My Son's Birth: Not Breathing

He wasn't breathing. And I'm not so sure I was either.

The cord was wrapped not once or twice but three full times around his neck. And he was blue. Bluer than the freshest blueberries. Bluer than Superman's royal costume. Bluer than the ocean on the clearest day. Too blue for our liking.

They pulled him out and immediately shifted him over to the incubator. Not too sure of what's going on and my wife reaching for him, we started to cry. My heart did not beat. My feet were not standing. And my soul fell past the bottom floor of the hospital. 

Each second felt like a gong hitting us in the diaphragm. 

I've known so many who've lost their babies at birth. But to actually be there. To be in that moment where you questioned everything you've ever known. To see my wife carry a child for an entire pregnancy only to see him like a lifeless doll. Words cannot describe the torment, the confusion, and the fear-the numbing fear. I wasn't strong enough for this.

So we did the only thing we could do. We held each other tighter than we ever could, put my head to hers and prayed the most tear-filled anxious prayer I've ever had to pray.

"God. Please. Just please. Let him liv-"

At that very moment, a noise burst through the drowning grips of death. The windows shook. My heart burned with warmth. Our tears transformed to the purest smile we ever shared.

A cry.
And between each cry, beautiful, long sustained breaths. 
Breathing in, breathing out.
Our boy was alive.

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The longest minute of our lives was over. He just had his latest checkup and he is said to be one very healthy and as two doctors and three nurses put it "abnormally strong". (He was pushing his arms up into a pseudo pushup formation and lifting his own head up to look around the second he came off the incubator.)

He is strong. Stronger than I've ever been. 
And full of breath. The most beautiful breaths. Ones that I'm convinced contain the resonance of a full ensemble.

I know not everyone has been so lucky as we were to get through this with a healthy, living baby. I know that the prayers like Pam and I prayed have often fallen with much somber, silent responses. 

But I have to believe for that very reason, God has him here for a purpose.
To be a fighter. To be strong. To breathe.
And to make history with those breaths.

But so are we all I suppose. 

I wrote a poem last summer about this very notion. Right in the middle of our youth ministry summer trips. Not sure why I exactly it came to me, but it did. 

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Though, now I know what this poem was truly for.
Now I know who it was for.

I'll close with that same poem.
May it speak to you, as it does to me, the same power of the very breath our Creator puts in our lungs.

It is strong. It is good. And it writes history.

—Breathe—
inhale
the morning
exhale
the night

inhale
the starting
exhale
the fright

inhale
the purpose
exhale
the fight

& this how
with
my lungs
I’ll write

Love you Desmond.
Your Mom, Your Dad, Your Sister, and Your Maker can't wait to see what you write.