We were so excited to find out we were to become parents. All of our friends had children, many of them now teenagers – this was the best news we could ever hope for! It is funny how certain details of a situation you remember, yet there is not one moment of this experience we have yet to forget – and it has been more than nine years.
Victoria Amber Carbone was born on January 7, 1997. I had been in the hospital for almost a month, and the doctors had tried everything to keep her where she needed to be – for at least 15 weeks to be exact. Victoria had other plans and was born at 2:57 weighing 1 ½ pounds and was 12 inches long. We will never forget the first time we saw her in the neonatal ward. It was a shock, and even though we were crying we also could not believe that such a tiny baby could ever, ever survive.
She was in the hospital 101 days and very sick at certain points. Victoria’s biggest problem was that her lungs were not fully developed. The funny thing is that every doctor and nurse made us feel that our questions were not inappropriate, and she was their only patient. Victoria had one special nurse, Vicky, and to this day we talk about her with such love and gratitude that Victoria sometimes makes us feel she remembers that time of her life.
As we skip ahead, Victoria is now nine years old and entering fourth grade like other kids her age. School has sometimes been very challenging, but she is very determined and will not quit. Victoria’s biggest accomplishment to date is her love for the piano and how she plays “Fleur de Lis” with poise and pride. Victoria loves all animals, riding her bike, playing video games, dolls, jumping role and taking a yearly trip to Florida. Every time she does a “regular thing,” we marvel at how far she has come. When she was in the hospital, I started a journal and wrote a letter every day until the day she came home. There were many times when I did not want to write a word, yet I knew someday I would give this to my daughter, and it would mean a lot to her. We are so excited to now be parents.
If wishes do come true, then ours did thanks to a very special spot inside Women & Infants Hospital – a place that we hope parents do not have to visit, but a place we thank God was there for us on January 7, 1997. When we finally walked out of the hospital after 101 days, we had oxygen tank, monitors, and an endless list of medicines in our bags. We were scared and we knew her care was in our hands now, but we got through it all, and we have a 52 pound, curly haired, spit-fire that makes us very proud of her. Thank you for letting us remember and express our gratitude for EVERYTHING!
Submitted by MaryAnn and Robert Carbone