Meet Barrett. He wasn’t supposed to be here. His parents had prepared themselves to lose a son before ever bringing him home from the hospital. They had mourned, grieved, and learned to celebrate the short life he was expected to have.
I was there for his birth. The morning was a mix of emotions: lighthearted chit chat, belly laughs, quiet waiting. The c-section was pushed back twice due to other emergencies. The wait was hard. A heart rate monitor was hooked up so we could see Barrett’s stats, and with each beat of his heart we wondered what the next few hours would be like.
Then it was time. The walk to the operating room, settling in and waiting for the doctors to share any information they might have. Quiet anticipation. Sweet whispers between Barrett’s parents. And then… the moment. The doctors pulled down the curtain and we saw Barrett for the first time. It was pretty magical. After a few minutes, the doctors shared the news… Barrett was breathing and acting like a normal preemie. It appeared he would be with us for more than a few minutes or hours, and he needed to go to the NICU. His dad cut his cord, they introduced him to mom, and then whisked him away to the NICU. The doctors let us follow for a little bit, but then asked us to leave for an hour or so. At this point, everything was still unclear, except that Barrett was going to be around, at least for longer than expected. After months of preparation for the opposite, the excitement was cautious, but slowly it started to build.
Barrett didn’t pass away that day. Or the next. He lived, thrived, and four days later he left the hospital with his parents. They had to go find a car seat and buy some clothes! Can you imagine? Preparing yourself for months to lose an infant son– the mourning and loss– and then you bring him home! Barrett was diagnosed with an encephalocele and brain malformation. On his one week birthday I went to visit him at home with his family. He’s a strong little boy, and in the most loving home a boy could hope for! The future is still unclear, but the family is doing well as they’re adjusting to a life far better with their little boy in their arms. It’s hard to put everything into words, so from here I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Barrett’s family absolute appreciate your prayers as they’re still not sure how long he will be with them. They shared these verses, which perfectly sum up their story:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are mine!
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.”
Love looking at adorable newborns? You’ll love this!