William, my son. Our journey…

September 11, 2006 was an awesome and traumatic day for me. Awesome because my son, William, was born just after midnight. Traumatic because his birth was 14 weeks early AND he weighed 1lb-14oz. Ya, they call that a 26 weeker. That was my introduction to the word preemie.

Just the evening before my wife, Lisa, and I spent a few hours at Virginia Beach General getting checked on by nurses because of cramping. They gave us a thumbs up. Everything was fine. So, around 10pm we left the hospital reassured. At 12:07am reassurance went out the window. I was awakened by excruciating screams from Lisa. She was in the bathroom, on the toilet, doubled over, bleeding! The only words I could get out were, “what’s wrong?” I was in a panic, a frenzy! My wife was in agonizing pain and I felt helpless. I picked her up, put her on the bed, put her clothes on and the next thing I know we’re flying down Laskin Road headed for the hospital. I pulled up and tried to go to the same office that we were at just a few hours earlier BUT IT WAS CLOSED! To the emergency room we went! I ran in looking for help and found the security guard. All he said was, “Sir, what’s the matter?” and I lost it! I broke down and cried. “My wife. She needs help. She’s out in the car.” The security guard followed me outside with a wheelchair. I helped Lisa out of the car and as soon as she stood up her water broke. At the time, I had absolutely no idea that William would be born shortly thereafter. I just thought my wife was in a lot of pain, the doctors would help her and we’d go back home. NOPE!

The security guard led the way upstairs. Well, actually I led the way. I was pushing Lisa in the wheelchair while he was 4 or 5 steps behind me giving me directions! We got to an empty room that was quickly filled with doctors and nurses. Unreal! It was as if they all just appeared. Moments later one of the nurses tells me to hold Lisa’s leg back. I had the right leg and the nurse had the left. At 1:57a William M. Yancey Jr was born!!!! Life as we knew it changed in that instant.

Amongst several other serious complications, William’s most severe problem was the IVH Grade IV brain bleed. Grade IV is the most severe brain bleed possible. It leaves babies with severe brain damage, Cerebral Palsy along with a list of other complications assuming they even survive.

William was born on a Monday. His Neonatologist met with us and would be off until Friday. I’ll never forget what he told us when he returned that Friday. He said, “When I came in this morning I did not expect your son to still be here.” That cut through me like a knife. It wasn’t a feeling of hitting rock bottom. It felt more like I was falling in an abyss.


5 responses to “William, my son. Our journey…

  • Lisa

    Can only imagine the fear that was going through both you and Lisa.I truly believe that God sets aside very special people to look after His children who come into this world needing them to raise and care for them.I have a cousin and her son in 13 and he has had a trache tube since birth and he has Down Syndrome.I remember telling her that i could’nt do what she did.i woud panic if I have only somany minutes to replace his tube.Ive told her many times that God knew she and Tom would be the best parents for Aaron,I think that of you and Lisa and William is such an amazing man that I really in my heart feel like God is going to use him for great thngs and he is going to do amazing thing in his life.What a testimony William is going to have when he is older to tell the world… =)

    • mrpainshood

      Thank you! I can’t imagine William being with anyone else besides me and Lisa. Can’t remember what life was like before him and really don’t care to. The fun didn’t really start until he came into our lives. It ain’t easy, but through prayer, family, friends, a determined attitude and patience how can we not be hopeful and positive about the amazing life William will have. Get knocked down 7 times…GET UP 8!!!

  • Marie Johns

    It will take all the strength you have and all that God will give you to be the man that young William will need. As I sit here typing, tears in my eyes, please know that I am your prayer warrior, I will be on my face before the Father in your behalf. My prayer today is that you have the courage to continue to journal this journey. It will touch the lives of millions and will remind us that “hard is hard, but hard is not bad.” “The harder the times, the closer He gets.”

    • mrpainshood

      As tough as it may be for me to write at times I WILL continue to journal. This will help me with my own struggles. Already, looking back, I see how far our little has come. It’s only been 4 years, but it took reading a few entries from our personal “William Journals” to truly see and feel what we went through and how far he has really come. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. Like my mom always says, “Let us go forth!” But, ya know sometimes we gotta go back in order to go forward. That’s what I’m doing.

  • William redd Thomas

    Billy and Lisa
    My prayers will continue to be with you guys and know that you are not alone.

    When I first started coming to the gym and saw your wife work with your son and little william moving and giving his all, I look at myself and said what your excuse, Life is full of amazing things and your son is a Miracle and proof that god exist!!!!!

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