I want to thank all the nurses, doctors, family, and friends who helped us get through all of this and hopefully the following will help each of you in some way:

From the time Ashley and I found out we were having a child, it just seemed like an idea to me. I mean I cognitively knew it but nothing really changed for 9 months other than elbows and knees in my back and a lot of nights slept on the couch.

Then Monday, June 2nd hit…Ashley was at school and called at about 10:30 am to tell me she thought her water had broken. I went and got her and off to the hospital we went. Text messages and phone calls were being made and all the general chaos of a little one coming started. Haley Elizabeth was born at 4:35 pm and from that moment forward our world has changed. She weighed 6 lbs 7 oz and was 19″ long. We had family and friends visit and the pictures started. Little did we know things were really about to change…

On Wednesday, June 4th at about 4:30 am, Ashley woke up saying that Haley was spitting up blood. I got over to her little glass crib just in time to see her spit up more and tell Ashley to go get a nurse. I picked her up and knew something was really wrong. She was lethargic and thus got a sternum rub which brought on some crying but that was at least a good sign. The last thing we saw was the nurse putting her back in the crib and rolling her out of the room as Haley continued to spit up blood. The nurses called for the emergency room surgeon and there was a general panic on the floor. Ashley and I called our moms and asked them to come up to the hospital. At about 5:30 am, Children’s Hospital brought Haley into our hospital room and she was hooked up to a bunch of different machines. They told us that they were going to transport her to Children’s and once we got discharged, then we would be able to go to Children’s ourselves.

The decision was made: my mom and I would go to Children’s and wait for Ashley to get discharged. Once at Children’s, things got REAL very fast! The nurse told me that they thought it could be a twisted bowel and they were doing an x-ray to confirm their suspicions. They said if it was twisted then my two day old daughter would need a surgery and would have issues the rest of her life. The x-ray came back with good and bad news. The good news was that it wasn’t a twisted bowel but they found a mass on her stomach. They did blood work and stated that they found an infection in her system and were treating it. They were doing more tests and wouldn’t allow me to see her.

Ashley was discharged and at about 10:00 am (4 ½ hours later), we were able to see our little girl. What we saw shocked us….Haley had a tube down her throat, a central line in her umbilical cord, an IV in her foot, and was hooked up to numerous monitors. She was stable but not out of the woods by any means. The doctors told us that she spit up 10cc’s and filled 4 diapers full of blood.

At that very moment (seeing Haley like that), I felt something I knew but never fully understood: a father’s love. I would have done anything to make Haley better no matter the cost. I felt completely helpless and got mad. I started to ask God why he was taking my little girl from me. Children’s hospital doesn’t allow visitors in the NICU during their shift change so we decided it was time to go home. Going home was the hardest thing I have ever done.

Once I finally fell asleep, God spoke to me (or maybe I finally listened) and it changed everything. God told me that she was HIS first and that HE brought her into this world. He made me realized that there are two types of people: those that say they have faith in HIM and those that show it. I was humbled……my perspective had changed. That night I had a dream that they took the tube out of her throat….

The next day we went in with a different attitude…God had this. We began talking with the nurses and they said she wasn’t spitting up any blood and was doing a little better. They told us that on Thursday (June 5) they would do a CT scan to figure out what was going on. They thought she may have a double stomach and again it would result in a surgery.

Fast forward through a lot of tears and time in the waiting room to June 6…..the day God showed his power

The doctor came in and had a dumbfounded look on his face. He looked at the computer 3 or 4 times and asked the nurse to look at it too. They couldn’t find anything on her stomach. The mass was GONE! And if God wasn’t doing enough, they did another blood test and the infection was GONE! They took the tube out and let her eat. For the first time since June 2 Ashley was able to feed Haley. June 6 was a good day….

Saturday, June 7
God starts showing off…The nurse was able to take the central line out of her umbilical cord and for the first time since Wednesday we held our little fighter.

Sunday, June 8
Due to Haley’s progress (God’s grace), she was taken off her Bili—Lite for the jaundice, was scheduled to be off the IV, and they started throwing around the “going home” phrase.

Monday, June 9
No more IV. Haley was completely on her own and doing great. Haley was eating and doing all the things a baby should be doing.

Tuesday, June 10
We got to take our little girl home! What a relief! I’ve never driven so slow in my entire life and for those of you who know me that’s an accomplishment. I had a pastor’s wife tell me that I would drive slowly and I didn’t believe her, this is me saying you were right!

I skip through a lot of stuff between the 7th-10th because it’s a lot of family stuff that is not meant to be included. God showed me several things during this storm and I hope it helps someone else with whatever you are dealing with in life:

1. He is in control of everything and wants us to rely on Him
2. I don’t know how He gave His son for me but I am grateful. There is absolutely no way I would give up Haley for anyone…
3. God still speaks to us; sometimes us not listening is the issue
4. The difference between saying you have faith and showing it is huge!


Officer Chris Hutton

Knoxville Police Department (TN)

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