Sam Benjamin Newton

It’s been 19 days since Ted & I were first told Sam did not have a heartbeat.  On Saturday night, May 23, 2015, we checked into the hospital and Ted and I were convinced they were going to tell us our sweet baby was “just asleep” or this Mama was “overly concerned” about his lack of movement throughout the day.  Instead, we were told his heart was no longer beating.

In that moment, our lives changed forever.

We were blessed that our OB was on call that night.  She arrived in our room and listened for Sam’s heartbeat on the fetal doppler.  After she delivered us the news that our baby was ‘still’ in my belly, she called for an ultrasound tech to come and view his heart & to see if there was blood flow from the umbilical cord to his heart; and there wasn’t.

I’ll never forget those moments and the sheer pain of knowing our future with Sam on earth would not be realized.  I curled up next to Ted in my hospital bed and cried louder and harder than I ever have before.  Our baby was with Jesus.

After some time, our OB came back in the room and told us that Sam would need to be delivered, sooner rather than later.  While she recommended a vaginal birth, a caesarean section was still a possibility, but came with more risks.  The Wednesday before I had not started to dilate and inducing labor could mean being in labor for two or three days, worst case scenario.  My heart ached at the thought of delivering Sam vaginally and not hearing him cry when he was born.

The night of May 23rd felt like it lasted forever but passed too quickly.  I knew when we went to sleep it was my last night to have my sweet Sam inside of me.  I wondered if I’d ever know what it felt like to be pregnant again.  Ted and I held each other in my hospital bed crying as we drifted off to sleep.

Sunday, May 24th, arrived faster than I could have imagined.  Much of Sam’s birth day is an emotional blur.  My parents & brother and sister-in-law were at the hospital waiting to welcome Sam’s body to earth & his soul to heaven.  I was prepped for surgery the night of the 23rd and laid waiting during the early part of Sunday morning.

Sam Benjamin Newton was born at 9:06 A.M.  He was a beautifully perfect 6 pounds, 1 ounce & 19.5 inches long.  Ted & I held Sam in the surgical room embracing our short time together as a family of three.

We were soon taken back to the delivery room where my family got to meet and hold our Sam.  The nurses scheduled for a local photographer who volunteered with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep to capture our short time together.  Ted and I will always be thankful we said ‘yes’ to having the moment caught on camera.  What I sometimes have trouble remembering post-surgery is captured on camera forever.

Sometimes it feels like as soon as I gave birth, we had to say goodbye.  In ‘real time’ we loved, had, held, and enjoyed Sam for somewhere around four hours.  I am blessed for every moment.

Giving birth to my baby has easily been the best honor of my life.  Giving back my baby is the hardest moment of it.

12 thoughts on “Sam Benjamin Newton

  1. I’m hesitant to “like” this post- because I hate that you have any reason to write it. That being said, you have beautifully captured the glory and agony of Sam’s birthday. Even though we never knew each other particularly well, I have prayed for you almost daily since I learned the news. I pray for God to heal your heart and that the Spirit will constantly fill you with hope and anticipation for the day you are reunited, when Jesus will hold you both.

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    1. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to hug you again. I can’t thank you enough for your love and for our pictures. We will hold you close to our hearts forever! Thank you for thinking of Sam. Xo

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  2. Abby,

    My heart breaks for you and yours…I cried at the loss of Sam and have been thinking and praying for you daily. I am truly in awe of you Abby. Your love, faith and heart is truly the most beautiful I have seen. Write. For yourself and Sam. Your outlook and faith through this difficult time has inspired me. Much love Abby.

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  3. Abby, You have been on my mind and heart frequently since we heard the news. You are handling yourself with such grace. Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking experience honestly. I pray for that peace that passes understanding. The Howards love you and we wish so fervently there was something we could do to ease your pain. I think prayers and hugs are all we can offer. But, sometimes those go a long way. Much love to you.- Molly

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  4. Abby… I don’t even know what to say!! I will be praying for you, Ted and baby Sam!! I will keep Sam’s Grandparents in my prayers as well. I have two grandchildren, and I can’t even imagine how they hurt… not only did they lose a grandson, but they have to watch their daughter and son go through this pain!! I will be praying that God wraps his arms around all of you!!

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  5. Hi Abby, I saw your post across facebook on a mutual friends link, Sarah Mullins. I live out here in Colorado and I’m so sorry for your loss. If there is any comfort in this, I know how you feel. I lost my little baby girl Olivia Grace back in January at 18 weeks after finding out she had spinal bifida and arnold chari malformation of her brain. 10 long grueling days passed where we had a big decision to make, I prayed hard not to have to make that decision and luckily God took her and I didn’t have to make any decision on her potential quality of life. Perhaps now Sam and Olivia know each other in heaven. My thoughts are with you and I hope it is ok, that me, a total stranger would post on your site!

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    1. Thank you for reaching out to me! I am encouraged to hear that my new blog found you. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet Olivia Grace but am humbled that God intervened on Olivia’s behalf. I’m here with you in the struggle of not having your baby to hold. Someone shared a thought with me last week that stuck in my mind and I’ll pass it to you. She too lost her son, Parker, and she confidently said our babies lives had purpose. Those words were joy to my ears! She further shared she was just curious what God was doing with all of the babies in heaven. (A thought I can’t get out of my mind but would love to know!) We may not understand – but I look forward to the day I can embrace Sam in my arms again. I trust Jesus has him in his arms until then. No doubt Sam has met Olivia and they’re free!

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