Samuel at 36 Weeks…Encouragement from a Preemie Who Remembered How God Smelled

samuel-on-thanksgivingMy cousin Marylin sent a wonderful story about another tiny preemie, which according to Snopes is based on a true event and was originally published as “Heaven Scent” in Miracles in our Midst, 1997 (if you’d like to read the entire account). It is such a comfort to me, because the hospital stay sounds so much like Samuel’s experience (minus the grim predictions by their admitting physician; ours hung no crepe, although our daughter-in-law, as a NICU nurse, was painfully aware of all the devastating possibilities anyway). I’ve prayed so often for God to hold tiny Samuel during all the difficult times when no one else (including me) is able to. Here are some of the similarities as recorded in the article in Snopes. (The pictures are of Samuel, tho!) 27-week preemieBoth babies were born prematurely because of the need for emergency C-sections due to complications and weighed exactly the same: 1 pound, 9 oz. at birth. “…the doctor’s soft words dropped like bombs. ‘I don’t think she’s going to make it’ he said, as kindly as he could. ‘There’s only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one,'” including such problems as complete retardation, blindness, deafness, cerebral palsy, and chronic lung disease.Newborn preemie 27 weeksAgainst all odds, both babies survived, and little by little, hours turned to days. 28-wk-preemieHowever,  “Because Danae’s underdeveloped nervous system was essentially ‘raw,’ the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort – so they couldn’t even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Danae struggled alone beneath the ultra-violet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.” baby-samuel“There was never a moment when Danae suddenly grew stronger. But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there.” dan-brianna-and-samuel Boy, if this isn’t the story of Samuel’s life right now! Slow and steady wins the race (by God’s grace) we pray! Here a little, there a little, growing ever so slowly.preemie-with-new-yellow-hat“At last, when Danae turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time.” (What a relief that’s been for us!)Father holding preemie (I have yet to be able to hold Samuel, although I was able to touch him for the first time this past week. That was such a thrill after waiting so long! 🙂 )Preemie smiling at Mama Just lately, Samuel’s even beginning to smile at Daniel and Brianna!!!  Samuel gaining weight!Two months later, Danae was able to go home from the hospital, and by the time the story was written (5 years later), she was a high-spirited, happy child with absolutely no signs of any physical impairment. Of course, we’ll have to wait two months to see if this part will also be true of Samuel. Right now he’s fighting serious eye disease, which we’re praying he’ll outgrow, or he’ll have to be moved to a more specialized hospital. But, here’s the extraordinary, happy ending to their story, that I am praying is also true of our dear Baby Samuel Azariah:

The family lived in Texas, and five years later, just before a thunderstorm one blazingly hot afternoon, the little gal asked her mother if she could smell what the little girl was smelling. When the mother responded that she thought it smelled like rain and that they were likely to get wet, the youngster replied firmly,  “No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest.”  The child went off to play, but the mother treasured those words, feeling that God was  confirming to her that He, himself, had been comforting and caring for her daughter during all those stressful weeks when her baby had been too fragile to hold and comfort, and God’s heavenly scent had remained indelibly fixed in her memory!

“There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew.”  (Deuteronomy 33:26-28)

4 responses to “Samuel at 36 Weeks…Encouragement from a Preemie Who Remembered How God Smelled

  1. How much we miss when we do not go as close to our God as we possibly can, whether it is out of fear, unbelief, or just because we have not met Him yet! How my heart bursts with gratitude that He can be so very close!! It is like the sweetest of our most precious dreams come true…only far better!

  2. This means a lot to me. I was a 1.9 baby back in 1977, and I’m thriving beyond belief, although I’m small. I believe that God was with me, too, and still is every day. Thank you so much for this post!

    • Oh, thank you so much for responding and sharing these encouraging words. I am so glad! May God bless and keep you. I have a son who was born in 1977, so it’s easy to imagine a bit about you, although I’ll look forward to learning more!

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