Thursday, February 18, 2016

A daddy moment: My baby's breath and answered prayers

Julie doing what she does best
This is one of my all-time favorite photos of Julie. I think it captures so much of what I love about her. It's how I know her so well. She's just loving on a baby. There's more than a few of these photos around believe it or not, but this one just captured my heart. I think that's because there's a tenderness to it, on many levels.

You can see Julie's right hand is in mid-pat and little Seth is asleep, looking quite content and loved. The way babies should feel. I'm guessing he has a full tummy from nursing, judging from the blanket over Julie's shoulder. I also like how Ezra is in the background reaching out and has his hand on his little brother. Our older kids have always loved our babies so much. It's always been so sweet.

I had forgotten the back story to this photo until it showed up on my Facebook news feed today under one of those "Three years ago" notifications. Indeed the photo was taken three years ago and there's a story to it. It turns out little Seth was really, really sick. He had been suffering from a cold and had a fever.

The next day he was admitted to Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk because he couldn't breathe. He wasn't even two months old yet and I'm pretty positive a lot of parents can relate to the torture of listening to your babies struggle to breathe. I remember many, many sleepless nights when our babies have been sick and neither of us sleeps. Or we try and take turns sleeping while the other holds the baby. Rough, rough nights. And rough days to follow.

The day after that photo was taken, after what I'm sure was another sleepless night, Julie took him into the doctor. The doctor didn't take long to advise Julie to go home, pack her things and take him down to CHKD. Right away.

Seth having a rough couple of days at CHKD
He spent a couple of days, maybe three at most, at CHKD while they got his lungs cleared up. I remember driving down there late in the afternoons and spending several hours in the room with Seth and Julie, who didn't leave of course. I like to say she nursed him back to health -- literally. I remember driving home at night, saying prayers across as I crossed the James River on the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, prayers that didn't stop miles and miles later as the Coleman Bridge carried me home over the inky night darkness of the York River 90 feet below.

I'm thankful for doctors and places like CHKD. We've spent more than a few days down there with various Sabo kids for various reasons. They've always taken care of us.

When the photo of Julie and Seth with Ezra in the background popped up in my Facebook feed it brought an immediate smile to my face. And as I looked back through the photos around that time three years ago and remembered the trauma of the moment, I thought how blessed I am by the Lord with all these healthy babies we've had. They've had their moments of illness, but they've always been relatively brief.

And I don't think it's so strange that I found myself missing those moments. Those times of holding a tiny little baby in my arms, snuggled up against my chest with his arms and legs all folded up and wrapped tightly in a blanket and listening to him breathe easily. And knowing that prayers are answered.

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