After Samuel died, Bryan got to spend about 5 hours with him. Since I was in Mankato and had just come out of surgery, I had no way of being with him. We asked if Samuel could be brought back to Mankato for us to spend time with him, but the answer was "no". My heart was broken because all I wanted in the world was to hold him. (All I had been able to do was touch him from my bed). Despite many of us doing all we could to find a way to make it happen, there were laws that kept his body from being transported and laws that kept him from being able to enter another hospital after death. I cried and cried because I had not felt my baby against me. I found out later that my dad had really gone to bat for us, asking and pleading with anyone he could find to make it happen. He did his best and I'm very thankful for that, but it just couldn't happen. Someone (I still don't know who...) came up with the idea to Skype. My sister Angi set me up on her laptop and through the computer in the Rochester NICU, I was able to watch online as Bryan spent time with our son. (Thank you, Jesus, for technology!) I watched and cried as Bryan swaddled him and rocked him for a while.
After some time, with the help of the nurses, he made molds of Samuel's hands and feet, a mold of his hand in daddy's (I can't wait to see it!) and took a clipping of his hair. Then, I saw Bryan give Samuel a bath, dress him in a special outfit we had for him and wrap him in the blanket I had knit for him (my dad had brought Samuel's bag with to the hospital). Bryan was so gentle and loving with our precious baby! It confirmed what I've know for so long; he is a wonderful father.
Around 3am, Bryan said goodbye to Samuel one last time and handed him to the nurse. Then he and my dad drove back to Mankato to be with us.
Sometimes God doesn't give us what we ask for exactly. Many times though, he does give us the next best thing. This was one of those times; I couldn't be there in person, but Bryan could. His time with Samuel was the next best thing I could have instead of being there myself. I know Bryan treasures that time he got to have his baby all to himself. For that, I'm thankful.