Re-Post: The Miracle Baby (7 Years Later)

February 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Blog, Faith, Fatherhood, manliness, Virtue

***This is a re-post, originally from February 9, 2011.***

With great pride, and extreme joy, I write this post about my first son, David Walter DiNuzzo Jr.  I pray that the story of his journey from womb to world is inspiring, faith-sharpening and encouraging for all those read it.

The starting point of this story is ambiguous to me, because I believe that to successfully trace the steps back far enough we have to go way back into my past.  I don’t want to prolong the story here, so I’ll skip those past details for now and move right into this most blessed and miraculous story.

On the last Sunday in January 2011, my wife Catherine, now thirty-nine weeks and one day pregnant (why do they jip women out of the 10th month?  40 weeks, which is full term, is 10 months!) noticed some significant bleeding.  Concerned for what this might mean, we went into the hospital’s triage area.  This was visit #4 to triage for this pregnancy.  Nothing came of this visit because the baby sounded great on the monitor and it appeared that the bleeding had subsided.  Later the same day, Catherine noticed that the bleeding had begun again.  Again, we made our way into triage and this time, received an ultrasound.  Trip #5.  The ultrasound hoped to determine, and possibly pinpoint, the source of the blood.  The ultrasound was unsuccessful.  We returned home, exhausted and concerned.  Catherine had an incredibly rough night of sleep, thanks to the severe contractions she was experiencing.  On Monday, she woke up to much more bleeding and a heightened amount of contractions.  Throughout all of this, Catherine remained calm and purposeful, desiring to give our baby the best start possible.  I love her for that, amidst a million other reasons.

After speaking with our CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife), we decided to head to the office for a check.  There, again, nothing could be determined, especially the cause of the bleeding.  Because of the ambiguity, it was decided that labor needed to be induced.  Although we are all-for natural, drug-free labors and births, we knew we had to secede here and do what was best for our boy.  We headed to the hospital.  Once we arrived and got settled (yeah, right), the drugs were administered and shortly thereafter, Catherine began to labor and WOW! she was doing incredible.  She was being a champ, doing better than I had ever seen her do previously.  After some time in labor, Catherine sensed that something was wrong.  She felt something coming, but knew it wasn’t the baby.  I suggested that our CNM check her.  While performing the check, our CNM Sharon (an incredible woman) noticed the problem – a prolapsed umbilical cord.  This means that the cord was going to be birthed first, which would have caused immediate rupture of the cord, as the head would have put immense pressure on the cord as it pressed against the cervix.  Next would have been loss of blood flow and oxygen, which would have been certain death for our son, not to mention potential death for my wife from blood loss through internal bleeding.

Thanks to quick thinking, solid understanding of the situation, as well as some divine intervention, Sharon actually kept Dave Jr.’s head from pressing on the cord anymore than it already had been.  As she kept pressure on his head, away from the birth canal, she hopped up on the gurney and rode all the way into the operating room and remained in that position until the crash c-section was performed and Dave Jr. was out.  (From the time Sharon checked Catherine until the time Dave Jr. was out was a total of only four and a half minutes.  Incredible.)  At this point, I was unable to be in the operating room.  This was quite difficult and a very telling time for me.  (I’ll explain that more below.)

Dave Jr. in NICUFast forward… Sharon came out and told me that Catherine was doing fine.  She was still under, because of the general anesthesia, and would be under and then quite groggy for a decent amount of time.  Then she broke the news to me about Dave Jr.  He wasn’t breathing and had a heart beat of around 40 beats per minute.  He was still in the operating room, and I was anxiously waiting to see him wheeled out.  He had to be resuscitated with CPR and intubated.  He was given a shot of epinephrine to the heart, and was shocked twice with the paddles.  He was without oxygen for approx 4-6 minutes.  A respiratory nurse was “bagging” him, and they finally wheeled him out and headed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  About a minute later, I was allowed into the NICU.  I witnessed as a team of nurses and doctors performed various procedures on him, including placing IV feeding tubes into his belly button (through the remaining umbilical cord stump) and placing him on a ventilator.

Initial discussions of Dave Jr.’s time in the NICU were anywhere from one to two weeks or even more.  It was amazing that Dave Jr. made it, many babies don’t, let alone what happened next.  Almost immediately, Dave Jr.’s body color turned to a perfect pinkish tone.  He began to kick and punch.  His heart rate was regulating itself.  His breathing was getting much better and he was extubated.  (I actually witnessed him reach up with his fingers and pull the nasal tube out himself!)  He was only on the ventilator about an hour and a half.  His vital signs were great, his organ function was all normal and he was regulating his own temperature.  Then, he began to eat normally and perform normal bowel functions.  Everything was coming into place.  What he was showing is, what I believe, his will and determination that will take him very far in life.  It matters not that he was without oxygen.  It matters not that he was close to death.  What matters is that he is here with us now and that God has great things in store for him.  I truly believe that he will have an incredibly abundant life and that his witness to the precious nature of life will speak volumes to those he comes in contact with.

