Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Time with Daddy

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.
After he was all clean and snuggled up, Bryan rocked with him and cuddled him close for a long time. My dad and brothers were also able to spend time with him. The non-profit Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep sent a photographer to capture all this time Bryan had with Samuel. She took what I can only imagine is hundreds of photos and I can't wait to see them. What a treasure it will be to have those memories! (I forgot to mention in the last post - NILMDTS also sent a photographer to the hospital in Mankato. She took photos from the time Samuel was in the nursery to the time he left for Rochester. Again, I can't wait to see them!) I was able to talk to them, so I asked Bryan to hold Samuel up for me to get a good look at him. I did my best to memorize each inch of his face. His tiny, perfect little nose, his little lips and chin, his rosy, chubby little cheeks, his hair and his perfect little ears. My heart was aching to hold him and kiss him and smell him. But since I couldn't, I tried to be thankful that Bryan could. In my place, he kissed him and caressed him and smoothed his soft hair. He held him close for me and did what I couldn't. I kept thinking, "I got to spend eight months with Samuel almost all to myself. Samuel loved his daddy so much ( Bryan's voice always got the most kicks) but I was always in the way from him spending time alone with just daddy. Now, he was having  his "daddy time". My love for Bryan grew so much during that time! He was so amazing to be strong enough to take perfect care of our little love. I will never forget the joy, sorrow, pride and pain on his face as he spent time with Samuel.

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.


  1. so many thoughts and prayers for you honey! I cry sitting here reading your post.

    He is perfect and sooo handsom! Thank you for sharing those beautiful pictures

  2. What a precious story of your and Bryan's love for your little baby boy! He truly was (and always will be - in your hearts and those who knew his story) a priceless treasure.

  3. You have shared the hardest event I. Your life and you did. It pubically and with grace. What a testimony to Christ. My heart goes out to you. Samuel is up in heaven I have to believe playing with our little Abigail Naomi.
    Know we will not stop praying for you.
    At some point when you are ready, you should consider a second career b/c you are an extremely gifted writed.
    blessing as you heal, you are never far from my heart, thoughts, and prayers. Please call on me if there is anything I can do. I love you guys. God blesss

  4. I am sitting here with tears rolling down my face as I read your story. I don't think I would have the strength and courage that you have showed going through this. I am so sorry for your loss but am so grateful that you were willing to share this with us. You are such a wonderful eloquent writer. My heart just goes out to you and Bryan. consider yourself hugged from me. As always you will continue to be in my prayers. Please let me know if there is anything I can do. Love you!

  5. You are both amazing parents. What a story. Thank you for sharing your thoughts through this whole process. None of it is in vain. I love you guys, and little Samuel.

  6. I sit here with tears streaming down my face, completely heartbroken for you.

    I do not know you, and I'm sure I will never meet you, but my own Mama heart goes out to you.

    I've followed your story for some time, praying each day for your precious baby boy. As I read your heartbreaking post about his birth, I just kept asking God, WHY? I know his reasons are far beyond anything we can ever comprehend,and I know God is good..all the time. Someday when you are reunited with your precious baby boy, the question of WHY will no longer matter.

    I'm so sorry for your loss, you will remain in our prayers.

    In HIS name. Blessings.

  7. My heart hurts for you because I know how it feels to not be able to be there. My husband wasn't either, so I am glad for you that your husband could. Samuel is perfect and beautiful. Thank you for sharing his story.

    Lots of love,


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