places and pick up a couple of things. The car wouldn't start. If finally did but it was laboring. Scrap running errands. Dad and I took the car to the shop and spent most of our morning there. On the way back from the shop, I got a call.

"Um, Joe, the brownstone is flooding. It's coming from upstairs."

It was at that moment that I realized I never turned the kitchen sink faucet off. And the plug was in the drain. I flooded the brownstone. It was turned on for hours. I felt horrible. Our landlords were more than gracious. Jack put his hand on my shoulder and said, "You've got enough to think about today. This is nothing. We got it under control."

The day was not at all going as planned. I wanted it to be a non-stressful day for Laura but with the car and the flooding, um, well, let's just say I was proving to be quite incompetent as a husband.

Later that afternoon we got loaded up and took Sophia to Amy's house. Amy kept Sophia for a couple of days and Sophia loved every minute of it. While we were glad that Sophia was in good hands, we so desperately needed her smile and playful spirit. We cried when we left her there.

We headed over to where our family was staying. Brothers and sisters, moms and dads. They were all here staying in a hotel near the hospital. We went and ate a big meal with them. Upon leaving them that night, we all had a good cry as we all thought about the unknown of the next couple of days.

Laura and I checked in at the hospital at 8 PM. Laura was not laboring at all. They gave her an IV and decided to let her sleep. I too laid down. As I peered out of the window onto the Manhattan skyline where so many people were dreaming of the future, I too was wondering what the future held for us, for Ira...



Blogger Rebecca said...

Wow. It is hard to think that it has only been a year since Ira came into your lives. Your faith has been tested at all times during this past year. My hope and prayer that Ira's second year will be more moutaintop experiences than valleys. May God continue to hold you all in the palm of his hand.

Thank you Joe and Laura, for keeping the faith and being such a shining example to us all out here in bloggerland.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Andrea Sue said...

Wow is right Rebecca, it seems like a life time ago anticipating the birth of Ira. It's hard to believe that he's a year old. I also pray for amazing recovery for Ira, peace for all of you and for Sophie to continue to be a trooper like her Mom and Dad. God bless you all, I feel so priviledged to worship with you guys on Sundays. I hope to get closer to you and share wonderful memories as we all as a family face the next steps. God continue to shine on this family and bring complete healing in every way you can and you can God. Pour your holy spirit on this little boy and heal him completely. In him, Amen.

Love Yah's

3:05 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

Dear Joe and Laura,

I hope you don't feel it strange that, while we have never met, and you are Ira's parents, I affectionately refer to him as "my Ira". I weep with you, pray with you, and rejoice with you through this past year, because we are Family connected by His Blood.

Your story is meant to be shared with the world. Thank you.


3:36 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

April 20... a Wednesday... Lance and I stayed at home on Long Island that night, and I felt very, very, very far away. The Sunday before, Paula (a friend and church member) had taken up a collection on our behalf, giving us a bunch of cash for train fare and meals in the city -- incredibly generous, and so very insightful. Paula also organized childcare for Lydia and Jack so we could be with you guys, with the family, as much as possible. I didn't sleep the night of the 20th. I wrote instructions for the kids and worried, did some laundry and worried, prayed and worried. Actually, the worrying and praying were all sort of the same thing. And the crying. Yeah, that was a hard night. The alarm clock never got a chance to ring on the morning of the 21st. We were already awake.

peace -- Kate

8:53 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Joe, I don't know if you realize how vigilant we have all been for your family. We have been on watch for the past year and been on our knees on your behalf over and over. We have traveled to the mountaintop with you and tumbled back into the valley with you also. We are glad that you have allowed us to help carry the burden. We are still out here and still willing to carry parts of that load for you. I know that I first heard about Ira from Larry and Cynthia Mudd and then from Malissa. We have been praying since we heard and Ira was still tucked in Laura's womb and waiting for arrival. I just used these words at the end of a blessing for our daughter who is graduating from high school in a month but I think they fit here also...from Colossians...For this reason, since the day that we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

12:40 AM  
Blogger rbsugarland said...

I learned of Ira and his struggles in early May of last year and have prayed for all of you faithfully since. I appreciate you sharing your lives with us who don't know you. I feel like I do, but wish I really did. You are all full of courage and so, so faithful to God.

My family and I will continue to pray for Ira (all of you).

Happy Birthday, Ira! You've stolen the hearts of many!! May the second year of your life be easy.

7:23 AM  
Blogger KentF said...

In all the excitement I failed to realize Ira shares a b'day with my youngest daughter. Can't wait to see Ira turn her sweet age of 15!

8:43 AM  

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