On January 14th, 2016, Samuel Lincoln came sunny-side up into the world.
He was born at 12:56 pm, weighed 7 lbs 14 oz, and was 21 inches long. Unlike his brother, he was born with head full of dark hair and a less intense entrance.
However, just minutes after he was born, he was struggling to clear out all that extra gunk from his throat. When a nurse tried to suction out his throat, she noticed that the tube didn't go all the way down. By God's grace, a doctor was literally walking past and she asked him about it.
He told us that it might be that his esophagus is not connected to his stomach, (that's the layman way to say it), but further tests would be needed to determine if that was the reason he was struggling. He told us that if it was the case, then he would need to be taken to a different hospital about an hour and a half from us to have surgery.
Goodness, my momma heart felt weary at those words. In that moment, a hundred expectations shattered. Especially after Luke's beginning in the NICU, I felt as though I had been cheated from all those normal having-a-baby moments--the siblings meeting, the bonding time after birth, the family pictures, the ability to nurse without tubes and beeps and worry.
Yet, at the same time, I felt so thankful. Thankful that that our nurse noticed something. Thankful that he came sunny-side up. Thankful that a doctor walked by at just the right time. Thankful that it was discovered so early--which prevented a long list of possible complications.
In that hospital room, sadness and thankfulness met. Frustration and seeing God's faithfulness meshed.
Within an hour after he was born, he was taken in for an x-ray to help make a diagnosis.
After his x-ray and the confirmation that he did need surgery, my sweet nurse Amanda let me hold him for a few minutes before she had to bring him to the NICU. I didn't know when I would get to hold him again, so I took in those sacred moments as best as I could.
While holding him, Amanda told me with tears in her eyes, that it really was just God. She knew of the complications that could have occurred if someone hadn't noticed, and she knew it really was God's hand of protection over Samuel. I'll never forget that moment--the nurse praising Jesus, the weight of my newborn son in my arms, a thousand emotions pouring into my heart, and the comfort of Emmanuel tangible and unexplainable.
Within a few hours, we literally watched his helicopter fly away and I could do nothing but pray, hope, and remember that God is good--even when my expectations are unmet or my child would have major surgery within the next 24 hours.
Samuel did have surgery the next day--and it went so well. We know that a thousand prayers were whispered for sweet Samuel and our family. We felt the comfort, peace, and sovereignty of God amidst a time when fear and anxiety can easily swallow you whole.
I hope to share more about his time in the NICU and those days between his birth and his homecoming. But for now, I just wanted to share that we are now home with our sweet son, and all of us are completely smitten :)