It had been a more or less stressful pregnancy from the very beginning.
For the first few weeks, bed rest was ordered. Then things seemed to smooth out for a time.
Everyone was looking forward to the end of March, when the baby was due.
An ultrasound in the fall revealed an anomaly. It was not that much of
an anomaly, because it was also gender specific, and the baby was the gender it was specific for.
Around the end of January pre-term contractions started. A visit to the
hospital would be the result, and after IV fluids, the contractions would usually cease. However, the episodes increased and the visits
began to multiply.
Finally, on February 8, a routine ob appointment with a scheduled sonogram revealed a possible problem with the baby's heart. Do not pass
go, do not collect $200: instead, head right to the hospital.
But not to worry, this baby would not be born within the next seven
The hospital was not the one where the baby would have normally been delivered, but the teaching hospital where high risk pregnancies were
monitored. This hospital used to be known as North Shore. Tell anyone
on Long Island that is where you were going and they knew immediately which hospital it was. In recent years there have been so many mergers
that merely saying North Shore is no longer specific enough. So it was
North Shore at Manhasset, the big kahuna, the head honcho, the main hospital of that acquisition.
More IV fluids were started as well as magnesium in hopes the contractions would stop. And, just in case, steroids that would mature
tiny lungs should the option to take a premature baby be forced on them were administered.
And an echo was set up for the next day to get a more detailed picture of the problem that
was showing up.
Another sonogram was done the evening of February 9. The doctor studied
it and then had to make a difficult pronouncement. There was a major
problem, and because of the previous discovery of the anomaly, the possibility that this child could be born severely handicapped could not
be overlooked. She suggested that the degree of aggressiveness should
be considered, because this baby might not survive.
Tears. Devastation. Why us?
She urged that an amniocentesis scheduled for the next day. Just so all
bases would be covered. A pediatric cardiologist was called in.
He ordered a fetal echo. And it was determined that the baby had a condition called
So it was, that on Thursday, February 10, based on the echo, and the discovery that the baby's movements had become more and more difficult
to detect, they could not try to maintain this pregnancy until it was full term:
the baby must be taken now, and by cesarean section to avoid stressing the little heart any more than they could help.
The doctors and nurses were ready for the worst case scenario: there
were the powerful heart meds and the defibrillator standing by, but to everyone's amazement, Harry George was brought into this world kicking
and screaming, letting everyone know he was not pleased to be removed from his snug, warm nest 7 weeks
He was whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and was
ensconced in Nursery A, where the critical babies were treated. And then the roller coaster ride began.
He had his good days, and he had his bad days. He turned one week old
and Pediatric Cardiology was hopeful that he would be going home within six weeks. Little Harry was arranged so that pictures could be taken
without all the tubes connected to him being so visible.
He started accumulating nick names: little guy, munchkin, pumpkin, Haah,
At two weeks he was given his first blood transfusion. The next day his
dad donated a pint of blood to be used in the tiny increments he could tolerate.
And then his temperature spiked. And then his lung collapsed and a larger vent tube was required.
And then they started talking heart transplants. But by that time, other problems began cropping up.
His liver began enlarging and he was retaining fluid in his abdomen. For the first time
he was allowed to be held.
He needed to be tapped. And then the tap became a drain. And he developed
And then the doctors could do no more.
In the early morning hours of Monday, April 17, Little Harry took his last breath. In the 67 days he had been on this Earth, he had touched
many lives, brought many people together.
You were such a tough little guy, so alert, so strong, who fought all the way until the very end.
When God took you back home into His loving arms.
Sweet Baby Harry...
My Beautiful Rainbow
Given to us by God
It is true, Rainbows only last a short time
But they last a lifetime in our hearts and our minds.
Little Harry, you are that Rainbow
And this sorrow is like a rainy day
But at the end of each saddened rain
A beautiful Rainbow shines again.
Mommy and Daddy will always love you.
You will always be our first born.
Not a day goes by that you are not
In our thoughts and in our hearts.
Your spirit is within us
And you a part of us.
---Until we meet again.