Dear beloved friends and family,
Jimmy and I are humbled, honored, and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we have received from each of you. The last 4 days have been an absolute whirlwind of activity...none of which we could have prepared for and quite frankly, none of which we have had time to process. But fortunately, none of which we have had to face alone thanks to our precious Lord and each of you.
Our "chosen" son was born unexpectedly on Tuesday, June 3, at 7:10pm, weighing 3 lbs, 15 oz. On Monday night, I thought I was in labor with consistent and somewhat painful contractions followed by a bit of bleeding. We went to triage at Celebration Health and they decided to keep me overnight for observation because ultrasound and monitoring showed potential signs of fetal distress. When continued monitoring on Tuesday failed to show progress for the baby (and alternatively showed additional signs of distress), we decided to heed the advice of our doctors and bring our baby into the world by emergency C-section.
Jimmy and I thought our biggest battle would be caring for our pre-mature baby. Instead, he was born with a series of "anomalies" that when pieced together, amount to an unfortunate diagnosis: Trisomy 13. In essence, each cell in our baby boy's body has three copies of chromosome 13 instead of the usual two copies. When a child has an extra 13th chromosome, the genetic messages are confused and contradictory – there’s just too much to juggle. This results in multiple significant defects in major organ systems. Trisomy 13 (also called Patau Syndrome) is fatal.
We don't know how long our son, Zachary, with be on this Earth. What we do know is that our Dear Lord entrusted Jimmy and I to parent this special baby and for that, we are deeply humbled and grateful. We also know that he was sent to us with our Savior knowing that Jimmy and I are surrounded by people like you who will help us, learn with us, laugh with us, cry with us, and love our baby. We can not thank you enough for all you have already done and all we will ask of you in the days, weeks, and perhaps months to come. Our greatest wish is to show Zachary the kind of love he deserves to feel in the potentially very short time he has in this life.
Each of you has asked, "what can we do?" and in our flurry of activity, we are trying to figure that out. We thank you and we praise our God for sending you to us. We promise we will ask and we thank you for everything you have already done. But beyond that, we invite you to join us on our journey. We believe it will be filled with lessons of hope, grace, love, and precious reminders of God's great glory. We aren't asking, "why did this happen?" Instead, we are asking, "how do we honor our dear son?". Jimmy and I have an awesome account of the many blessings we have already been given in the few short days he has been in our lives. Imagine what is still to come!
Your prayers, calls, e-mails, and messages are welcome and warm our souls. Our dear friend Julie is helping us with a blog (one of the MANY inspirations from the Sams family) to share updated information and pictures.
We feel the tender embrace of each of you and our precious Lord.
Kristen, Jimmy, Carter, Addison, and Zachary (which means, "Remembered by the Lord"; in our house, we'll call him "Little Z", "Z-Man", "ZJT", etc.)
(If you want to know more about Trisomy 13, this is one of the more inspiring and well-done sites we've seen so far: http://www.livingwithtrisomy13.org/)
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Welcome To The World - Little Z
Dear beloved friends and family,