When I first thought about this post, it was going to be about the year in review. But truth be told, there is one single event that stands out in my mind more than any other. And that is the story I have to tell you today. It won’t start with “Once upon a time” but I will tell you now, that this chapter does end with “happily ever after.”
You may remember when I shared about the couple who announced the gender of their baby with a custom-made cake and the blue batter. (Here is that post.) This is their story, or should I say the story of the little baby boy who came very early.
As if in shock, I sat there in my bed in utter disbelief. Dumbfounded and very unclear what this meant for the baby. We had just spoken 6 hours earlier and while she was uncomfortable, nothing that would indicate delivery was imminent. Not even a month earlier, we had all been so excited to cut into that cake and discover whether this sweet child was a boy or girl. And now, at 24 weeks gestation, he was to be born.
I laid back in bed as if in a false reality and uttered every prayer that flooded my mind. And within probably 10 seconds, I shot back up and told Dan I had to go. Tara and I live just over two hours apart from each other. I knew I wouldn’t make it there for the birth, but I had to be there, nonetheless. Dan made arrangements to be home with the kids so that I could stay as long as I needed.
I got ready as fast as I could and hopped into the car to start my hospital-bound journey. On the road, I prayed . . . I cried. I simply couldn’t believe she and her husband, Jon, were going through this. All the emotions and all the questions. She had told me on the phone that the baby had a 50 percent chance of survival. I cried out to the Lord for this little boy’s life to be saved.
At one point during my drive, I turned on Moody radio. The preacher, an older Southern-sounding gentleman very directly said these words, “Jesus is able. Whatever your need, Jesus is able and He will carry you through.” Because these words struck deep in my heart, I claimed them for Tara and Jon. Peace and hope filled my spirit. I glanced at the time . . . ‘about 4:40am. I should be arriving at the hospital in less than an hour now.’
As I pulled in the hospital parking lot, I received a second call from Tara. The baby had been born. He weighed 1 lb, 12 oz and was rushed to the NICU with barely a chance for the new parents to see their son.
When I got inside, I was greeted by grandparents and Tara’s sister-in-law. All were anxious, yet hopeful in the mighty power of God. I was soon thereafter able to go in and see Tara. She looked good. She looked peaceful and much more pulled together than I think I would have been in that situation.
As the minutes turned into hours, I could feel my confidence growing that God would save him, especially when I learned that he was born at 4:39am, just about the time I heard that message on the radio reminding me that Jesus is able. God is so good. Even now, as I write this over six months later, I can’t help but tear up thinking of the happenings of that day.
While a June birthday meant all the uncertainty and complications of a premature birth, it was still a special day. That precious day was the day of his birth, the day my friend became a mother, the day her sweet son was born.
Later in the morning, we were given the opportunity to see him. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was taken back by his small size. His head was smaller than my palm. His chest could have fit under the cup of my hand. My daughter was born at 8 lbs, 10 oz. The difference was beyond measure. He was so tiny . . . but he was perfect. He looked beautiful! With lots of hair and perfect little features, just lying there, he was a miracle. He would have a tough journey ahead and he would prove to be a fighter.
Over the next few days and even weeks, I cried a lot. It wasn’t that I didn’t expect him to live or that I had lost faith. I was grieving what my dear friend was about to face. Days and nights in the hospital, questionable and scary monitor readings, the worry, the anxiety, the sleepless nights, watching everything being done to their little boy and knowing that all this would require every ounce of strength they could muster.
And while he did experience brain bleeds, premature lung issues, a lengthy time on the ventilator and many ups and downs, I can most assuredly say that God was with this little boy and his parents. They were covered in prayer by so many . . . by family, friends and multiple churches. The baby came home mid-September, before his due date. And so with a deep breath and yet more tears, I say Glory to God! For He is able!
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
Check out these recent photos of this little cutie pie!