We are grandparents again! Here is the mail that I sent out on July 24:
This is anything but a typical Sunday morning for us. I had planned to do a pastor installation this morning but a phone call from our son, Aaron, at 4:15 yesterday morning sent us scurrying around getting ready to go to NC. He was calling to let us know that he and Liz were on the way to the hospital. We arrived before the birth of our newest grandchild, Naomi Elizabeth Rampey, at 8:31am. She weighed 7 lbs 7 ozs and is 19 inches long.
Liz is doing well, but Naomi has Down Syndrome and had to be transported to Northeast Cabarrus Regional Hospital where she has been undergoing tests and is being cared for in the NICU. All of this was completely unanticipated. Further tests this morning indicate that the severe heart issue that is common with this syndrome is not present. We are full of thanksgiving for that She is eating well and already gaining weight. (It has since been determined that she has a hole in heart that may require surgery later.)
Joan and I are providing care for the older siblings, Ike and Marlowe, here at their home and I hear them in the background contentedly playing together. They had a few minutes with their new sister yesterday and instantly loved her. I asked Ike this morning if he wanted to go their church and he said, “No, I want to go the hospital.” So, we are headed to the hospital in a few minutes to spend some time with everyone there.
Thank you for praying for Aaron, Liz and Naomi. This development was a complete shock and they and we are all processing this together. We will keep you posted as we continue on this journey. The Spirit of the living God has been very present and a source of strength, comfort, beautiful peace, and assurance. God is so good.
Here is an email that Aaron and Liz sent out later on Sunday:
We were blessed to bring into the world a beautiful baby girl Saturday morning. Naomi Elizabeth decided to come join us around 8:30 and immediately stole our hearts.
She was diagnosed fairly quickly with Down Syndrome, and we were told that she would be taken to the NICU in Concord. Needless to say, this was a huge shock to us.
At this point, she appears to have dodged the most serious health defects associated with the syndrome, so we are very happy. We also feel unbelievably blessed at this point. We are thankful for a wonderful labor that went so well that Liz was able to leave the hospital about 6 hours after giving birth. We are thankful for a wonderful midwife that made this possible. We are thankful for the amazing friends and family that have already come around us to support us. We are thankful for the answered prayers. Naomi’s platelet count drop from 29,000 to 21,000 in about 12 hours, and we were told that if they dropped below 20,000 a platelet transfusion would be required. Prayers went up all over for her when she was tested, and the counts came back at 32,000. We are thankful for friends and family that have experienced special needs and have given us the words that help us realize how blessed we are to have this girl and how our lives will be made better because of her. We are thankful for a room that happened to be free at the NICU that has allowed for us to stay here (even though we don’t fit the description of what the room is used for). We are thankful for being placed in a NICU that made us realize what we’re facing really isn’t that bad.
We don’t have all of the answers right now. If we did, we probably couldn’t handle them. What we do know is that God has given us this precious, sweet, little girl, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. This girl is going to bless our life in ways that we cannot even imagine. Our hope is that with God’s help, we can be a blessing to her, as well. We pray that she would grow up to be just the person that he wants her to be.
Naomi was the name of Aaron’s grandmother, and she was one of the sweetest people that ever lived. She was a woman who, toward the end of her life spent most of her time in her room doing one of four things: ironing, praying, reading her Bible, and writing about what she read. If you asked her how she was doing, her response was usually, “Well you know what? I am so incredibly blessed. The Lord has been so good to me.”
Our daughter has some big shoes to fill to live up to that name; but we believe that, with God’s help, she will. Maybe she can make us all a little bit more like her namesake.
Aaron and Liz