Benji, 25 Weeks

Miracle Mum Hazel shares Benji's story

"Benji! Nothing short of a miracle. At 21 weeks of pregnancy, what I thought was just a headache and indigestion was diagnosed as preeclampsia and admission to hospital for the next four weeks.

Daily scans, that crucial talk with NICU head, discussing the survival rate and risks was traumatic and didn’t help my blood pressure to stay in control. Every day was like, can I get another day. 25 weeks hit, and that was it; platelets went to an all time low, and Benji was delivered by emergency cesarean.

I had this confidence that now that Benji was in the best care, he would make it. Every day felt like climbing a hill without knowing if there was a top to that hill. 150 days in the hospital, I learnt to cherish and be grateful for things I would have taken for granted in a normal circumstance.

So many critical moments where we didn’t think he would survive those multiple lung haemorrhages, abdomen distension, hernia repair, abnormal kidney function, infections, just to name a few.

Benji is almost 2 years now, and I can still smell NICU. Any beeps haunt me.
Looking at him today, he is a loving, kind, happy, healthy kid- nothing short of a miracle.

Here’s a poem I wrote when Benji turned 1.

 - Humble Beginnings - 

It’s no longer safe, the day has arrived
For a baby boy to be born.
Mother on the recovery table scarred and covered in blood, alone and in pain, wondering if is he alive?
Fear is over the roof, if he is alive, will he survive?

The baby is rushed into Neonatal Intensive care unit
Mother and baby instantly separated but rest assured connected by heart
Your breasts are sore but you have no baby to nurse

You stand on the outside as the scene flashes by
You pray, don’t let him die
Tubes and machines keep him alive
You pray for a miracle, let him survive.

The doctors they tell you, prepare for the worst
He is far too small, there’s only so much to do.
We provide what we can, and the rest is up to him to prove.

You search for some hope, and a mother’s heart will never give up.
You speak life into him and speak words of victory and courage.

For the first time you put your hands in to the incubator’s window and you don’t know where to touch.
He is so little and he’s all covered with tubes and wires.
You feel the tiny bit of his skin that is barely exposed.
He is almost transparent, you can see some of his inside bits.
But clever little thing, he knows your around and grabs your finger and he won’t let go.

Your life becomes the monitor, you watch every beat and react to every beep.
You watch every breath; you don’t leave your seat
You don’t leave his side, he is your blood and suddenly becomes your life

A father’s pain is hard and emotions are high but well-controlled
On the other hand mother who lays broken and tears flow like a dam that has no control
Her dream has been robbed and never to return
Her only life’s wish is to hold her new baby boy

As night starts to deepen you start to reflect
You start to question what to expect
You try to reason, you try to make sense
You feel joy, yet your pain is intense

The longest day in history draws to a close
The day that stood still, the day where time froze.
Hours become days, and days become weeks
Weeks become months, with lots of falls and barely any peaks
The road is long, and the journey is hard
The climb is tough, but you keep pushing on.

Your family and friends are there, you’re not alone but somehow, loneliness is all you know.
NICU becomes your new home, and nurses, doctors and staff become your new friends.

How can one so little be so tough and brave
And defy all the odds that once looked so grey
A heart a size of a raspberry in a body built so small
He took on every challenge and answered every call
Sometimes, when he is asleep, I sit there at his side
And appreciate every second and watch him with such pride
Some angels stay there forever, and never to return
But we are the blessed ones, our baby boy is here
We will forever be proud for surviving all odds.

The smallest human you have ever seen
So tough, so strong, courage unseen.
His battle is still hard, but he is here, and that’s all it matters, it’s just the beginning, and this journey will never end.

Written by a grateful mother - Hazel Vinitha".

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