Oh little Evan...
You are so precious to me, and to all of us. From your little toes to your pointy chin and nose (just like your Dad). Every part of you was perfectly formed. Although you came so much earlier than we all expected, I can't imagine a day without you in it. Just over a month ago your Mom's water broke, and I catch myself quite often thinking about that night.
Your Grandma and I were sitting at our house watching Top Chef (a show I know you will love!!) when the phone rang. We knew because it was almost 12:30 in the morning that something was wrong. Your Grandma jumped up to get the phone, and the first thing I heard was "You're kidding. Oh my gosh. No. You're kidding. We're on our way." She then dropped the phone and ran upstairs and woke your Grandpa up. I yelled up to her to ask her what was wrong. She, between quiet sobs, told me that your Mom's water broke and to change my clothes because we were headed to the hospital. I couldn't move. I just sat on the couch completely shocked. I started crying and told your Grandpa and Grandma that I couldn't go with them because I was too sick and I didn't want to get your Mom sick. They told me I had to go, and within probably five minutes of getting the phone call from your Dad, all three of us were headed (more like flying..although it felt like it took forever) to Muskegon. I couldn't do anything on the way down except for cry and pray. I sat in your Grandma's car while they went inside to be with your Mom. I called my roommate Ashley who prayed with me on the phone. It wasn't until Aunt Shayna called me almost an hour later that I knew that both you and your Mom were all right.
I stayed with Diesel for the first few days because I was still too sick to go and see your Mom. I actually didn't even talk to your Mom until about her second or third day in the hospital. When I could finally visit her, she seemed just like normal Lindsey. We laughed, watched youtube videos, ate Bosco sticks, and mostly just tried to keep her calm and content while she was on bed rest. Everything seemed normal on Christmas Eve when we left to go stay at Aunt Shayna and Uncle Mike's. We had plans to Skype with your Mom and Dad in the morning when Owen and Aubrey were openning up their Christmas presents so that we could have a "normal" Christmas with everyone there. You had different plans though.
Your Grandma came in Owen's room (where I was sleeping) at about 5:00 Christmas morning to take a shower and woke me up. I was very confused as to why she was up this early, but just assumed it was because Owen was so excited and woke up early. It wasn't until Aunt Shayna came in at about 7:30 to wake me up that I found out that your Mom was having a lot of contractions. Your Grandma called us at about 10:00 and told us to get ready and head to the hospital because your Mom was going to have a C-Section. I didn't cry on my way to the hospital this time, but I just sat silent and prayed the whole time. Your Grandma called us just as we were taking the College exit and told us that your Mom had just delivered you, and that you were a big guy at 1 lb. 6 oz. When we got to the hospital, everyone was sitting in the waiting room, and it was really quiet. Your Dad came in about 15 minutes after we got there. He looked like he was still in shock, but was excited to show us your first few pictures. About 3 hours later we got to go see your Mom, and then about an hour or so after that, I got to go with your Aunt Shayna, your Uncle Mike, and your Dad to meet you for the first time.
When your Dad lifted the blanket off your isolette and I got to see you for the first time, it brought tears to my eyes. You were so tiny, but so absolutely perfect. So many of my friends talked to me that day about you, and that was my response every single time. Your little chest was going up and down so fast I couldn't believe it. You looked so peaceful just laying in there. We could only see you for a few minutes, but it's something I will never forget.
All anyone could talk about the day you were born and the days that followed was how you were such a little "Christmas miracle." I think it is absolutely perfect that you share the same birthday as Jesus. His birth brough us hope -- the very thing we cling to when our lives seem confusing or disappointing. Where would we be without hope? I am so thankful for the hope that Jesus has given me. I have been so thankful for all of your Mom and Dad's friends and family that have come around them. I am grateful to be your Aunt. I never would have though that such a tiny little person could steal my heart like you have. In your short four weeks of life you have already taught me so much and I'm sure you will continue to in the years ahead.
The nurses here at Spectrum take such good care of you. Many of them have requested to be your nurse for many weekends to come. The charge nurse the other night told your Mom and I that she was going to get you a very good nurse for the next morning because she loved you. This means so much to your Mom. She can't take care of you yet, but just knowing that she has all these wonderful nurses and doctors who can is very reassuring for her. Your Dad has nicknames for almost every nurse who's taken care of you. They absolutely adore him. He sure is a charmer!
You have had so many milestones these past four weeks. You have been on a Jet Vent, Conventional Vent, and are now on CPAP and breathing on your own. That is sooo huge for a baby who's technically only at a gestational age of 27.3 weeks (I've learned so much medical lingo these past four weeks..haha). You have had your first surgery to close the PDA (hole) in your heart. Your Mom has been able to hold you and feed you (your Dad will soon), and you've opened your eyes to see the beauty of this world and those who love you. We're anxiously awaiting the many milestones that you have ahead of you, especially when we can hear your voice for the first time. We know that you have a long road ahead of you and that you will be in the NICU or NIM until your due date (April 20th), but we can't wait to celebrate when your Mom and Dad will be able to bring you home. I know your Mom is looking forward to you meeting your "brother" Diesel. You have so much to look forward to and you don't even know it!
This may sound stupid, but I want to just let you know, Evan, that you have restored the faith in our family. Through you we have become so much closer to God and are so excited to learn His plans for you. You have no idea how many people are praying for you. We've heard of churches as far away as Holland (in the Netherlands, not MI) who have you and your Mom and Dad in their prayers. Prayer is a very powerful thing, and I can attest to this first hand because of you.
I found a bible verse that I've had in my purse since Christmas morning when we were heading to the hospital.
"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make [Evan] dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8 "...He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed He who watches over [Evan] will neither slumber nor sleep." Psalm 121:3-4.I love you so much and I am so inspired by you each and every day.