10 Fingers, 11 Toes

November 15. 5:01pm, my life changed forever.  At 5:01pm Faith Margaret Reuschel entered the world. I got to hold her, tell her I love her, pray for her, and say goodbye to her as she went home to be with her Father.

November 14 - Julie's water broke around 11:00am and we went into the hospital. We waited, went to sleep, woke up the next morning, still without much progress.  Julie was given some medication to help move the contractions along.  4:30pm, it got real.  Julie started pushing and after a long half hour, Faith made her amazing entrance into the world.  She was immediately laid on Julie's chest, and it was the most beautiful sight I have ever and will ever see in my lifetime here on earth.  After about 5 minutes, Faith opened her eyes.  She looked at her Mom. Her Mom told her how much she loved her and that we have been praying for her for a long time.  A short while after that, she was laid on my chest, eyes still open.  I got to look my daughter in her eyes, pray for her, tell her I love her, and that I am so excited to meet her.  Tell her about Jesus and how much He loves her.  I got to tell her how beautiful she is and how amazing her Mom did caring for her for 9 months.  Then, shortly after that, the pediatrician came back in to check on Faith, and she no longer had a heart beat.  She had gone to be with her Creator.

The story is not in how the delivery went, or how long labor was or any of that.  The story changed once the pediatrician came back in a few hours after Faith had passed.  He came in and said a few words that will be with me forever.


"When Faith was born, she did not have a heart beat.  Then, I said a little prayer, and her heart started beating."


If you have had any conversations with me leading up to her birth, you know that I was waiting for the doctors to say "your baby is fine, and we have no idea how that happened."  Well, at Faith's funeral, our pediatrician was there and in talking with my mother-in-law, he said "I have never seen anything like that.  Hearts aren't supposed to just start up.  That wasn't supposed to happen."


Through all of this I was waiting for the doctors to say she is fine, meaning her body is healed for this earth.  All the things that would cause her problems in this world would be fixed.  Well, she is healed.  She is in the loving arms of her Creator, perfectly healed, perfectly happy, and having a heck of a time.


The holidays aren't easy right now.  With Thanksgiving having passed us, Julie and I are thankful for 45 minutes.  45 minutes, according to doctors, we weren't supposed to have.  45 minutes to tell my baby girl how beautifully and wonderfully made she is.  To kiss her, to love on her, and to be amazed at how perfect she is.

As any father does I'm sure, right when she was born and Julie was holding her, I started counting fingers and toes.  "5, 5, 5, 5.  No wait...haha...babe there are six toes on this foot."  Of course, Julie didn't believe me, but I wasn't kidding.  6 toes.  6 perfect little toes.  I believe that was God's way of being a little humor to the situation.  Being my child, she was going to be anything but normal.  6 beautiful toes.  Just a little more to love.


I wasn't going to come to church this morning.  I didn't feel like I was quite ready to get back to "normal life".  Then, being prompted by the Spirit, I went to Ridge Point.  I really just wanted to go for the worship, and I'm really glad I did.  I could feel myself worshipping with my daughter.  Im sure she has a beautiful singing voice (she gets that from her Mom, defiantly not me).  And as amazing as the band and the singers are here, I could just imagine how amazing the worship was in heaven.  Singing alongside Jesus and angles.  Worshiping heart by heart, and thanking her loving Father for her.  We don't cry for her, we cry for us.  But through it all, God is faithful and gave us something that wasn't supposed to happen.  Time.