An Angel’s Journey
In Loving Memory of
Dominique Janae Foxx
January 9, 2004 – March 9, 2004
On January 9, 2004, Dominique Janae Foxx was born into this world after a troubled pregnancy. The after effects of a placental abruption resulted in her premature birth at 23 weeks and 6 days gestation. She was 12 inches long and weighed 1 pound and 3.2 ounces. (She was about the size of a beany baby. ) It was amazing to see how much life rested inside such a tiny frame. It was the beginning of a journey to never forget.
The days following her birth were filled with worry and uncertainty. I felt so helpless in not being able to hold her and comfort her as a mother should. The wires and monitors allowed for limited contact. I wondered if she knew who her mother was and if she could tell the difference between the caregiver’s touch and mine. All of the treatments and terminology were overwhelming. I just wanted to know if she would be okay. I longed for the doctors to say that she would be fine and we could take her home soon. That day never came.
Days and weeks went by. It was such an emotional roller coaster. It was definitely a ride I wanted to get off of and demand my money back! She would go from stable to unstable, better to worse. I thought I was going to explode from frustration. I grew to dread the daily report from her physician. One day she would be doing great on her ventilator settings and then go back to where we started. She would gain weight only to lose it the following day. We’d be well on the way to a speedy recovery and then news of a virus, or decreased kidney function would bring the ride to complete halt. At one point, she was even strong enough to try a nasal CPAP. I prayed constantly that God would heal her body and relieve her from all the suffering. I thought it would be my testimony that in spite of all the adversities and struggles she went through, she still made it. God had another plan.
My life at home seemed to be a circus. Although my child was sick in the hospital, I was a wife and a mother of two children at home. I tried to juggle my motherly duties at home and spending “quality” time with Dominique. Soon my other children began to fight for my attention. It was like I was being torn between the two, having to choose who to be with for the day. It was torture. At times I would have to drag them against their will to the hospital. Consequently, I always felt rushed and I couldn’t wait until the day I was able to bring her home.
As time went on, she still went up and down, back and forth, but things seemed to gradually get better. I was able to do Kangaroo Care (skin-to-skin contact) with her. Now I could finally show her who mom was. Let her feel the warmth of my skin against hers, and get used to my scent. Each time I was able to hold her was better than the last. I never wanted those moments to end. I couldn’t wait for the day that I could just go in and pick her up and not have to wait for a respiratory tech. and the nurse. I wanted her to be normal.
Two months to the day her tiny lungs tired out and our time together came to an end. She served her purpose here on earth and God called her home. Words could not describe how I felt that day. It was one of the deepest, most agonizing pains I would ever experience. My journey has been difficult but not without reward. My experience has made me a better person. Through it, I began God’s Angels. I wanted to reach out and be with other mothers and families who have suffered in this way. Dominique’s suffering was not without purpose. I am forever changed.