After I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia (please go to www.preeclampsia.org for more information) in my six-month of pregnancy, I was on bed-rest in the hospital for 4 1/2 weeks. The doctors told me when I was six months that if Isaiah was born then, he would not live. I was determined to do whatever I had to do to see my son alive. I asked God to please let me get to 7 months so that my son would have a chance. God honoured that request and Isaiah Dumisani Millhouse was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on 20 January 2004 at 7:26am. Isaiah means "God's Helper, salvation of God" and Dumisani is a South African name meaning "praise." He weighed 610 grams (1.3 pounds). Because he was so small and born by C-section, I didn't see him when he was born. My husband held his small hand before they whisked him away to the NICU. Even though I didn't see him until the next day due to the pain I was in, I felt such an overwhelming love for him and called out his name the whole day, telling him how much I loved him.
When I first saw Isaiah connected to all those tubes and machines, I had no reaction. I expected it because I had been on a tour of the NICU before hand. But when I got back to my room all I could do is cry and ask God to save my son. I was so sad that my son had to go through this and wished I could trade places with him.
On 17 February 2004, our son, Isaiah, passed on to be with the Lord. Earlier, he gave his mother one last look and closed his eyes. We watched Isaiah take two breaths on his own, as the machines were turned off. What a fighter, what courage! In his four weeks of premature life - weighing less than two pounds (1 kilogram) - he survived collapsed lungs, several blood transfusions and brain surgery. It was a miracle watching him endure, surpass and heal from those challenges. The pneumonia that he developed over his last few days of life ended up being more than he could bear. Normally, he was active, kicking and holding our fingers, but we could see that he was tired. He was so beautiful. His short life was a life of courage. He is an example to us all.
My husband and I are coping and accept that this is only the beginning of the road towards healing. We know that this will be a tough time, but with God on our side, and Isaiah as our example of courage, we will get through it.