One of my college roomates, groomsmen, and a great friend, Eric Nickoli, and his wife gave birth to their first child, at 23 weeks gestation, on June 8th. Tiny Judah Elizabeth Nickoli was born weighing a whopping 1.9 lbs. And we thought Bentley had weight problems. Not only was she 17 weeks early, but Katie went into labor while they are in Northern California working at JH Ranch. This is not the easiest camp in the world to get to. There aren’t exactly any major University Medical Centers nearby. As you can imagine, Judah is having quite a fight to stay alive. According to their Facebook page “Praying for Judah Elizabeth Nickoli,” the extended family has made it out there, but the stress and decisions as to what should be done next is starting to weigh heavily on them both. I know there are a few of you reading this who have lost infants or young children and I can’t begin to know what that impending pain can feel like. I imagine it would come close to having your heart cut out with a spoon (Robin Hood reference) but way way worse. Please send some serious prayers their way as they make some incredibly tough decisions in the days to come and deal with this fragile situation. We are praying for them constantly.
Bentley’s world seems so normal and boring in comparison, but I’ll update you anyways. One of the last big outings we had for Daddy Daycare involved taking Bentley out to The Regions Tradition. I really loved this. I don’t know how many dads would take their infant to a golf tournament, by themselves, but I DID. It was a blast. As soon as we arrived she started to get hungry so I popped a squat by the practice green and fed her. We watched as some young kids covered their hats in autographs, and chased down more. Storms were beginning to roll in from afar so the breeze was picking up. Bentley loved it. She kept grinning and doing her penguin flap move which means “I like it.” Right before the storm hit my sis pulled us into the clubhouse and turned B into a little celebrity. A friend had made B a little “I love Children’s Hospital” outfit, and we stuck a few logos on it. Katherine Webb, Miss Alabama USA 2012, was there doing some PR stuff for Children’s and she spent a little time hanging out with Bentley. She tweeted a sweet, as in cute not awesome, pic of them to her 250,000 followers. That was sweet, as in awesome not cute. Children’s of Alabama along with the Champions Tour also tweeted and posted pics of Bentley on their social media sites. Aunt Jess, being the PR guru, absolutely loved the press. I thought it was pretty cool myself. While Bentley was being passed around the Club House, I had the opportunity to meet a couple of Air Force pilots and talk aviation like I had stayed at a Holiday Inn Express the night before. After holding B for a while during the storms a young pregnant couple did ask how I got so lucky having such a calm and mild mannered baby. All I could say was “Don’t’ know, I guess we just got blessed.” We proceeded to chat a few minutes about babies and how some people’s kids cry a lot, and pitch fits, and act-a-fool. You know, typical expecting parent talk. No need to rain on the parade of someone just making friendly conversation. It was already raining out the tournament.
Sunday, June 16th, was Bentley’s Baptism/dedication thing at church. Of course most of the fam joined us for this. It was our way of professing and committing to raise Bentley in a manner that glorifies God and teaches her the scriptures until she is old enough to make the decision to accept Christ for herself. It was a great day, not only for the event we celebrated, but mainly as a time to come together as a family, share a meal, and give thanks for the blessings and grace our God has given us.
Finally, we made a House Hunting trip down to Dothan. We finally had a number of potential dwellings available to make a trip instead of just phone calls, pictures, and mom’s drive-bys. Bentley did great on the trip. This was sort of trial run to see how well she will travel between Bham and Dothan within 24hrs for the weekly trips that will start once we move. B handled it well. She slept some, played with her feet some, and of course cried for what we suspect were gas bubbles. Or she was screaming “GET ME OUT OF THE DARN CARSEAT ALREADY! I WANT TO LAY ON MY GIRAFFE AND HOLD MY FEET WHILE BEING UNRESTRAINED!” We’re not sure yet what the cries were about, but they didn’t last long.
That is all for now. I’ll try and update you on how our Kindermusic class goes. We started that last week, but I’m going tomorrow to see if it is like the class I would hold in our padded and thumping swimming pool. I can assure you one thing, this dad won’t be prancing to the music like Lindsay did last week. I’ll walk with a cool yet rhythmic swagger while I hold B. HAHAHAAHA this could be a train wreck. Thanks again for the prayers. Don’t forget about Judah Elizabeth out in a Medford, OR hospital. She needs strength, nutrition, healing, growing, and to poop (that’s according to Eric). We praise God for how far she’s come since birth, but know she’s not out of the woods yet. Have a great week. Touch somebody’s face for Bentley:)