As I have been preparing to get back into blogging and my photography business, I thought about what I wanted for my first blog post and instantly I knew I had to write about my sweet Hunter and what has happened in the last year since I wrote a blog post. God has taken me on a crazy journey with highs and lows like none other. He has increased my faith in ways I didn’t know I needed it and given me such a heart for other mommas walking through the same thing I did.
iPhone photo taken the night Hunter was born. You can see from my hand how little he was in comparison
Last year I became pregnant with my third baby. I knew it was going to be challenging since I have a unique uterus and it causes bleeding in pregnancy, but I had no idea how complicated things were going to get. Around 7 weeks the bleeding began and I kept bleeding off and on for most of the time I was pregnant with Hunter. I had numerous ultrasounds and each time my baby was growing perfectly healthy which was a huge answer to prayer. We chose not to find out the gender of our baby until birth.
photo taken as part of our pregnancy announcement last summer
In November an ultrasound showed that the pocket of blood we had been monitoring was no longer bleeding. I was so grateful for this, but didn’t know that my membranes had been compromised which caused my water to break prematurely on December 11, 2019. It was a scary late night ride to the hospital and I didn’t know if my baby could survive being born early. The doctors reassured me my baby had a good chance of survival, but that they were going to try to keep me stable and pregnant for as long as possible. It was Christmas time and I am a go-getter so I didn’t know how in the world I was going to live in the hospital for weeks on end waiting to give birth to my baby. God knew what was best for me since less than 24 hours later there was more bleeding which made it necessary to take my baby via c-section (I’ve had all my babies via c-section). This was the beginning of a long NICU stay and journey for us.
Hunter David was born on December 12, 2019 weighing in at 2 lbs. 1 oz. and 13 inches long. He was SO tiny!! I’ve never seen a baby so small in my life! He was breathing well and fighting for life just like we hoped he would. I couldn’t hold him at first since they wanted to keep his as midline (his body kept straight) and still as possible for 1 weeks before doing a head ultrasound. Micro preemies have a 25% chance of a brain hemorrhage so it was necessary to wait to hold him. The week after he was born I did find out from the doctors that he did indeed have a brain hemorrhage which was really hard for me to wrap my mind around, but God was there and faithful every step of the way. Hunter was monitored closely in the 3 months he was in the NICU and his hemorrhage resolved before he was discharged. We are keeping a close eye on him as he develops and I’m confident God is going to do great things in him since he is already doing SO well and developing right on target.
Photo credit to my sister-in-law, Kim, for taking the photos of us holding Hunter
God showed Himself to me so clearly on Christmas Eve when I went into the NICU to visit hoping to hold my baby and being told his blood count numbers were low and he needed a blood transfusion NOW. I held back tears as I gave up my chance to hold him so he could get the transfusion he needed that day. As I was pumping, God gave me a vision of three angels beside Hunter’s isolette bed, two leaning over covering him with their wings as a source of protection and one large angel pacing next to his bed on the exact side where I always sat. I knew that angel was interceding for my baby and waging war on whatever was trying to come against him. Many times I had to think back to that vision as I was tempted to worry or give into fear. Those angels were fighting for him even when I couldn’t be there fighting for him myself.
I felt a lot like Mary, Jesus’ momma, as I stored things up in my heart and treasured memories of God being faithful to me and to Hunter. Day after day I made the trip into see my baby and then it became twice a day as I was able to start breastfeeding Hunter. I would never have made it through those months without the love and support of my parents! They came to the hospital the night I called them in tears saying my water had broke prematurely, they took care of my older kids for days on end and prayed us through those hard months. Family and friends came around us in ways we didn’t even know we needed. We got gas gift cards, cash gifts, babysitting, meals and the list goes on and on. I can never say thank you enough to those of you who loved and supported us during that time!
I grew to love all the doctors and nurses in the hospital. I spent many hours just chatting to the nurses who so lovingly cared for my baby. I believe with all my heart the nurses in the NICU are sent from heaven to help and encourage all the mommas who come through those doors. The love and care they showed to my baby was incredible!
Images by Nicola Herring Photography The nurse here is, Amy, who I became close with in the NICU. Love you, Amy!
I joke I was in the NICU for the whole winter and it’s true I was. Hunter was born on December 12 and was discharged on March 16. I battled sickness, winter snow storms and my van breaking down just to be with my baby. I did however get to see him every single day of his life in the NICU! He was finally discharge a day after his expected due date. Miles and Isla weren’t able to see him in the NICU the whole time he was there so we made a big deal of them meeting him the day he left the hospital. It was so sweet to hear Miles say to me later, “He was worth it!” Yes, sweet son, it was worth it to go through all those things for your little brother.
It has been spoken over him before he was born that his life would be like the life of David in the Bible, how things would come against him, but he would rise above. This is the reason we gave him the middle name David. It was also prophesied that he would be a man of faith, and I am claiming this with all my heart for him. He is our miracle and I will tell him over and over if I need to the story of God’s faithfulness in his life. I was encouraged to speak these words over him while he was in the NICU and daily I still tell him, “Hunter, you will live and tell of the works of the Lord. You will grow in wisdom and in stature and favor with God and with man.” God has big plans for this kid and I for one can’t wait to see them unfold as he gets older!
photo taken by Di Images; edited by me