The baby's strength keeps his mom "believing and hoping."
Rozina smiles, a radiant smile that gives no hint of her painful past. Unfortunately, life has not always been kind to her. She has suffered from poverty and faced the challenges of migration, arriving undocumented in England from Albania. It took eight years for her situation to be regularized.
In this difficult atmosphere, Rozina has always taken care of her family — her husband and her first son, Elvis. As she was happily expecting a second child, Rozina had to face yet another crisis. When she was just over 23 weeks pregnant (the beginning of the sixth month), she went into premature labor.
“At 23 weeks and three days, just after the second ultrasound and seeing my healthy baby, I started bleeding. When I got to the hospital, the doctors told me I was in labor. It was impossible, inconceivable! I was devastated,” she said.
Full of emotion, Rozina continued:
I couldn’t imagine living without my child, having him born to die in my arms. The medical staff were an immense support, full of tenderness and encouragement. In particular the doctor who was there and whom I nicknamed ‘Doctor Hope,’ and Jenny, a midwife who was absolutely incredible in her dedication and compassion.
Baby Arijon was born at 23 weeks and three days, weighing just 17 ounces.
Rozina and her husband Arlind shared, each in their own way, the pain and anguish of such a premature birth:
Arlind didn’t want me to think that this was all my fault. It’s so hard not to reinterpret what happened to find out what we might have done wrong to get here.
The first hours, then the first days, were moments that combined feelings of victory and relief that their child was still alive with the dread of possibly losing him or seeing medical complications arise again.
A will to live
In spite of all the potential challenges, it was clear that Arijon clearly wanted to live.
As Rozina recalls:
The doctors told me that our son had the lungs of a tiger! He wanted to live! Every time we had to come back to the hospital in the first few months, seeing his progress, then seeing him walk, they always asked me to send photos and tell his story, because it might encourage parents going through this terrible anguish.
A strength of spirit that inspires belief and hope
Now that time has passed and young Arijon is making steady progress in school, Rozina watches him grow with pride and gratitude.
As she tells it:
Arijon has been through so many challenges, I must admit that I tend to pamper him, not scolding him very often. He’s so strong … and so stubborn! I can’t say I blame him! When he first learned to breathe on his own, the doctors reassured me that Arijon would show us when he was ready. After three attempts, it was Arijon who pulled on his tubes to signal that it was time.
Last week, he had an operation on his eardrums, which went very well. He was doing so well that he was discharged the same evening as the operation. It was performed under general anesthetic, which meant he should have been discharged the next day! There’s a strength in him that keeps me believing and hoping.
It’s the story of a life that was hanging by a thread,a poignant reminder that at every moment, the Lord is watching over us.