Happy Birthday, EJ!

Today is Ezekiel’s birthday. He turned 1.


It’s kind of amazing to think about him turning one year old, especially when I think about his first few days of life outside the womb.  Here’s a few excerpts of what I wrote the day after he was born with part of the story:

Ezekiel Jens Lansberry was born in near chaos at 3:07am on January 22, 2013.  His name, which means “God’s strength” had been settled on before we came to the hospital, and nothing we experienced in his first hours even remotely caused us to reconsider the name.

I say “born in near chaos” because it was, from my perspective, out of control.  From God’s perspective every moment, every microsecond was orchestrated, right down to EJ’s (that’s what I’m giving him for a nickname for now because I don’t want any of you to ever call him ‘Zeke’) first moment ex utero.

He was stillborn.  When the neonatal resident recounted the initial hours of his life to the neonatologist the next morning her report was that his initial heart rate was zero.  His first half hour of life was spent resuscitating him from death.  My son, who will have no memory of these moments and days that are so long and memorable for us, will understand the Gospel in the context of his beginning moments.  He was dead, and now he lives.

Because of this initial trauma, Ezekiel is undergoing a 72 hour period of hypothermic treatment.  He sleeps and lives on a blanket that is constantly cooling his body temperature to between 91-92 degrees Fahrenheit.  Because of this cooling period, we have yet to hold our son.  Early Friday morning, Lord willing, they will begin the warmup period (as long as 18 hours) and then we will be able to hold him and cuddle which we long to do right now.

This is the first birth of our nine that I did not attend.

It has been a long 48+ hours since we arrived at the hospital.  At present Theresa is doing well, recovering as well as one could expect from major emergency abdominal surgery, and Ezekiel is under the best NICU care in the state, and has met or exceeded any benchmarks in his first 36 hours and we are thankful for his progress already and are optimistic about his future.

I can still vividly remember that night.  All the emotion, the adrenaline, and the fear that I was praying through.  I remember the week that both Theresa and EJ were in the hospital and the route from the 4th floor of the maternity wing to the NICU on the second floor of another building.  The glow of the blue bili-light when he experienced jaundice and the sound of the ventilator and the pump for the cooing blanket and the uncomfortable couch in his room in the NICU.

Now, it’s amazing.  Look at the picture!  He’s on the verge of walking any minute now.  His smiling face graces our home every day and there’s no evidence of any damage from his initial trauma.  He is a joy to us and we’re looking forward to the many days and years ahead with Ezekiel.

Oh, and here’s a video from EJTV, some short videos I did to let others see EJ’s hospital time during his first few days ex-utero:


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