Friday, February 1, 2013

Beckham Luke Part II

Before I start this post, I just want to say that some of the things I am writing are very personal to me, but I feel I should share my experience with you. Maybe this will give someone else hope, or help them get through a hard trial. I have a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My experience with Beckham has strengthened that testimony, and in this post I wish to share it with you. I am sorry if I offend anyone; because I know not all of my friends share my same religion, but I don't feel I can truly share my experience without also sharing my testimony.

The NICU life-Living a nightmare

David Osmond "Loneliest Walk"

"She pushes 'L' on that old elevator door
Her heart is broken, arms are bare
The doors are closing and she's staring at the floor
There's still a piece of her up there

It seems like yesterday she saw him on the screen
Painted a room and picked out names
But now she has to leave him under big machines
To keep alive his tiny frame
She's on the way to her car but it's never felt this far

With each step she takes there's another to follow
And one more ache, one more tear to swallow
She's gotta keep moving,
Forget about the bruising inside
Through the loneliest walk of her life


The following weeks with Beckham in the NICU were very scary; his PDA valve in his heart was open and was causing blood to flow into his lungs, he was on the highest setting of oxygen, his level one brain bleed on one side, was now a bilateral level 3 brain bleed and was progressing rapidly, he had air trapped in his lungs so they were going to have to put a tube in his chest to get the air out, and he was needing multiple blood transfusions to keep his hemoglobin up. He was down to 1 lb 15 oz and it seemed like everything that could go wrong, was going wrong. 

"We got some bad news today from Beckham's doctor. He just told that they're worried Beckham might have air trapped in his lungs. If it is, it could cause his lungs to collapse and they'll have to go in and put a tube in his chest to let the air out. He's requiring more oxygen today, so they want to give him surfactant but that might disrupt his pulmonary hemorrhage. The valve in his heart is open, they want to give him medicine to close it... But that's not good for babies who have brain bleeds. They are going to try another PICC line today, I pray he will do ok and they'll actually be able to get one in. His veins are just so fragile that it made him bruise all over the last time they tried. He's got a huge long list of problems, and there is nothing they can do because If they treat it... It can make something else worse!! Please Please pray for him. I just don't think I can handle much more bad news."

"Just got some more bad news from Beckham's doctor. His level one brain bleed on one side, is now a level three in both sides. There is a question as to whether the one on the left is a level four or not. We won't know much more until Thursday (my birthday) if it has progressed or not. I am just beyond words right now. All I'm asking is for PRAYERS, he is just having the hardest time and all I can do is try to stay strong and optimistic. I just want him to be healthy again. I love my little boy with all my heart. Please keep him in your prayers tonight."

The next few weeks were hard and very emotional. People say that the NICU life is like a "roller coaster." Id say its more like jumping off a cliff every day, and you're just wondering if you're ever going to land! 

One day I decided to go see Beckham by myself so that Skyler could get some one on one time with Cayman. He needed some normalcy in his life after being babysat by my mom and sister, and being switched back and forth between the two. When I got to the nicu, Dr. Simmons sat me down and explained that if Beckham got worse, there was a chance we would have to decide whether or not to take him off life support. His brain bleeds were progressing rapidly and because he was needing so much oxygen, he felt there was nothing else they could do for him. I was at a loss for words and the room was spinning. I called Skyler, and he asked to speak to the doctor immediately. Lets just say that conversation did not turn out well for Dr Simmons. Skyler told him that he wanted to be there any time he had bad news from now on, so that I wouldn't be alone and he could be there to comfort me. I felt bad for Dr. Simmons, it wasn't his fault, but I was glad they made this arrangement. 
After I got off the phone with Skyler I had a huge breakdown. I don't think I've ever been so upset in my life. I felt angry, extremely sad, and completely worn down. Heavenly Father promises he will never give us a trial that is too hard for us to handle. This- felt way too hard. The head nurse Kathy came over when she saw how upset I was, and pulled me into a more private room. I completely broke down and cried like a baby. I yelled, and cried, and got everything out! 

Skyler drove to the hospital right after that to be with me and Beckham. It is the most heartbreaking feeling in the world looking at your newborn little boy, and saying your goodbyes. Skyler said something I will never forget. He said, "in the WORST case scenario, we will have a little boy in the celestial kingdom with his Heavenly Father. How can we be sad about that?" After he said that, everything seemed so much easier. For the first time since Beckham was born, I put my trust in the Lord. It was in his hands and I knew he had a plan for our little boy.

