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To the baby I almost didn't get to meet: Happy first birthday

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So many milestones are hit during the first year of a child’s life. But what if the most significant milestone is that this year even happened at all? My baby boy Patrick Thaddeus Henry came into the world July 2, 2018 with an impressive true knot in his umbilical chord and the proof that a thousand prayers kept him here. He was eight pounds, nine ounces of pure fighter.

Two months into my pregnancy, I suffered what was thought to be a subchorionic hematoma. So much blood had gushed out of me, I was sure I was having a miscarriage. I had left my home in such a panic that my cell phone never made it with me that night. My aunt drove me to the ER. My husband was still at work and had no idea anything was happening yet.

As I waited to be wheeled into the sonogram room, a man I had never seen before with a Finnish accent came to the my hospital bed, which had been wheeled into a hallway. This man randomly asked if he could pray with me. Through the confusion, uncertainty and tears, I didn’t want to pray with him at first. But he had such a peace about him, he calmed me down. “You have to have faith,” he said as he held my hand. “God is with you. Pray with me now. Yourbaby is going to be ok. He’s going to be a healthy baby boy. God wants you to totally lean on him. All is well.”

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He kept whispering that to me. “All is well.” I clung to his words like a warm mantra blanket. Somehow, he calmed me down.

Just then, my husband came rushing into the ER. I was whisked into the sonogram room and I never saw the man who asked if he could pray with me again.

Through an ocean of tears and crippling fear, I saw my baby on the sonogram screen and heard the “thump, thump” of his beautiful heartbeat. It was the most glorious, comforting sound I had ever heard.

I never prayed so hard in all my life. I decided to name my baby right there in the ER. “Patrick…Patrick Thaddeus, stay with me little buddy,” I sobbed to myself. “Please, God. Don’t take my baby away before I even get to meet him.”

My endometriosis had already taken so much from me. The thought of it taking my baby just broke me as I lay in that cold hospital bed.

I was told it was either going to be OK or it wasn’t. Fortunately, my sweet Patrick, who I had nicknamed “The Fighting Irish” never stopped fighting. While I left the hospital with a stack of papers with the dooming verbiage of “threatened abortion” written on them, my baby Patrick survived and so did I. Over the past year, I’ve gotten to watch him reach so many milestones such as rolling over, laughing, clapping, sprouting teeth, standing up, eating solid foods and smiling the biggest smile on the planet. We were forever bonded that day in the ER together.

Happy first birthday to the boy who taught me faith can move mountains and that giving up is never an option. To the angel man who came to my hospital bedside to pray with me, wherever you are, thank you from the bottom of my heart. All is well…and I’m forever grateful.

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