Romans 8:28

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Brianna and I were in the kitchen last Sunday afternoon listening to music. The song we were listening to featured lyrics as followed:

“Height nor depth nor anything else could pull us apart. We are joined as one by your blood.”

I’ve heard this song countless times, but for some reason, this time it just really rung in my soul. God’s heart for us is marvelous! So, I mentioned that to Brianna, and she had said, “I think that’s Romans 8:28.” I looked it up to see, and turns out, it was actually Romans 8:39, but it was another reminder that God gave me His best in Brianna. I was blown away she could do that off of the top of her head.

Monday, August 21

I was on the phone with my grandma that night. All of the sudden, I noticed Brianna rush into the bathroom. I rushed in there myself to see if everything was okay. We called our midwife just see if everything was okay. Brianna had thought potentially her amniotic fluid had leaked. Our midwife told us to simply monitor it.

But then it happened again.

And again. . .

And finally, after another phone call with our midwife, we were told to hurry and get to the birthing center.

We were completely unprepared for this, simply because our son’s due date was set for September 23rd. After a rushed attempt to gather anything we thought we potentially might need for the birth, I sped to the birthing center, which was our initial set spot to give birth to our baby.

The midwife had informed us that Brianna’s water had indeed broke, and that we were going to give birth to our son. However, since she was 35 weeks when her water broke, our little guy was not able to be born at the birthing center.

Our midwife gave us several suggestions for different hospitals we could go to, so we chose one and were on our way.

Tuesday, August 22

Our initial plan was to have a natural birth. No epidural. No C-section. Just a natural birth. Brianna was in labor for nearly 24 hours. In that 24 hours, us and the doctors tried everything. Turning positions, squats, walking, herbs, you name it.

Nothing.

Brianna’s cervix simply wouldn’t soften, and because of it, our little man wouldn’t be able to come out. Doctors had been examining his heart rate throughout the day. The dilemma was that when Brianna would contract, our son’s heart rate would decline. After prayer and consulting with family, God granted us the peace to have a C-section. It wasn’t in our plans by any means, but we’ve since found out that it certainly was a part of His.

After about a 40 minute procedure, we joyfully say — “Welcome to the world, Beau.” It was a crazy experience. As soon as he was out of the womb, doctors were passing him left and right. However, he still managed to have some quick snuggles with his momma, as you can see below. When Beau first came out, he was crying and crying and had his eyes closed. But as soon as he was placed next to Brianna, and she spoke softly in his ear, his crying stopped and he opened his eyes to find his mom.

It didn’t take long to learn that Beau was accompanied with some complications. He was struggling with his breathing, which was very evident by the motions of his chest muscles. Later examination and testing showed that Beau’s esophagus had failed to grow properly while in the womb, causing conflict with his ability to swallow. When you think of an ideal pregnancy, what our little Beau and Brianna had gone through so far didn’t really fit that description.

Romans 8:28 (continued)

I had a conversation with my pastor from back home. He shared with me that he and his kids recently had a morning Bible study together. Their focus in the Bible study? Romans 8:28. I also believe that it was that same day where the verse of the day in the Youversion Bible App was, you guessed it, Romans 8:28.

It was very evident that throughout this early part of our journey, God’s spoken word to us lied within Romans 8:28.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

This is fast forwarding a little bit, but at the hospital, Brianna’s aunt had texted her support to us, and in that text, the Scripture she mentioned was Romans 8:28. This I realized was the perfect verse to meditate on in the beginning of what will be a long journey ahead.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from our Pastor, it’s that God has a father’s heart for us. The same way I’m Beau’s father and love him, Christ loves us — but even more that what we can imagine. This verse is a reminder that despite the journey we embark on, God is a father who takes care of his kids.

Arrival at PCH

In the middle of the night of his birth, we were informed that Beau would need to be transferred to PCH to further treat his esophagus issues. While Brianna remained on bed rest at the hospital, I traveled with our little warrior over to PCH.

The more we’ve learned about PCH, the more comforted we feel. Ultimately, God is sovereign and will be who our dependence lies upon to heal Beau, but it’s comforting and encouraging to see the ability He has granted the medical staff there to perform the way they do. They’re widely ranked as one of the top pediatrician hospitals in the world, according to our midwife.

Beau traveled with the ECV team. It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized just how significant that was when I saw another baby show up in the same transporter as him.

