It’s the most emotional moment of her life.
When her son was born, Elizabeth was on her own.
She was in the delivery room and her daughter had just left.
Elizabeth sat on the couch in the living room, waiting for her husband to call.
Her husband came home.
“I’m going to have to get some of that stuff,” Elizabeth says.
“My husband said, ‘You’re going to cry.’
I said, “No, I’m going out there crying.”
Elizabeth’s husband, Michael, was a father.
He is one of the few parents to be at home with his child when it is born.
But he was not able to be there when Elizabeth was born. “
We are like one big family,” Michael says.
But he was not able to be there when Elizabeth was born.
He had to be away for the birth, so he was unable to see her.
That’s why he wanted to be with her.
“There’s a lot of things that happen in your life and they can affect you in a way that you can’t predict,” he says.
And when Elizabeth had a heart attack, Michael was one of those things that could affect him.
“She was a very, very good mom,” he recalls.
“And she was always caring.
I mean, she would give up everything for us.”
Elizabeth was able to give birth to her son at home in a hospital bed, with her husband by her side.
“It was the best thing that could have ever happened to her,” says Michael.
“If she had not been able, we probably would not be able to have a normal family life.”
He also has a daughter, who is about the same age as Elizabeth.
“When she was a baby, she was very quiet,” he adds.
“But then she started to come around and she would play with other kids.
And I could never tell that she was not my daughter.” “
Then we would get to talking and I was like, ‘Wow, she’s like my daughter.’
And I could never tell that she was not my daughter.”
The moment he saw her smile, Michael knew that he could never say goodbye to Elizabeth.
They had such a strong bond, he says, that he knew it would be a lifetime for them.
“He loved her,” he tells me.
And now he’s proud of her.
But even though Michael is the sole caretaker of Elizabeth, he is not her sole caregiver.
Elizabeth’s father, Michael’s son, Michael Thomas, has been helping him.
And it has been an honor to watch his daughter grow up and be a role model to other dads.
He says he can’t imagine being in a position where he has to see his daughter cry in public.
But Michael Thomas says he is grateful for the support of the hospital staff.
“That’s just the way I feel,” he explains.
“You know, it’s just a blessing to have that kind of support.”
Elizabeth is now seven months old.
But in the months that follow, Michael and Elizabeth will spend their days together in a special apartment that Michael calls the “house of sorrow.”
And for the first time in their lives, Elizabeth will learn about the pain of birth.
“The whole time, you are kind of learning that you’re in pain,” Michael Thomas tells me over Skype.
“For her, it was just very difficult.
It was just, like, she had pain.
And she had to go through so much pain.”
The hospital staff says the family was able help Elizabeth through that time.
But that did not mean that the hospital would be able do more.
The birth itself was stressful, but the hospital has a dedicated team to assist the family during the recovery.
“So we are not only here to support the mom, but also the dad,” says Jennifer Roper, an OB/GYN at the hospital.
“Just for us to be able make sure that the mom has a comfortable place and the dad has a place that’s comforting for them.”
As soon as Elizabeth is older, she will be sent back to the NICU.
The hospital says that it will also be her last stay at the NICUs, because she will need to have an operation to remove a tumor.
Elizabeth will be a teenager again soon.
And Michael Thomas will be back at home working as a caregiver for his daughter, but this time, he will be able watch his own daughter in her birth.