This is Josiah's first picture. It was taken just moments after he was born and we posted it on our blog to announce his arrival. I just realized that we never found the time those first few days to actually write about this picture and the day Josiah was born. I'm not sure if I'm going to get to the day he was born or just talk about the picture. We'll see where this goes. I may have to break it up.
Josiah had to be delivered via c-section due to the complexity of his heart condition. Most babies with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome are okay to be delivered naturally but because Josiah's HLHS was so much more complicated with his intact atrial septum he created quite an emergency the moment he was born. Fortunately, I had some of the best prenatal care and everyone (except us, I realize now) was aware of how sick he was going to be when he was born. So he was taken via c-section at about 7:35am, May 20th. They held him up over the drape so I could see him for one tenth of a second and then placed him in his own crib on the other side of the room. Although, I could not see him because he was surrounded by doctors, he at least was in the same room as me and I was grateful. That's about as far as I'm going to get about the day he was born at this point.
One of the nurses in the operating room took it upon herself to take a picture with her cell phone and bring it over to me so that I could see him. She then texted the picture to Milo, who she knew was waiting anxiously in the hall. I have never been so grateful for a picture in all my life. Milo was able to send the picture to our blog and then because the hospital's television system has internet capabilities we were able to view that picture on the television in my room as we waited for hours to hear news of Josiah's life saving procedure. I remember and will probably never forget, laying in my hospital bed just hours after having given birth to our son, never holding him in my arms or barley even laying eyes on him and looking at that picture on the TV. I just stared at that picture and felt the most authentic feeling of worship I have ever felt. I don't think I have ever felt as close to God as I did in those moments. It's hard for me to explain. I was just so grateful for what God had given us. That's hard to understand because what God gave us was a baby boy who was deathly sick. But what I felt for Josiah was so different than what I felt with my girls. When my girls were born they were immediately placed in my arms and I fed them. I took care of them. I met there needs. But with Josiah it was completely out of my hands. I could do nothing for him. The only thing I had was a picture of him and my faith which tells me that Josiah has a Creator that loves him and is surprised by nothing. Those two things led me to a place of worship and adoration for our Creator. It is so much easier for me to hold on to control of my daughters futures but with Josiah the moment he was taken from my womb I had to release control of my plans for him to God. That left me in awe of God and His love for His people. That moment of worship lasted maybe 30 minutes when the phone rang in our room and the news came that Josiah's procedure wasn't going as well as they hoped. At that point the worry and fear took back over, but I am forever grateful for those moments of calm and peace before the storm.
I saw this picture again a couple of weeks ago when I was looking back at the blog. I had forgotten about this picture. I printed two days ago and put it in a very special frame in our house. It's not the best quality because it is a cell phone picture but it holds so many memories and so much meaning. When I picked it up from the store I sat in my car by myself and pulled the picture out. I was overwhelmed by emotion when I held it in my hand. I began crying and kissed this photo over and over. I look at this photo with a mix of emotions. On one hand it's a beautiful photo because it is Josiah before a single needle stick, before a breathing tube and ventilator and before any scars. But then, on the other hand, I know that if he had been left like that for 10 more minutes he would have died. He looked beautiful on the outside but he was broken and sick and dying even at the moment of his birth. All the while he is our son and he is beautiful and we love him so much and we would do anything to save him.
I can't help but draw a line from that to our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Because of sin we are spiritually broken and sick and dying and yet our Father sees us as beautiful and He loves us and He would do anything to save us. And He did through His son, Jesus. I don't claim to know why God created Josiah so physically broken and most likely I will never know but I am at peace knowing how much God loves Josiah, me, Milo, Daylia, Hazyl and all of his people. When you know that love the "whys?" fade away.