Fasting & Blessings

We had a fast for Beckham after we heard he might not make it. Skyler and I contacted our close friends from Alaska to Germany and they all fasted the following sunday. I couldn't fast because I was nursing, so for the entire month of October I gave up soda, which sadly I'm addicted so it was really hard for me. After church, Skyler and I visited him. We asked his nurse Becky how he was doing, and she said "He is having the best day of his life!!" I couldn't believe it. Within just 24 hrs, he was already making improvements. 

"Beckham had a great day today. They are weening him off of oxygen and putting him on a regular respirator instead of the heavy duty one he was requiring, his blood gases were perfect, they also pulled back his lung secretions and there was NO BLOOD! Thank you to everyone who fasted for him. We are already seeing improvements in Beckham and we have felt your prayers. We have learned to put his fate in the Saviors hands, it is his will and we know he loves him. Tomorrow we get the results of his followup head ultrasound! We are hoping the brain bleeds haven't progressed an that they are healing! Please pray for Beckham tonight, all I want for my birthday is GOOD NEWS from his doctor!" 

To be honest, I never was a big believer in fasting. Growing up, my friends and I would sneak out to the car and eat oreos and drink mtn dew on fast sunday. It wasn't until my family fasted for Beckham that I realized the true meaning of it. It was amazing hearing the stories from our friends and families who felt the spirit so strong during their fast. We are truly thankful for everyone who fasted for him, and who kept him in their prayers. It was the best gift anyone could have ever given to our family.

Beckham also received a few blessings in the nicu. I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood, and to be married to a worthy priesthood holder. Every time we felt like all hope was lost, we would ask for him to have a priesthood blessing. After each blessing, I felt the spirit and knew that the Lord was watching out for our little boy. I truly believe that he was never alone and that there were angels watching out for him always.

My Birthday Wish
(spending my birthday at the nice with Beckham)
The day of my birthday they were to do a followup head ultrasound on Beckham to see if his brain bleeds were any worse. I was terrified that it would be bad news, so when people asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told them I wanted good news from his doctor! That day Dr Simmons came in and said there was no change to his brain bleeds, they hadn't progressed but they hadn't gotten better either. Although it wasn't the greatest news, it wasn't bad news. It looked like he was definitely going to make it- We were extremely happy with that! 

Heart in two places. 
Having a baby in the nicu, and Cayman at home was not easy. I am thankful for my family who stepped in so that Cayman always had someone to watch him. I knew it was hard on him having us away so much being with Beckham, so I made sure he was always watched by family. People that he KNEW and LOVED, not total strangers. My mom took off work so many times to watch Cayman, and always sat with Beckham when I was needed at home. My heart was always in two places at once, but when I was with Beckham I knew I was where I needed to be. When I was with Cayman, I knew I was where I needed to be also. My boys were what kept me going. One thing that gave me great comfort was knowing that Beckham was NEVER alone, every time I prayed for him I felt the spirit and knew that he had angels watching out for him.

 "If there is one thing I've learned these past few days, it's that no one can ever prepare you for the intense love you feel for your children. If it weren't for my sweet baby Cayman, I would have sunk into my bed today too depressed to face the world. If it weren't for my sweet baby Beckham, I'd never bother getting out of my pj's! My husband and my baby boys keep me going. Heavenly Father didn't send them to me because they needed me, he sent them because I need them! They are what keep me going every day. I love my family! "

The Following Weeks-milestones
A couple weeks after Beckham was born they took him off of the ventilator, that was a huge accomplishment for him. I truly believe he was able to accomplish this because of all of the prayers, fasts, and blessing he received. I was able to hold my baby for the first time two weeks after he was born, It was just in his incubator, but it was still amazing!

Then a week after that I was able to hold him outside of his incubator! Id have to say that it was probably one of the best moments I've had in life. I will never take for granted getting to hold my children, because I know what its like to face the eminent possibility that you might not ever be able to. Beckham was and is such a fighter and we are so proud of him for everything he has already accomplished in life.

Oct 9th

A video of the first time I held him. (sorry its so big)

(Showing us his gangster poses)

(he had his own little cocoon in the NICU. A blanket made by great grandma Dyer, a picture of his family to look at, his own stuffed animal, and tons of drawings from all his cousins! He is so loved.)

