Friday, June 30, 2006

Another note from National

On Tuesday, May 30, 2006, at 11:28 PM, I gave birth to my son, Brenden,
following an induced labor. Though I was full term and he was a healthy
7lbs. 3 oz., he had a very faint heartbeat and would not breath. A code
pink was called, and several people from the NICU staff came running
in. That night, my sons life was saved.
When Brenden was four days old, on Saturday, June 3, myself, my mother,
and my grandmother noticed that Brenden was looking horrible, not to
mention sleeping way more than newborns do, would not nurse- though he
acted like he was starving, and looked severely jaundiced. He was
breathing rapidly, had a 104 degree fever, and seemed very pale and
floppy. So there we went, rushing him to the ER.
Brenden was placed in PICU, Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit, hooked up
to what seemed to be thousands of wires and medications through his IV,
and was placed under three large billi ruben lamps.
I felt horrible looking at my son, knowing he was in pain, and, again,
on the brink of death. What did I do wrong? What should I have done
differently? I asked myself so many questions. I kept thinking back to
just two days previous, when we brought him home, that the horrible
things we went through and endured as a family following his birth were
over, and everything was going to be fine from then on out. But it
Brenden was hospitalized for three full days. His billi ruben count was
20 when he was brought into the hospital, when it should have been 6.
He was severely dehydrated, partially due to the extreme heat, and
partially due to the fact that, little did any of us know, I was not
lactating nearly enough milk for my son, which also resulted in him
being starving and causing him to lose almost 1 full pound in the two
days we were home. Again, my sons life was saved.
Brenden was given a blanket during his hospitalization. A very
beautiful blanket, with a tag that noted 'Project Linus', with the
Project Linus website. It brought my mother and I both to tears that a
group of people could form an organization and care so entirely much
for babies they'd never meet. Every night my son goes to sleep with his
blanket, and every day he naps with it.
Looking at the blanket is a constant reminder that not every parent
ends up as lucky as me, and it's also a reminder that people do care,
even if they don't know you.
Thank you, Project Linus, for showing me how wonderful people you don't
even personally know can be. You're wonderful people. God Bless all of

Mary Balagna
Project Linus National Vice-president
Central IL Chapter Coordinator


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