My time in waiting, as I mentioned above, was very telling for me.  It showed me a bit of who I am and what I’m made of.  TheDave Jr. situation was chaotic and troubling.  I was unable to help, unable to assist the doctor, the nurses, my wife or son.  As I waited, alone, for what seemed like hours, I could hear nurses and doctors, but never heard a baby crying.  I knew it wasn’t a good situation.  I had to decide what I was going to do.  I could have denied what was happening, believing some other sort of (un)reality.  I could have panicked.  I could have thought the worst was going to happen.  I could have been overly emotional.  I could have placed blame.  I could have gotten angry.  (I could have gotten angry and placed blame on God.)  I could have struggled with my faith.  I didn’t do any of that.  I chose something different.  I chose to pray.  I chose to surrender.  I chose to relinquish any and all control that I thought I may have had at some point or another.  I chose to trust.  I placed all that I needed, all that I cared about, all that I hoped for, all that I worried about at the foot of the cross.  I gave it to Him.  I asked Him to give me strength.  I trusted and my faith prevailed.

Dave Jr. and SharonI figured that if I wavered, or if I lost trust in God, my Creator, that the last many years of my life would be for not.  That everything I’ve said, prayed, preached, wrote, spoke or posted would be a contradiction to what I actually believe.  I would have to quit my ministry job and move on to something else.  I would not be the TrueMan I hope and strive to be.

Instead, I remained strong.  I’m proud to say that!  I didn’t waver.  I didn’t lose trust.  I held on to everything that I have learned, prayed about, desired and knew that was in me.  So when Sharon came out to tell me what was going on, before I knew that Catherine and Dave Jr. were okay, I could honestly look at her and tell her that I was okay.  She was very concerned for me, assuming that I would really be struggling.  I wasn’t, I let my faith in God’s plan comfort me.  I put my emotions in check and responded reasonably and rationally.  Although we haven’t spoken about it much lately, virtue is the key… it is what got me through.  I don’t profess to have any of the cardinal virtues, but I believe that I have the virtue of faith.  I feel blessed to have that virtue and even more blessed that my wife and son are alive and well.

Here’s to my little TrueMan – TrueMan up!

***UPDATE: This re-post is being written in February 2018… 7 years after Dave Jr. was born.  He defied all the odds, and is an incredible young man.  He functions at an incredibly high level, excels at school, is a multi-sport all-star athlete, and a very kind and generous little soul.  He is a gentleman, and professes to want to be a priest when he grows up!

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    6 Responses to “Re-Post: The Miracle Baby (7 Years Later)”
    1. Tim says:

      That’s so beautiful. Congratulations and God Bless! I’ll be praying for all three of you; with thanksgiving, joy, and hope.

    2. Kisa says:

      Congratulations!!!! What a true miracle boy and amazing parents and midwife. Sharon has a gift. She saved our son also. Strangled by cord (tightest one she has ever seen). Took a few minutes to get it cut for him to come out. He was also resuscitated, heart rate was higher around 60. Anyway, so amazing how well David is doing and I am sure he will continue to do well, babies are very resilient. Experiences like this sure do make you enjoy the little things your kids and babies do. Take care. 🙂

    3. Joseph Hourigan says:

      Dave and Catherine, phew! What a amazing beginning to an awesome life! That brought tears of joy. Your faith is strong my friend, and again, what a testimony to all that is good and true about life. God could have chosen to take your little man to Heaven, and even your wife, but this was not the will of the Father. Way to Trust in Him Dave!
      I agree with you, God has great things in store for that little man. He will always be seen in you and your wifes eyes (and those fortuate enough to know what really happened), as a true living miracle.
      Praying we can all have the trust and convictions of Jesus Christ Our Lord, even unto death!
      Your friend, for Life…Joe

    4. Pat Castle says:

      Wow…now that is beginning Life in the Spirit. Thanks for sharing your faith…High five! Cheers, Pat

    5. DOUG YOUNG says:

      Dave….thanks for sharing this wonderful story. I am proud of you and your faith in God. This is inspiring. You and your family are in my prayers.
      Peace to you.

    6. Uncle Andy & Aunt Laura says:

      Little David,
      We are so glad you are here with us…can’t wait to meet you!
      Love, U. Andy and A. Laura

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