Tuesday, September 24, 2013

WIPpet Wednesday: "It's Time To Decide"

     It's WIPpet time! Time for me to pull out nine paragraphs from "A Boy Named Silas," the Work In Progress (A Second Time) I've been touching up. Silas, by the way, is now a healthy almost-six-year-old. At the time this part of the story takes place, my husband and I are trying to decide whether we will withhold life-saving medical care or not for our little nine-month-old.

***

     I never saw my son struggle like he did that night. Silas was working so hard to breathe that he bent his legs with each exhalation to try to force the air out of his sickly body. He was drenched with sweat from the effort. Even with my lack of medical training, I could tell Silas was going to wear himself out if things didn’t get improve quickly.

     And then the doctor touched my shoulder and told me I needed to decide whether to put Silas back on the ventilator.

     Or not.

     The fated moment had come. Philip and I understood from his birth that Silas might not survive. Still, we pleaded with God that we would never have to make that decision of life or death ourselves.

     When the doctor asked me what I wanted to do, it was two in the morning. I called my husband.

     “You’d better wake up Nate and get over here,” I said. “It’s time to decide.”

      By the time Phillip arrived, Silas' oxygen saturation refused to rise above 80%. His lungs just weren't working by themselves. As I heard Phillip and a now very-awake Nate coming down the hall to our room, I wondered if this little reunion was really going to be our family's last time with Silas on earth.

     Even though Phillip and I had discussed this kind of scenario in full detail, both with Silas' pediatrician and with each other, I was unprepared to make the decision final. What if Silas actually did die? Phillip and I would have to live every day with the knowledge that we let him go. Should we have fought more for him? Should we have given God another chance to work that miraculous healing we had hoped for in our son's life?

     Would our marriage survive the grief of losing our child? Would we wake up one day and blame each other for Silas' death? We did believe that Silas would be better off if we denied drastic measures, but was our choice truly in Silas' best interests? Or were we so exhausted from raising such a medically-fragile baby that we wanted to take the easy way out?

***

     So, that's my WIPAST submission. I look forward to reading all of yours! Oh, and if you're feeling lucky, check out my giveaway this week for a chance to earn a Bath and Body Works gift card or a collection of adventure books for kids.

     Thanks for helping me get my Kickstarter campaign fully funded. (You know who you are!!)

     Today's random fact: Eleven years ago, I was a click of the button away from applying to med schools. So glad that never materialized!

     Thanks to our fearless WIPpet leader, Kathy Schwengel! Can't wait to see what you've got coming off the press next!

10 comments:

  1. What an awful decision to have had to make. I'm so glad I know the happy outcome of this story and that Silas is now healthy and doing so well. What strength you and your husband have to come through something as heartbreaking as this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kate, thankfully it didn't get tags bad as it might have. Sheesh, I'm glad those days are over!

      Delete
  2. I agree with Kate, I don't know if I could bear reading this account not knowing the outcome. Very well written!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jae, yes, it's a lot easier looking back writing about than actually going through!

      Delete
  3. Ack. Even knowing ahead of time that this happened, it was no fun to read. SO glad that is looooooooong past, now.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a horrible decision for parents to have to make! I'm glad to hear that he made it through and is healthy now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Christina! We're so proud and thankful for our little guy!

      Delete
  5. Such a powerful and moving selection. And what an ordeal for you and your husband to have to go through. As the others have mentioned, even know the outcome my heart was clenching as I read this, and tears were budding at the corners of my eyes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) at least I didn't make you puke, right? ;)

      Delete