I do not even know where to begin this morning, so I will just jump right in.
While I am at complete peace that my precious Eli is cradled in Jesus' arms right now, mine ache so bad to hold him just one more time. But I know one more time would never be enough. I am hurting in a way right now that I never thought possible. Even though I hurt, I know that my Eli is whole and even smiling right now. He was a miracle in so many different ways. He was so beautiful! Even at 32 weeks he weighed 4 pounds and 7 ounces. Michelle, you were right about that "fullness" you kept seeing on that ultrasound screen! He was 17 inches long. He had just tons of dark curly hair. I loved touching the downy softness of it. He smelled like baby heaven. He filled the crook of my arm perfectly. He had his daddy's handsome face. What a blessing right? His feet were even bigger than Jay's, and that is saying alot. His little toes were built just like his daddy's also. He fought like no one I have ever seen! He was a tough little boy. He cried when he was first born. I missed this because I had to be asleep for his birth, but his daddy got to hear him. He had a birthday like none other. God planned his birthday and when I tell you that it was perfect I truely mean it was perfect.
Every single thing about his special day fell into place like you would not believe. If you do not believe in the mighty power of God, just listen to this retell of Sunday and there is no way that you could not still believe.
Jamie and I have worried and tried to plan for Eli's birthday for so long now. We wanted everything to be in place so that it would go smoothly. We had stressed out about where to deliver Montgomery v/s Birmingham. We both really wanted our doctor, Dr. Kouri to deliver Eli. We also knew that if God was going to leave him with us for a while he would do better at children's. This has been a constant worry of ours. Dr. Kouri was the doctor that delivered all of my children and I have used him for almost ten years. He is the best, of that I am sure. He has been absolutely wonderful through this journey. I was worried about having a c-section and really did not want to. We wanted all of our family and friends to be able to attend his birth. We had so many things to think about, it is almost overwhelming to look back on. We had contacted Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep to take pictures for us. A wonderful lady name Judy was lined up.
I had not idea that I was in labor with Eli. I felt bad Friday and Saturday but thought that pregnancy in general was wearing on me. Sunday afternoon while we were cleaning up from lunch at my grandmothers I began to feel strange. I went to the bathroom and rushed downstairs to tell Jamie that we had to go to the ER now because I thought Eli was on his way. We were able to leave without worry of the kids because other family was there. We were extremely close to the ER and were able to get there in maybe two or three minutes. The Troy ER staff were amazing. They quickly jumped into action and had me in a room in no time. I was examined by a doctor and found to be dialated and to have a cord prolapse. He called my doctor, who just happened to be on call this weekend (accident, I don't think so). The ambulance was there in record time and I was on my way to Montgomery before I knew it. The EMTs were wonderful and we even stopped on 231 to pick up a doctor to ride with us, just in case Eli decided to come on the way. This entire time, we were able to monitor Eli's heart rate and it was good everytime. We made it to Jacksons in record time, did I mention that the EMTs were wonderful. The driver told Jamie that it was very rare for traffic to cooperate the way they did Sunday. I was wisked to Labor and Delivery where Dr. Kouri met us and did an ultasound. He was very surprised to find Eli's heartbeat, but there it was just fluttering away. I was blessed with the same nurse that helped deliver Cooper. I was immediately taken to OR and prepped for surgery. I had to be put to sleep because I did not have time for an epidural and sitting up would have put pressure on Eli's cord. Eli was sideways and by this time it was very obvious that he was not coming out naturally. I was put to sleep and by 4:47 my precious Eli was in this world. This all began around 2:00 or 2:30.
In the meantime my wonderful sister, who I love dearly, was coordinating a million different things as well as taking care of my children and trying to make it to the hospital to be with us. She came to my house, got everything for Eli, dressed my children, contacted the photographer to learn she was out of town, contacted Lisa Smith, who dropped everything to be there for us as well as her partner whom I can not remember, called friends for me, and made it before Eli was born. Rachel, you are an amazing, amazing, amazing person!
Eli was wisked away to be evaluated and Jamie went with him. I was taken to recovery and those nurses were wonderful. They got me to my room as fast as they could all the while assuring me that Eli was fighting. Dr. Kouri, who was blown away by the number of people present for Eli's birthday, held a news conference to let everyone know what was going on. He told them that he was surprised to deliver Eli alive due to the cord prolapse alone, but that he was fighting. Jamie had to make some really tough decisions alone because of the situation, but I am proud of everyone he made. They were the right ones and God lead him every step.
The wonderful nursery nurses finally called to say that it was time for Mama to hold her Angel. Jamie got to bring him to me. He was the most beautiful, amazing, little wonder that my eyes have ever beheld. The nurses had dressed him and wrapped him in a beautiful blanked (thank you for that blanket, I am not sure where it came from, but is is a treasure). My arms have never felt as good as they did the moment Jamie put my Eli in them. Eli lived but a few minutes in my arms, but those minutes were heaven on earth for me. He grunted a couple of time, and I knew the moment he went into Jesus' arms. It was complete peace! My little fighter waited for me and that means more that anything to me. I truely believe God allowed him to hold on so that I could see him, hold him, kiss him and tell him I loved him while he lived. His daddy and I were with him, loving on him when he went home to get some rest. He was so tired...The nurse came in to listen and could not find a heartbeat, then she prayed with us the sweetest prayer my I have ever heard.
He was... I can't find words to describe the rest of that night. Maybe another day....
We have long prayed for a miracle. By we, I mean everyone who has prayed. Sunday was a miracle. Eli was a miracle. It is not the miracle of sustained life for Eli, but it was a greater miracle. A miracle story that I will hold in my heart until I go home to be with Eli. Although, I am sad and hurt so badly now, I will always hold near and dear to Eli's story and will take comfort in it. He is home with my Lord. He is whole now. He knows no pain which he would have had he lived long enough. He has met brothers or sisters, cousins, uncles, grandparents and friends that we long to see. But, greatest of all, he met Jesus first. I can imagine the smile on his face the moment Jesus welcomed him home.
Eli's service will be Saturday at Dillard's Funeral Home. There will be a vistitation from 1:00 until 2:00. The services will be in the chapel at 2:00 followed by a private family graveside service.