1. We were unaware that anything was wrong with Malachi while in utero. It wouldn't have changed anything except that there might have been a NICU nurse already present at the time of delivery. I am almost certain I would have been a head case for at least the latter half of my pregnancy--causing more unnecessary stress on baby.
2. When choosing my doctor, I decided to go with someone close to our home in Camby, therefore delivering at the hospital in the next town over--Mooresville. During one of my visits, she informed me that she only delivers at hospitals with at least a level 2 NICU. Any other doctor in that area would have delivered at the close hospital and there wouldn't have been enough time to get Malachi the immediate care he needed.
3. Most babies are born with a faint heart murmur--as was Chi. Because of the initial respiratory distress, Malachi was checked out more thoroughly. A heart scan (echocardiogram) was ordered and this revealed not one but THREE heart abnormalities: aortic atresia, ASD, and VSD (layman's terms: his heart wouldn't pump blood properly and there was a hole between his upper two chambers and a hole between his lower two chambers.)
4. Not only was the more invasive heart exploration a miracle, but the fact that Malachi had all four properly sized chambers to his heart was also a miracle as many times aortic atresia leads to only three working chambers.
5. There is a vessel in babies which is pertinent in fetal blood flow circulation and oxygenation which connects the aorta and the pulmonary artery. This vessel (ductus arteriosus) closes up on its own within minutes to a few days after birth. His heart issues were identified early enough that he could begin medication to keep that vessel open--his lifeline. (Normally, when this vessel stays open--patent ductus arteriosus or PDA--it is considered a defect and may strain the heart and increase blood pressure in the lungs)
6. After the delivery, before were moved to our next room and able to see Malachi, my doctor came into the room. The peace that God administered to us even in the first few hours of all of this is unfathomable. We were given the opportunity to be a witness for Him before we could even THINK to be intentional about it. I was dumbstruck as she was leaning over my bedside apologizing for what was happening to us and so confused that we were just calm (granted, some of it I'm sure was shock, but there was legitimate calm and peace mixed in as well). From the very beginning John was able to testify to her of the great God we are honored to serve.
7. His name. In the initial 20 week ultrasound, we were told that he was a she (John wasn't convinced for a second). He was going to be Taylor (a girl). Baby Tay-tay as Emma called him. At 28 weeks, however, we had another ultrasound which very clearly revealed we had a baby boy brewin' in there! We were definitely considering a family name, like Jackson David. As it got closer and closer to baby entry, we really just weren't at rest with any of the names we were considering. John stated that his favorite new testament character (besides Christ) was Stephen the martyr and his favorite old testament book was Malachi. Malachi Stephen it was. The name was perfect. After his arrival, we learned the meaning: Crowned Messenger of God.