When I showed up shortly after in my own vehicle, Beau looked similar to how he does below in some of the pictures as far as the amount of tubes and patches that surround him. To say the least, this was extremely painful and difficult to witness, especially as a new father.

What’s Next?

By next morning, I was informed by the medical team that our son would need surgery in order to begin the process of healing his esophagus. There isn’t much comfort with the thought of a preterm baby at 35 weeks old having surgery on his esophagus.

I had shared the news with my wife, and of course, things were even more emotional for her. Think about it, as soon as our son was born, he was everywhere but with my wife, the one person he needed to be with the most. If you know Brianna, you’d see the motherly instincts she’s carried long before Beau arrived. Hearing this had a devastating impact on both of us, but especially her since she couldn’t be there for him.

Prior to Surgery

Brianna continued to stay stuck at the other hospital as a part of her recovery from the C-section she had, so at the hospital to support Beau was just me. Leading up to the surgery, Beau was poked by so many different needles with various purposes, and he still had all of his tubes and cords on him.

He had (and still does have) tubes going into his vocal cords that are helping support his breathing. Therefore, when he cries, you see the facial expression knowing what he’s doing, but there’s no sound that follows it. This was the lowest emotionally I had ever been in my entire life, and I know Brianna felt the same way after I shared with her later what was happening. Knowing your son was in a lot of pain and trying his hardest to sound off that pain, but couldn’t, is painful to witness. Son, you are a warrior. Your mom and dad both agree you are the strongest person we know, and we love you.

Post Surgery

After a 3–4 hour operation, we received some good news that things went well, but it sounds like Brianna and I will have to be patient to take our Beau Handsome home with us. Because Beau’s esophagus was so short, they were not able to connect it to his stomach. Instead, they were forced to insert a feeding tube into his stomach so milk could be pumped directly there. Doctors have given us an estimated timeline of about 3 months before Beau could come with us.

The situation certainly isn’t what we hoped for, but he has been receiving unbelievable care at PCH. All of the nurses are great, but there’s been one nurse in particular who from the get-go has primarily been with him. She treats him as if he’s her own son, which brings rest to Brianna and I. They also provide the ability to stream a video online to watch him bedside. We love waking up in the middle of the night and seeing our handsome guy snoozing away or being a night owl like his dad, lying wide awake.

Recap of What’s Happened

August 25 — Our nurse told us this great story about one of her patient’s parents. She said that two dads that were long time friends ran into each other at a Starbucks. One of the dads asked where his baby was at, and the dad had said he was just in the car. Ultimately, word got back to that dad guy’s wife. She asked him if he was at Starbucks that day, and he said yeah. His wife asked if he left the baby in the car, and he said yeah I did. She kindly informed him to not do that again. Our nurse asked her how she didn’t freak out over that, and she (the wife) said he’s my teammate, we’re on the same team, I can’t do that. She also said he’s the only person who understands exactly what they’re going through.

This story was comforting to Brianna and I, and a reminder that we need to be on the same team throughout this journey.

Brianna also got to hold Beau for the first time! Beau was mesmerized by his mom and was looking at her. Beau also posed for the perfect picture.

August 26 — They are continuing to increase his milk intake and reduce his nutritional IV’s. He also got his first full meal from Brianna! Diz, Brianna, and Gaga sang Landslide & Gypsy to help calm Beau.

August 27 — Great news to start our day! Brianna and I woke up to a sticky note on Beau’s head that said “Mommy + Daddy ~ I pooped x 3”. These were Beau’s first stools. Who knew one could be so thrilled that a baby pooped. I also changed his diaper for the first time as well. He tried to pee on me, but mom helped shield it. Diz and my dad also got to hold Beau for the first time. Gaga changed Beau’s diaper for the first time as, and in addition, we received a copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible!

Moving Forward

So this is where we’re at currently today, the 28th. There’s been so much more that’s happened that I’m sure I missed, but we’re both thankful to be able to share with you all his progression over the next few months. Brianna and I are already imagining the day when we get to take our little one home. It will be some time, but the day it does happen our appreciation will be through the roof.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” — Psalm 127:3

We love you son, and I’m so thankful that my 23rd birthday gets to be shared with the greatest blessing your Heavenly Dad has given us — you.

Below are some additional photos we’ve taken so far. Definitely will be more to come!