Happy First Birthday, Liam!

Dear Liam,

It’s crazy that a YEAR AGO today I woke up at 2 am seeing stars with an undeniable pressure headache. I remember laying there and fighting the conviction I was feeling. I knew that my symptoms were indicative of a serious spike in blood pressure, but I also knew that pushing my nurse call button would most likely result in your immanent delivery—something we had been praying would be delayed for the past 43 days.

As much as we knew God was with us, {and as much as He had proven Himself again and again}, it was still terrifying to not know what was on the other side of that operating room. I pushed that button. And the nurses and doctors came and confirmed what I thought to be true—my body was done being the safest place for you. I could carry you no longer. As they prepped me for my emergency surgery, the tears rolled down my cheeks onto the sterile floor. The lights were bright. The hustle and bustle was robotic and chaotic and yet, organized.

As they held the mask up to my face to put me to sleep, I closed my eyes and said, “Okay Jesus…” I had no idea what was on the other side of that operating room. We didn’t know how you would arrive. If you would be able to breathe. If you would have any serious brain bleeds or complications. We had no idea what to expect…

And today we are celebrating your one year birthday. That is UNREAL. Not only was your birth story incredible, but the back story as well. There were so many days that we were certain that we’d never meet you, be your parents, kiss you or hug you.

But those days are gone. And you are here. And you are ours. And we have gotten to spend the last year living life with you, watching you grow, meet new milestones, and become the little man that you are becoming. It has been such a joy.

The joy is sweeter for us because of the heartache. I’ve been reading through old blog posts as we faced some of the challenges in the hospital a year ago when you came early…I found this quote I had blogged that so perfectly describes your whole story!

“The saint is hilarious when he is crushed with difficulties because the thing is so ludicrously impossible to anyone but God.”

Your conception and birth were so LUDICROUSLY impossible, son. Told we would never conceive. Failed transfer. Successful second transfer, but tragic miscarriage of your twin at 6 weeks with heavy bleeding. Broken water at 23 weeks. Early delivery at 29 weeks. COME ON! You can’t make that up. How are you here?

I found this other excerpt from a post that I wrote two weeks in to being admitted to the hospital. I was having a particularly difficult day.

“…we have had to have some incredibly difficult conversations.

Like the one where the intake nurse said, “I’m sorry. Viability is 24 weeks. You are 23 weeks, 4 days. I’m not sure what they will be able to do.”

Like the one where the doctor told us that our chances of our son surviving birth were less than 10% and chances of serious disability 100%.

Like the one where the neonatologist had to honestly walk us through what it would look like to swaddle our baby and spend his last moments alive holding him and saying goodbye.

Like the one Jason and I had a few days ago as we waited for the doctors to come and get me for an emergency c-section.

Me: {with tears streaming down my face} “Babe, he could die today.”

Jason: “I know.”

Long pause. Silence as we look into each other’s eyes and let the gravity and weight of it hit us. It’s too much. He squeezes my hand. We are terrified.

Me: “But if he makes it, I will be recovering from surgery so I want you to go be with him.”

Jason: “I don’t want to see him without you being there, but I will go if that’s what you want.”

Me: “It is. But I want you to be prepared for what he will look like. He will be hooked up to all sorts of machines and have cords and wires all over him. He will look scary.”

Jason: “He will look like my son.”

Raw.

These are the conversations we have had to have and the circumstances we have had to deal with and the emotions we have had to address. Facing the possibility of your son’s death is impossible. Impossible, friend. It’s too much. It chokes the air out of you. It turns the world black. And upside down. Everything feels broken. And hopeless. And like you are losing control.

Enter Jesus.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27 ESV)

And, miracle of miracles. Our hearts are not troubled and our hearts are not afraid. We have a peace that passes understanding. Because of Jesus. The Restorer. The Redeemer. The Healer. The Comforter. He is good. He is good. He is good. He is good. Our promise is in Him. He loves Liam more than we ever could. He walks with us.

That holds true today. You didn’t die. You lived. And we praise God and give Him all the glory and all the thanks and all the praise. He has been good to us, we and we celebrate Him and you and the gift of being a family today.

Happy First Birthday, Lilo Man. We love you.

Mama and Dad

Here are some fun throwback pics from the last year!

13 thoughts on “Happy First Birthday, Liam!

  1. I remember praying so much ands God answered all the prayers . Happy 1st. Birthday Liam , can’t believe it’s been a year already . . May you have nothing but happy days ahead . God Bless your family .

  2. SandiB says:

    Thank God we serve a God of “I Cans”. You and Jason reflected God’s strength and love so beautifully. God bless your beautiful family!

  3. Ana Aguirre Cañas says:

    Kate, your story brings happiness to the world. Happy birthday to your baby boy. He is much loved everywhere!

  4. Shelly & Keith Cardish says:

    Wow, {deep, very deep breaths…}
    Okay, I remember the prayers, the tears, the joy…but I think the weight of His faithfulness didn’t quite kick-in for me until I read this post!
    Kate, we are standing on Holy Ground here. Really Holy. I almost want to fall on my face and praise Him.
    Okay, maybe I will…hang on one moment while I fall down…
    Okay – I’m back in the chair now.
    Awesome God, Holy God but most of all -
    Faithful Father.
    Happy birthday Little Liam – and may you be blessed with many, many, many more.
    In fact, Liam, I give you the Psalm that my own father was blessed with:
    Psalm 128:6, “May you live to see your children’s children”
    Love and hugs from NY

  5. Sarah says:

    Aw! That post and the pictures sure bring back memories!!! I remember praying so often for Liam, and every morning I’d wake up in Australia and straight away check my phone to see how you all were.
    I haven’t checked your blog for maybe a couple of months so it was lovely to check in and see Liam has turned 1. :) Praise God for his precious life.

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