Little Toby, just two weeks shy of his first birthday, is gone. No one saw it coming.
At 9:12 PM on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, I received this text from Bucks, "Little Toby is now chilling with Jesus. He passed away during his afternoon nap."
The events of the afternoon preceding my text are gut-wrenching. Toby was born with some health issues, but was expected to grow into a healthy, productive and loving boy, young man and adult.
His parents, Bucks and Lindsey, are incredible people. Here is what Lindsey wrote when Toby was born...
Tobias: Goodness of God
6 lb. 6 oz. 17.9 inches
Friday Morning was like most mornings, I woke up to the call of Nora ready to start the day. So down stairs we sneak as the rest of the family slept. I was scrambling her eggs when I glanced at the fridge to the list of appts. and my eyes got wide. I situated Nora for breakfast and went back upstairs to wake Aaron, reluctantly.
“Hey babe, I forgot about my ultrasound today. I’m not feeling well, I’m going to be late, do you mind if I skip it?”
He rolls over having just gotten in from work a few hours prior, “No, go!” So, I did.
It was around Christmas time when an ultrasound showed signs of a heart condition called AVSD which is seen a lot with babes born with Trisomy 21, also known as Downs Syndrome. The news of all of this came with a lot of emotion, but overwhelmingly more joy and Awe of God’s ways.
The previous year Aaron and I had started talking of having a third child and adopting a fourth. We talked extensively over the direction we felt we would go with a fourth child and had agreed that a child with Downs Syndrome was where we were called to love. The conversations laid in my heart till this moment of news. God had prepared us, stirred us, and designed Tobias in every good and perfect way that he is for our family. I have never felt so seen by God, carried or loved on.
Our hearts and minds were absorbing a lot in the coming days but carried on the wings of joy and peace that is really hard to explain. His middle name means “Cheerful”, and how fitting God saw it for us to save that name all these years. His name also means “Goodness of God”. We spoke that over him many times before ever walking through decisions of heart surgery.
My appointments became more regular as Vanderbilt Medical Center and the midwife team swooped us up and plugged us in to the most amazing teams to care and educate us during the remainder of my pregnancy. Along with learning how extensive his heart condition is we were also blessed to watch as one of the holes his heart had continued to knit shut. That took him from two surgeries before 4 months old to one at birth. And so we waited...for this very day❤️
I arrived Friday morning, late, to my ultrasound. After seeing his perfectly button “Buchholz” nose and signature cheeks I waited for results in an exam room, I figured they must have a busy morning as we usually meet in a conference room. The Dr. came in and introduced herself. She reminded me that my amniotic fluid levels were high last visit by .6.
I remembered because I certainly felt every extra oz! And today my fluids measured a whole 10 points over. She was amazed I was able to talk with her as most women find it heard to breath with so much fluid, I chuckled. That explained a lot!
She continued to inform me they saw fluid around Tobias’ lungs which indicated stress on his heart. They didn’t feel they could wait another week to see how things would grow or turn out. It was in his best interest to arrive today or the following day depending on how he tolerated induction. I poke my hand in the air, “can we skip induction and go right for an abdominal birth?” I asked. My momma heart couldn’t imagine putting his heart through any more stress “just to see” if he could tolerate a particular way that we have an option of avoiding.
They were surprised by my relief and response as she agreed this would be the best option for our sweet boy. I wasn’t going home till our baby was here, I shouted for joy! I knew it was time and was more than ready.
I was given time to call family as they prepared to wheel me over for surgery. I called Aaron, “Hey babe, guess who you get to meet today!” He kicked into gear getting the kids dressed and lunch fed as friends like family stepped into place to watch our children and God continued to orchestrate the rest.
Aaron arrived 30 min before surgery, how’s that for timing! It was a most unique experience that grew, yet again, my wonder of these strong and beautiful bodies we house. With Aaron by my head we heard our son’s first cries at 3:46 PM. A little window was drawn down and they held up our Tobias Tate. Perfectly covered in white and singing his arrival song! I couldn’t wait to feel him close and see him again...
Still on the surgery table they brought his soft, sweet baby skin over for me to kiss and inspect in the way we so love to do. “He is here!” The words brought so much relief to my soul and joy to my heart. His amazing NICU and cardiology team then whisked him off for further scans and care.
He continues to amaze them and us with his amazing calm and beautiful surrendered strength. Aaron and I were able to see him together that evening in his room. Talking about the days events with tired smiles on our faces. “He is here!” We would tear up with such relief recounting our wait and journey with him this far. Before returning to my room to rest Aaron and I gathered around our precious boy to dedicate him back to the Giver of every good and perfect gift. A moment for all of our children I carry so dearly in my heart❤️
Welcome, dear child of mine. You complete my Momma heart, and your Daddy and I know we will continue to watch His Spirit brood over you during the growing days ahead.
Just a day ago, napping in his little swing, Toby closed his beautiful eyes. When he opened them, Jesus was there.
This morning, the day after, I stopped at their house. Aaron clung to me and cried like any daddy who has just lost his son.
This family could use some love'n from us. They aren't wealthy. Lindsey works in a children's ministry. Aaron works two jobs and is a Christian artist and song writer.
You know what's remarkable about this family? Lindsey, the mother of the baby that just passed away, was raised in a fostering environment. Her parents fostered and adopted two special needs children. And... before having their third child, Aaron and Lindsey decided to have ONE more and then ADOPT a child with Down's Syndrome.
Lindsey was soon with child learned that the child in her womb would have Down's. Wow! Aaron and Lindsey were prepared. They welcomed this wonderful child, Toby, into the world. Almost a year later, just a few days ago, Toby passed away during his afternoon nap. The family needs our help. I've donated and so have a few others. Please donate and pray for this remarkable family.
The funds, that are needed now, will be used to replace lost income and help with medical and final expenses.
DonationsSee top donations
- Anna Bergen
- Carrie Edwards
- Tim & Hilary Timmons
- JILL Beck
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