(Skylers first time doing Kangaroo care)

(My first time doing kangaroo care with Beckham)

(First time feeding him a bottle)

A few weeks before Beckham was able to come home, his awesome nurse let us wheel him from the nicu to the nursery so that Cayman could see his little brother for the first time. It was just through the glass, but it was still amazing watching them together. Cayman loves his little brother! He couldn't have been more uninterested at first, but once we removed the blanket he saw that there was a BABY in there. 

(Thanksgiving with Beckham)

(Cayman was sick at home, so I got to wear this sweet robe all day! haha)

(All dressed up in his Christmas attire)

Taking him HOME!!
Beckham spent a little less than 3 months in the nicu. Some may think thats a lot, but I know so many people who's babies spent a lot more time there, and some who never got to bring their babies home. It was a true miracle and testament to my faith in Jesus Christ that we were able to bring our baby home. I don't know what I did to be so blessed to be these little miracles mom, but I am thankful for it. In his time there he accomplished so much, and we are  still very proud of him. He was able to come home on December 15, 2012, just in time for Christmas! 

(leaving the Davis Hospital for the last time)

The night before we took Beckham home, we had to stay the night at the hospital so that we could see how he did on the monitor and oxygen. Cayman never had to come home on either, so this was a whole new experience for us. WOW is his monitor LOUD! Lets just say it was a very long night for the both of us, but we made it. Walking out of the hospital for the last time was surreal. I couldn't believe my dreams were finally coming true, and I couldn't wait to have both my boys under one roof. Skyler and I couldn't stop smiling. :)

Some people may think we have lived a hard life having two micro preemies, its quite the contrary. I feel blessed to have learned so much, and to have been a witness of his miracles. I will never take a kiss, a smile, or a hug for granted. Every milestone will mean that much more. My two little boys have stollen my heart and seeing them every morning is one of the best blessings I have ever received. 

Life at home
I can't put into words how happy I am having Beckham home, it has been quite the journey but I wouldn't change it for the world. The first time I cuddled Cayman and Beckham at the same time, I cried. The first time I watched Cayman kiss his little brother, I cried. There are days I just sit and watch them together and become overcome with joy. I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father for letting me be their mom, and for watching over Beckham so that he could come home to us. I know things could have been much much worse, and I'm so thankful they weren't. 

The first time Cayman officially met Beckham, he walked up to him and put his favorite blanket over him. Cayman loves his blankets- so this was HUGE. I can't imagine a more proud big brother, just watch this video and you'll know what I mean. :)

Thank You!
I just want to say thank you to everyone who prayed, fasted, sent flowers, gifts, gave words of encouragement, babysat, sent sweet messages, and brought us dinners during Beckhams time in the NICU. We felt the saviors love through all of it, and we are truly thankful for caring so much about our family. To those of you who may be going through a hard time, I can honestly say that I believe you are never alone. Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers, all we need to do is reach out to him and he is ready to pour out his blessings. Miracles happen, I have seen them with my own eyes. Never give up faith and always trust that there is a bigger plan than what we might see. He loves us and wants us to be happy, we just have to trust that he knows best. Love you all so much, and thanks for caring about our family!

He pushes up the board they've tied onto his shoulders
He bears, with dignity, disgrace
He hears the jeering and the wind is getting colder
Tastes the blood upon his face

His body bruised an back still open from the scourges
The consequence of wicked men
He knows no man on earth has ever deserved this
But still He bears it all for them
And He keeps moving up the hill to do His Father's will

With each step He takes there's another to follow
And one more ache, one more tear to swallow
We all stand by and watch as the price is paid
Through the loneliest walk of His life
So we don't feel alone in the night
We can have His hand holding the light
Through the loneliest walk of our lives."


  1. Bethany,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have such a beautiful soul and I appreciate your honesty. As you know my sister just had my nephew at 24 weeks and is going through the motions on the NICU roller coaster. Reading your story and seeing that Beckham came home has been inspirational to me. I know I plan on sharing this story with my sister. I appreciate your honesty because as someone on the outside it is nearly impossible to understand what my sister is going through right now. Thank you so much.

  2. What a beautifully written birth story! This will definitely be a treasure to your family for many, many years to come. It's so refreshing to read your blog because you tell things the way they are, and yet you do so with grace, dignity, and compassion for others. You are truly an amazing woman! Keep up the great work; you're an influence for greatness more than you know! :)

  3. Wow, thanks you guys! Andi- if your sister has any questions at all, or just wants someone to talk to who's been through the NICU, just let me know.

    Jessica- Thank you so much, you have always been so sweet. I don't know what I did to be blessed with such great people in my life!