W I L L

Dear Will,

We were so excited to have you!  Your daddy and I had wanted to have a baby for a whole year and a half.  We felt like we had to wait so long, but we knew God's timing was the best.  Finally, in August 2012,  we found out you were in my tummy - one day after we had an offer accepted on a new house in Sioux Center.  It was a season of lots of changes for our little family!  It was a pretty overwhelming start to things - moving to a new house, a new town, your daddy started a new job...  Though we were a little stressed, God gave us you as a special blessing to brighten our days.

Binkie was my midwife throughout the pregnancy.  She looked after you and checked your heartbeat.  She even let us take a peek at you through the ultrasound.  You were developing perfectly.

I was really sick during the first part of having you in my tummy - especially at night.  I had to eat really, really bland things and lay down a lot to keep from throwing up all the time.

As you grew bigger, you started kicking up a storm.  You were such a wiggly baby!  I knew you'd be rambunctious like your dad.  I couldn't sleep on my stomach anymore, so getting my beauty sleep became more tricky.  But great news - my appetite came back around 20 weeks, and I started to feel much better!  I could finally enjoy having you in my tummy.

As you grew even bigger, you gave me lots of heartburn.  Lots and lots.  Some people say that the more heartburn a mom has, the more hair the baby will have.  You proved them right!  We spent that last chunk of the pregnancy fixing up your nursery, going to baby showers, and making sure we had everything we needed to take care of you.

The closer we came to my due date, the more excited we were to see you!  You were officially due on April 8, but that day came and went...  More and more days passed, and you still didn't show up!  We were growing so impatient...

Finally, on Sunday, April 21st - two and a half weeks after my due date - I started to feel contractions.  They were coming consistently at 7-10 minutes.  We tried to stay busy as we waited.  Your daddy and I played Ticket to Ride, went for a cruise around town and got some ice cream to pass the time.  I barely slept a wink Sunday night!

On Monday, I called in "sick" at ATLAS.  Contractions were coming steadily at 5 minutes now!  Lunch time came, and no progress.  Evening came and went - still nothing besides regular contractions and no sleep!  In the late hours of Monday night and the wee hours of Tuesday morning, you must have decided you were finally ready to see the world = my contractions started to hurt much more, and Mark called our midwives to come.  It was really happening now!

Tuesday was a really, really rough day.  I labored hard - so hard - at home, all day long.  By evening, I was so very tired - not having slept the last two nights and was too sick to eat much except a few Popsicles.  I was so disheartened and so impatient to see you, little Will!  Our midwives finally decided to break my water to speed things  along, but somehow, you got stuck, and just weren't wanting to come out.  You must have been so comfy inside my belly!  We decided to drive an hour to Sioux Falls to continue the labor in a hospital.

Finally, at 1pm on WEDNESDAY, after a marathon 40 hours of labor, you made your appearance!  You had lots of dark brown hair and pooped everywhere!  Way to make your mark, Buddy.  Your grandmas, grandpas, aunties and uncles stopped by to see you and give you lots of hugs.  It was a great first day!

Thursday was another tough day, though.  We found out you had some really bad owies inside your little head.  The nurses rushed you to another part of the hospital so special doctors could take care of you.  We were so sad and scared for you!  You had two big strokes, bleeding in your brain, and lots of seizures - someone even had to help you keep breathing!

The next two days were the hardest your daddy or I ever had gone through.  We couldn't hold you, I couldn't nurse you at all - all we could do was sit beside you and pray and pray and pray that you would get better. We wanted to scoop you up, give you a hug, and tell you everything was going to be okay, but we couldn't.  It broke our hearts.

But you know what, Will?

Jesus was protecting you, angels were watching over you, and thousands of people were praying for you.

And...you started to get better!  Bit by bit, your seizures and breathing were regulated, you started going to the bathroom by yourself, you started eating really well, and we got to hold you and give you lots of kisses!  Jesus was healing your little head and protecting you with his helmet.

We took you home from the hospital a week after you were born.  We were so excited!  We were still scared that you might have another seizure or be paralyzed or have something called cerebral palsy, but we knew that God could take care of you.  We decided to take one day at a time, to do our best at being your mama and daddy, and to trust Jesus with the rest.  We were just so happy to start our lives together as a family - just the three of us!

...

More of Will's story can be found here:

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