Last Monday, 30th March 2015, was a significant day. It was a long day, with a very early start - 04h30, to be exact. It had been preceded by a restless night - and if I'm to be perfectly honest, rather anxious night - in which I got no more than three hours of broken sleep, and waited and planned for, for weeks. It marked the start of the next chapter in the current miracle situation in our lives (if you don't know the background, you can read it here): it was the day that the baby we were told we wouldn't be able to have was born.
I would by lying if I said that not once during this pregnancy did I doubt or question God's faithfulness. Somehow, being in the midst of a miracle does not make you immune to these human things. It was particularly trying the last few weeks. After having some serious labour symptoms from 32 weeks, it had become the norm for me to bargain with God, pleading that He let me last just until Button was full term at 37 weeks. He did. During that time I also had two cases of chickenpox at my school (potentially very dangerous depending on how long after exposure you go into labour) including one student in my class. And finally: low and leaking amniotic fluid, which I suspect eventually led to Button's birth. Thank goodness for friends and family who regularly reminded me of God's plan for Button - even though we don't know the details of it all, we know that it's to prosper and not to harm him.
So after nine months of waiting (it's funny how that feels shorter the second time around), on Monday morning at 08h07 at the sound of a newborn baby's cry - my newborn baby's cry - my heart burst open and doubled in size. It was amazing. I think Andel and I saw him at the same time, and almost simultaneously said "he looks just like Zac". He was beautiful and small in his pale, wrinkled skin, exercising some serious lung power for a 3.2kg, 52cm newborn, and surprised us with his immediate latch and impressive suction.
Choosing a name is always such a consequential thing for us. Before we had kids, we had a list of names we loved. Then other people used some of the names for their kids. Or we met a child - or adult - that turned us off one of two of the names. Or, when we finally were pregnant, it just didn't seem right anymore. Zac was a bit of a last minute choice, albeit deliberate and significant, and at the time we had no idea how it would influence names thereafter. Suddenly this time we had to find something that went with Zac - also short and sweet (or at least cute), also significant, also meaningful. And so, after countless names narrowed down to eight, and then three, we settled on Sam Blake Klaasen. Sam like the prophet Samuel whose name means "God has heard", and in memory of a cousin we never got to know. And Blake after a family that is so much more than family to us.
Since Sam's birth we have had a pretty fiery baptism into this new normal as a family of four. The first night home from hospital was particularly trying. But, despite the occasional battle between tag-teaming children and equally exhausted parents, we are finding our rhythm. And Zac adores Sam - constantly wanting to kiss and hold and feed and change and play with him - which is the most any parent can hope for.
Welcome to the world, sweet Sam Blake Klaasen. Oh, the plans God must have for you... We eagerly await its unfolding.