10 years ago today, I received the best gift ever in my entire life, my son Adee was born. I think it is but fitting that my first post will be about him. Remembering how he came and the happiness that he brings to me.
Adee’s story will not be complete without the story of my other son who was born a little less that five years before Adee.
On October 27, 1992 Andre was born. He was a 10 pound handsome little lad with the round face of my mother and the nose of my father. Words cannot suffice to describe the feeling of being a father for the first time. It was a combination of many things, the joy of holding one’s flesh and blood in one’s arms, the nervousness of not knowing exactly what to do every time he cried, the contagion of his smile while I watched him sleep. I loved his scent, I loved the way he grasped my forefinger with his tiny hands. We named him Andre.
The joy was, however, short-lived. On the day we were supposed to bring him home, he was jaundiced and he keeps throwing up whenever he takes his milk. From one hospital we just went to another hospital where his pediatrician was. The doctor confined him to the hospital for some tests. Tests, that were heartbreaking. My heart sank every time I heard his cry as the nurses drew his blood for some tests. This was done everyday to monitor his blood chemistry to what seemed to be forever for a young father. His cries turned to just whimpers and soon enough he got used to the pain that he did not cry at all.
Andre was later on diagnosed to have a congenital disease known as aganglianosis – total aganglianosis to be exact. This meant that his intestines failed to develop ganglion cells in his nerves and that his intestines were totally paralyzed. As a result his intestines were not able to digest his food intake and this is the reason for his constant vomiting after feeding. This disease was so rare that the doctors (there were 6 attending physicians) in Cagayan de Oro were not familiar with it. To make the long painful story short, my son Andre was slowly dying of malnutrition, not because of want of food but because his body cannot absorb the nutrients. He went through 3 major operations, a baby barely few weeks old.
A gain words cannot describe the agony and the pain of watching my son slowly go, ounce after ounce of body weight disappearing each day. His cute round chubby little body turning into a bundle of skin and bones and with countless punctures from head to toe from the injections and the intravenous needles.
Andre lived exactly 45 days. As he was gasping for air, struggling to keep himself alive, I held him in my arms and with a voice filled with surrender, I whispered to him that it was okay to go and rest and that we want him to go back to God because God forgot something when he created him and that we want him to come back as our baby again. A few moments later he breathed his last. I watched the pulse in his neck slowly become weak until it disappeared. It was like watching Andre’s back as he was crawling away. That was 5pm of December 10, 1992.
It took us another five years to gather enough strength and courage to try to have a baby again. We met Jinkee’s second pregnancy with a mix of excitement, happiness and fear. And ten years ago today Adee was born. We called him Adee because we wanted to name him Andre too. It was around 3am when Jinkee woke me up to fetch a taxi cab because she already felt the beginnings of her labor pains. There was only one cab at the subdivision gates (usually there were several in the early hours of dawn). As we got off in the hospital, I turned back to make a last check if we forgot anything in the cab. As I did, I saw the cab’s name painted on its front door – Andre.
Adee was born at around 5pm of July 17 (which is thewedding anniversary of my Mom and Dad) – a 7-pound bundle of joy who was almost delivered by caesarean section had he not come out in time. We named him Andre too. After a couple of days of careful observation, we brought Adee home. For the first time, we had a baby in the house. However, after a week, Adee showed the same symptoms as that of Andre and we had to take him back to the hospital. It was like a de javu of Andre. We stayed in the hospital for a week and to our relief, it was just an infection that he got from the operating room. The oldies scolded us because it was bad luck to name a child after a sibling who passed away. So with a heavy heart we renamed Adee. After picking names at random we chose Rafael Francesco but kept Adee as his nickname. All went well after that.
A couple of months later, I was with a colleague at National Bookstore. While i was waiting for him to find a book that he was looking for, I chanced on a book about the meanings of baby names. It quickly took the book and searched for the meaning of the name Rafael – “healed by God.”
I am not a very religious person but Adee is my miracle baby. I believe Adee is Andre who was healed by God.
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