The picture above illustrates what I thought the first time I saw David Cook of American Idol on my TV screen. As soon as I saw this guy’s hair, I thought, “what a mess”, then I thought, “hey, he looks like Clark!” What do you think? This was the best messed up hair picture of Clark we had, but I am telling you, they bear a strange resemblance when Clark first wakes up in the morning. Time for a haircut Clark!
Clark made an especially miraculous entry into our world almost 16 months ago. I can vividly remember watching for him to be delivered. Henry and Brooks had already been born, and Clark was right on his heals. Since Brooks and Clark shared an amniotic and chorionic sack, they were almost born together. We were worried about Brooks and Clark the entire pregnancy due to the fact that they were a rare form of identical twins known medically as monoamniotic twins. (Click here for a detailed explaination of monoamniotic twins)
Due to this complication, I was very anxious to see just how tangled Brooks’ and Clark’s cords would be. Miraculously, after 8 months of development without anything separating them from becoming entangled, Brooks and Clark were delivered with their cords only slightly twisted around one another. God was so gracious to us and them!
Unfortunately, we were not out of the woods yet. Clark would almost immediately be placed on a ventilator due to immature lungs where he would struggle for days. Clark’s blood gas levels became dangerously saturated with CO2. It made no sense to me, but his lungs were doing fine with oxygenating his blood, but were failing to remove the CO2 properly, creating a potentially deadly situation. The doctors and nurses at St. Vincent were doing all they could to get our little boy to breath properly, and get him out of danger. They were forced to switch him to a jet ventilator, but were still unable to stabilize his blood gas levels.
Since Jen was still hospitalized with high fever and blood loss after delivery, we were getting updates around the clock from the NICU. Jen was not able to go visit the boys yet because of her fever, but all of that changed around 12am that night. Our NP came in and informed us that she had cleared it with the NICU doctors to have Jen come up and see the boys. We didn’t realize it at the moment, but they wanted to make sure that Clark’s mommy got to see him alive, as they were beginning to wonder if he would make it through the night.
When we returned to Jens room that night we sent out an urgent prayer request to our church, and to our blog readers. We then went to prayer on his behalf. Our gracious God once again answered our prayers, sparing Clark’s life. Within an hour of Jen visiting the NICU, Clark’s CO2 levels finally began to drop. The moment our NP burst through the door with the news and a smile on her face still brings tears to my eyes when I think of it. My little Clark was going to be OK.
Clark had a few other scary bumps in the road before exiting the NICU 5 weeks later, but is now a very happy, healthy little boy. You never want to see your children suffer, but suffering brings an appreciation for how much you love them. I will always treasure Clark’s life because of those early trials.
Today, Clark’s personality is a wonderful daily reminder of God’s goodness. He and Henry seem to spar over who is going to command the most attention. I never thought I would use this word to describe my son, as I want them to be masculine men, but since the day he was born, Clark has always been a beautiful little boy. His smile always makes me laugh, and he loves to sit on his daddy’s lap, which makes me swell with pride.
Once again, I wish I could describe to all of you what Clark’s precious life means to me, it cannot be put to words. But, I love his crooked little smile, I love his deep brown eyes, I love the way he curls up in bed with Brooks each night, I love how he giggles out of control when I rub my nose in his neck, I love to watch him jump in his crib, I love his aggressive personality, I love his expression when I blow air in his face, I love to watch him play, and I love the fact that God let me keep my precious little boy, that I get to watch him grow instead of visiting his grave, and that I get to teach him to fish instead of dreaming about what it would be like to raise all four of my boys, and mostly, I love that I get to give glory to God for saving my little boy when doctors and nurses had tried everything to save him.
I love you Clark, and I am so thankful that I get to be your daddy.