by Alex Helm
On October 1, 1995 my son was born into this world. From about six months previous we had dreams in which we met him and were guided to name him Aidan (fire, warmth of the home and spirit). This was my first child and I was scared, always asking for God to help me to be a good father, or spending too much time doubting my future abilities as one. So here the day came – the day before our son was born. At 5:15 p.m. my wife’s water breaks and we are on our way.
In the hospital after many hours of labor it became apparent that something was amiss. The contractions were less than 30 seconds apart for more than an hour now, and our baby’s heart was taking longer and longer to recuperate from them as time went on.
Thirteen hours after my wife’s water broke, we find out that the umbilical cord is wrapped around his neck and he is “breach” or not placed properly for birth. At 6:45 a.m. the doctor arrives to bring him into this world.
But it just wasn’t working, “She can’t push him out, and we are out of time. Set up the Operating Room for immediate C-section,” the doctor clipped out the orders.
I looked at my wife and asked her to try one more time. I didn’t want them to cut her open. She did ……. And at 7:10 a.m., Aidan was born at seven pounds, ten ounces. Hoorayyy!!!
But something was wrong. There was a team of at least eight doctors and nurses waiting for Aidan to be born. Now I knew why. Aidan, my baby, was blue. They took him from us and rushed him to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Tears were falling from my eyes and crushed my chest with such weight I couldn’t breathe. I cried to God, I told Him to take the very breath from my chest so my son might live. I meant every word.
The Neonatal care specialist was a renowned doctor, Florida’s best. She came to our room after two to three hours and listed off all his medical problems on her fingers as if she were doing math: there was a hole in Aidan’s lung that had blown out during the stress with the labor, a hole about the size of a half dollar! Our son was near death and on full oxygen.
My wife and I cried, then I cried out to God once again, “Take me, he doesn’t deserve this!” Desperately, I lashed out, “God, if you take him from me I will never forgive you! So hear me when I say that I need you and my baby boy needs you. Don’t let me down! Don’t let him die so that you may change me for some reason, Lord help me!”
Suddenly in my rage and panic, I felt strong, invisible arms wrap around me and for a moment the breath left my chest and I settled back in the chair with a lightheaded tingling sensation on the top of my head as if a hand was caressing me. I felt calm, and even though I didn’t hear a physical voice, I heard Him say, “I am here.”
My wife looked at me and knew without words what had just happened. The next evening the doctor came to our room with a dazed look in her eyes. She said “Your son just woke up an hour ago from his sleep, so we decided to take another X-ray to check on the progress of his lungs. I don’t know how to say this…I mean, it’s impossible….but the hole is COMPLETELY gone. We are going to do a few more X-rays and an ultrasound to verify this, but it’s gone!”
As she walked towards the door she turned to tell us that we could take him home as soon as he was weaned of the oxygen, and at that moment I saw tears in her eyes.