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OH HEY!

I'm Rachel and the creator of The Well Place. I love all things hope and Jesus. I'm Momma to three ginger babies, one of which (Samuel) is a medical miracle, and I'm married to my viking. I write on all things faith, marriage, family, parenting, fitness, and a sprinkle of home. My hope is to reach new moms and glean wisdom from ol' pros. I hope to encourage and inspire women to embrace the gift that they are, and families to dive deeper. My heart is to lean in, speak life, and let the light shine! 

THE SAMUEL SERIES 5: "RESUS TEAM"

THE SAMUEL SERIES 5: "RESUS TEAM"

“RESUS Team to OR A Able. RESUS Team to OR A Able.”

 Moments before the OR

Moments before the OR

I had heard that announcement and many others over the PA during my stay in the hospital the last 5 weeks. I had asked the nurses what it meant and it meant that essentially there was an emergency and the resuscitation team was needed. As they frantically rolled me into the OR, I felt the chaos all around me, and then I heard it. “RESUS Team to OR A Able.” I lifted my head off the table, and as they were transferring me from one bed to the OR table, I looked at the DR I had never met before, and said, “Is this OR A Able?” He nodded his head with only a second to glance in acknowledgment, then hurriedly said, “I am going to splash your tummy, we don’t have time.”

And that is when the drugs started to kick in. I felt like I was hanging just slightly upside down like the blood was rushing to my head, and I remember intense nausea I suddenly felt. There was a woman’s voice behind me to my left who kept checking on me. “How are you doing?” And then Steve, my rescuer, would lean closer and whisper, “How are you doing?” And all I could get out was, "I need to throw up." My eyes were squeezed shut, but I knew that bowl would be there if I needed it, and sure enough, I did. After that, I felt so much better. My eyes were heavy, and every time I went to open them, the light from behind the blue drape that separated us from our baby, blinded me. So, I kept them shut. I could feel the tug on my tummy. My whole body was being moved back and forth. I could feel Steve’s hand on my head, and the team of people to my left. I was told later that there were 30 or more team members in that small room that day.

And then. “It’s a boy, it’s Samuel!” Steve spoke that loudly at first and although I heard it, I was in another world and could not figure out my response. So he leaned in closer. He whispered, “Babe, it’s Samuel.” And I remember the tears rolled slowly down my face and all I could say was “Is he okay, is he alive?” And Steve said, “He’s alive, I have to go over there, are you okay?” And I said, “Go!” Steve told me later that he was desperately circling the Intensive Care team as a slew of doctors and support surrounded his 2lb 2.2oz body, begging as best he could with only his eyes for any information, anything that could tell him our son was going to be okay, that he was going to make it. He didn’t want to interrupt the care because frankly, it was lifesaving. So he just kept circling. He saw his chest collapsed, his tiny body covered in a warming plastic, tubes down his throat, and hands all over him. And then, he made eye-contact with a team member. The doctor mouthed: “He’s okay, but we had to go.” Then Steve was there right in my ear, and said, “He’s okay, they are taking him to the NICU. Open your eyes so you can see him.” My eyes felt like someone duct taped them shut. I turned my head to the left as they were rolling the isolette by. They stalled for a moment so I could hopefully catch a glimpse, but it was clear that it was urgent to get him out of there, so I pretended that I saw him and said thank you, and let them get him safe. In my heart at that moment, I was deathly afraid that I had just made a huge mistake. The isolette was too tall, and I only could see the machine. My heart was breaking internally, hoping to God that I didn’t just miss my only opportunity to see our son alive.

 Samuel's chest was so collapsed due to his underdeveloped lungs

Samuel's chest was so collapsed due to his underdeveloped lungs

 The medical team working tirelessly and tenderly to give our son a chance

The medical team working tirelessly and tenderly to give our son a chance

I remember waking up in a freezing cold room and I could hear low voices at the foot of my bed. I peeled my eyes open and could see a blurry outline of my mom, sister, and friend, Yanah, talking. I didn’t know what they were saying and I couldn’t muster up the energy to open my own mouth to speak. So, I closed my eyes and focused to listen in to what they were talking about. All I wanted to hear was something about Samuel. I wanted to know what was happening. But they were so muffled, I just couldn’t make out what was being said, so I grunted and opened my eyes again. I saw my mom’s smiling face, and that’s all I needed to know that in that moment our son was alive. They heard me grunting and came right over to my face. I immediately felt the shock. I felt the cool of the room, the pain of the nurse’s cold hands pressing down on my freshly opened wound, and all my body did was shake. This was and is how I typically show up when I’m nervous, scared, anxious, or in pain, and thankfully my family was there to hold my hand, to be near me, and to comfort me, but no one could stop my shaking. I heard Steve from the hallway (because if you know Steve, he’s not the quietest), and his voice was clear and confident, and I remember feeling rescued at that moment. He walked straight into my room, placed his forehead on mine and my body stopped shaking. He was there, he whispered the good news. Samuel was okay, they were working on him and he was okay.

 My mom and dad //  Copyright Photo by Yanah Brennan Photography

My mom and dad //

Copyright Photo by Yanah Brennan Photography

 My sister //  Copyright Photo by Yanah Brennan Photography

My sister //

Copyright Photo by Yanah Brennan Photography

 Only his forehead pressed against mine stopped the shaking //  Copyright Photograph by Yanah Brennan Photography

Only his forehead pressed against mine stopped the shaking //

Copyright Photograph by Yanah Brennan Photography

The victory was already won. We stored up our strength for weeks at a time and when the Lord called, we unleashed all that was within, along with the full backing of the Lord's heavenly and earthly armies, to bring life and hope and fairth and love. The battle was won. He was 2lbs 2.2oz of powerhouse micro-preemie and he was only 13 inches long, but this is what the victory looked like that glorious day. The unknown of the coming days, weeks and months were in front of us, but we could not live in any place except obsessively victorious in JESUS. He brought a dire, desperate and destitute road into the land of the living. He was here. He was tiny and he was in great need, but he was here.

Copyright photos by Yanah Brennan Photography // www.yanahbrennanphotography.com

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