Wow, today I pause to celebrate Samuel’s birthday – 9 years ago today he came into the world by a true act of God at 5 lbs 10 oz and just 2 weeks early. And everyday, we have been blessed….
I talked about our infertility when I wrote Mary’s post on March 19th. So truly Samuel is a miracle. After having Mary we were re-informed that she was a once-in-a-lifetime miracle and I would never conceive again. We also knew with all the complications during her pregnancy, that my body would not likely carry another pregnancy. I still did not ovulate and precautions to prohibit future pregnancies were taken. But God laughed at the doctor’s, laughed at our attempts to prevent pregnancies, and surprised us all. I still remember not feeling well and couldn’t figure out why and when I did 4 pregnancies tests all returning positive, and then telling Jim. We were amazed! But very scared… we had been through a lot with Mary’s pregnancy so I immediately called our physician – surgery was scheduled for me to prevent early dilation and I was placed on travel restrictions (I was working in Pittsburgh at the time). Everything looked like it was going to be okay… well, until the contractions and bleeding multiple times throughout the pregnancy. I believe about 7 hospital visits/stays. I can’t forget complete bedrest at 5 months (even more fun with a small daughter). Uncontrolled diabetes where I would have a high but drop so low that I had to teach Mary how to call daddy if I passed out. We can’t forget of the extensive testing because at 35 weeks we believed I had a pulmonary embolism that went to my lung – thankfully it had not traveled there and baby and I were okay. After all the excitement and uncontrolled diabetes I was scheduled for induction. I had it all planned, I would be induced on Thursday, home on Friday or Saturday morning, and to Mary’s first dance recital on Saturday. Just as we had not planned the pregnancy, God was planning the delivery day….
I must say, I remember most of day, Mary was there in a pink Disney princess nightgown, my induction went slowly at first, but then things began to go badly quickly. I remember getting my epidural so Mary could lay in bed with me. I remember them starting an insulin drip for what I figure now was me going into shock. I remember thinking wow there are a lot of people in my room. I remember Jim saying he couldn’t stay in the room and my oxygen saturations were so low I was like “okay” – no idea I was undergoing an emergency c-section. I had no idea that they told Jim they were not sure either of us would make it. I had no idea he left the room because he couldn’t watch us die. I have one picture from that day of Samuel. He was born and needed a little oxygen but was okay – praise the Lord! He was taken to Jim and his parents. They still were not sure about me… I lost a lot of blood and had low oxygenation for awhile. I have no idea how much time passed before they knew I was going to be okay it seemed – all I know was to them it seemed to be forever.
The adventure continued that year – he was so little and got a pretty good case of jaundice. We had to wrap in bili blanket that wrapped around him about 3 times. I called him little boy blue. By 5 weeks he was having a really hard time eating and would spit up, but I still remember the night he stopped breathing. All I could think of was Lord, you gave him to us, don’t take him now. Thankfully we remained calmed and after rescue breaths he seemed okay. They thought it was reflux so did a swallow eval – he stopped breathing for them too. All I knew was it would be time to return to work in Pittsburgh and our little man would stop breathing while I was gone. I returned for the required few weeks and resigned my position with a hopeful per diem job lined up. The Lord helped save him those times and knew he would provide for us financially.
Those that get to know Samuel are forever touched. His progress report on his I.E.P. says “Samuel has a great imagination and can create complex descriptive sentences… he has a lot to offer to the class. He is a joy to work with.” It did my heart good to read that. We know how awesome he is and how blessed we are and are so thankful when others see that too!
God just knew we needed Samuel in our lives to touch our everyday. In hindsight, there were many signs along the way about his uniqueness. I truly believe that he was hand-selected to be our child because we needed him to ground us and help our imaginations grow. I remember sitting on the bed holding him and Mary was giving him lovin’s and she said Grandma Mary picked me out and she picked you out too! He needed to be our child so we could have his laughter in our lives to take life a little less serious. There is nothing (immunizations or diet, etc) to be blamed for his Autism – it is his gift to us – He is exactly as God created him no excuse or blame needed! He is amazing. There is not a day that does by that he doesn’t bring a smile to our face and make us think of life through a different set of eyes. The sky is the limit and I truly believe there is NOTHING that he cannot accomplish if he chooses. The only things truly out for him is being a lawyer or a politician – because he is 100% honest and with Asperger’s he cannot conceptualize a lie (=
Samuel James was named after the middle names of Jim’s Grandfathers. Also, Samuel means “God hears” (we always joke and say we should have found the name that meant God laughed (= It is so true – God hears.. he hears our hearts even when we do not speak a word. And to our prayers – He heard and He answered with Samuel.
Happy Birthday Samuel!