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The Special Mother

Adapted from the story
A Well Chosen Mother Has Special Qualities
By Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit. This year thousands of mothers will give birth to a premature baby. Did you ever wonder how mothers of preemies are chosen?
Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

“Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint, Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint, Cecelia. Rudledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint…Give her Gerard. He is used to profanity.”

Finally He passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a premature baby.”

    The angel is curious, “Why this one, God? She is so happy.”

“Exactly,” smiles God. “Could I give a premature baby to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.”

    “But has she patience?” asks the angel.

“I do not want her to have too much patience, or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she will handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see the child I am going to give her has his own world. She has to make it live in her world, and that is not going to be easy,” said God.

    “But Lord, I do not even think she believes in You.”

God smiles, “No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.”

    The angel gasps, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”

God nods, “If she cannot separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child that comes in less than a perfect way. She does not realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a ‘spoken word.’ She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says ‘Mommy’ for the first time she will be witness to a miracle and know it!  When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations. I will permit her to see clearly all the things I see – ignorance, cruelty, prejudice; and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”

“And what about her patron saint?” asked the angel, the pen poised in mid-air.

    God smiles, “A mirror will suffice.”




Grandma J’s Reflections !


Samuel Henry Buesking was born at 6:27 a.m. on March 25, 2004. He weighed in at 2 pounds and 2 ounces and 13 inches in length. Sam was born three months early and not expected to survive. Thus began our little miracle!


Jenna and Mike were told at about week 12 (when her water broke) that their baby had a 30% chance of surviving to week 14. Jenna was on bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy. She was encouraged to abort many times and told that her baby would most likely be born dead or die within an hour after his birth. He was predicted to have severe deformities and early on he was diagnosed with no kidneys or a bladder. This was later disproved by further testing, but the main problem was a hole in the sac containing the baby that constantly leaked amniotic fluid throughout the pregnancy. Without fluid, lungs can not develop properly.


Sam was born at 26 weeks. There were no baby cries or rosy cheeks; only a swift butterfly kiss from his Mother and then he was rushed to the nursery and hooked up to life support. After Sam was born, Jenna needed to have a D & C to remove the placenta.  Her blood pressure was dropping and she was hemorrhaging badly so she had no choice and feared Sam would be dead by the time her procedure was over. While Jenna was being rushed in for a D & C, Mike, his Dad and John, the minister who had married them, along with nurses and Drs. stood teary eyed in the nursery and watched as John baptized our tiny new grand-son. Keith and I were still in route from Cincinnati while all this was occurring with no knowledge of what was happening at that time.

After the baptism and Jenna’s procedure, Mike was to bring Sam up to Jenna’s room to say good-by to their tiny son. When the door opened to Jenna’s room, a nurse stepped in and said there had been a change of plans. Everyone thought Sam was already gone. While Sam was being taken off of the life support, the Dr. saw a spark in Sam, a struggle to survive that amazed him and he refused to take him off of life support.


We arrived around 1:30 and went directly to the nursery. All we could think was how very tiny he was and how many machines were keeping him alive with tubes and needles in his chest and a respirator in his mouth and syringes everywhere, and yet, he was still alive.


Next, we went to see Jenna and she was sure when she saw us that he was probably going to die soon. The Chaplain stopped by to see her and while she was there talking to us Mike entered the room with bad news. Their little boy was taking a turn for the worse and we had to hurry back to the nursery before he left us. Mike said the baby was blue when he left him. The Chaplain said a prayer for little Sam at the exact moment that we were later to hear the Dr’s. had once again brought him back to us. We couldn’t find a wheel chair for Jenna and she was sure Sam would be gone before we could get her to the nursery but by the time we arrived Sam was pink again. What a miracle that was! Twice he had survived!

All afternoon his condition was critical. He sometimes had as many as seven or eight Dr’s. and nurses at his side. Around 6 p.m. he once again took a turn for the worst and the Dr’s. decided to try the Jet Ventilator on him. Apparently, it’s a fairly new device that few hospitals offer. It is sometimes tolerated better than the VIP Respirator. Sam was responding to it but there was another problem. There had been so much pressure put on his very fragile underdeveloped lungs that the blood flow was going out but not returning to his heart and his lungs were inflated more than they wanted them to be. Because the lungs could not deflate there was a dangerous build up of carbon dioxide. So they tried another trick that was used on full term babies. Sam responded! His oxygen levels were good, his little heart was working right, his brain was intact, his kidneys were functioning but his lungs were very underdeveloped and fragile. X rays revealed one hole in one lung and two holes in the other. All the holes healed themselves within two days. What a miracle that was. They were fighting for him every inch of the way and Sam was fighting right along with them. His numbers fluctuated up and down for the next two days but he became somewhat stable on the second day and it gave us all a chance to catch our breath from the trauma of his first day. Jaundice was present and a blood transfusion was done the second day too.

Day 3: Blood in Sam’s airway was suctioned early in the day which more than likely meant there was some hemorrhaging in his esophagus or throat from the respirator. Carbon dioxide was still a concern but numbers were dropping. Sam required drugs to paralyze him because he was moving too much – side effect was swelling especially in his tiny hands and feet. A head scan was done to determine if he had any brain bleeds. Brain bleeds are a common problem in preemies. The over inflated lungs were still showing on regular x rays too. He was receiving regular blood transfusions too because of the frequent blood draws to check his blood gases.

Day 4: Some how day 4 slipped away from me. Maybe I had all I could digest and chose to block out everything but how cute he seemed to be getting each day. His head was beginning to round out and he was moving his fingers on his left arm. His left arm was frozen in a bent position at birth from being so confined in the sac with no fluid. Therapy would soon be working with him to get that arm moving. I do recall Jenna was very excited because he had grabbed her finger that day. He also got a hold of his own ear and pulled and pulled until he finally let go and she said he stretched his ear all out of shape.


Day 5: Lots of good news this day. Sam’s nitrous oxide levels were finally dropping and the Jet Ventilator numbers were falling too. Too much time on the Jet could cause more harm than good. They hoped to have him off of it in two to three days! His oxygen had dropped from 40 to 35. (Normal is 21) Too much oxygen for too long can cause blindness in a preemie. Best of all they removed the needles and tubes from both sides of his little chest and turned him over on his tummy. He slept like a baby…….



He also got a feeding tube in his nose.The bad news was that they found a brain bleed. It was a stage one though and that is the best of 4 stages. He will be rechecked for that when he is two wks. old. We pray it doesn’t get any worse.
Day 6: Sam got to eat today. He’s down to one pound 13½ ounces. They also took him off the Jet two days earlier than anticipated and the nitrous oxide too and his levels remained stable. The nurse tried to run an IV line from his foot to his heart twice today but it didn’t work so they will try again tomorrow. One-third of his left lung collapsed today but they did not seem to be too concerned? He was also moved into an isolate today.
He had the hiccups today. Finally – something normal! J
The best news of all was that Jenna got to hold him for two hrs! It was quite an ordeal what with all the tubing, respirator and such but it was so sweet to see her so happy. Tomorrow Mike will hold him. Tomorrow we will go home and try to resume a semi normal life. Our grand-son will remain in the intensive care unit for 3-4 months. Jenna will be living at the hospital. I will be returning next Monday to stay with her through Easter. We know that our little Sam could crash at any minute but we have so much hope and faith that God is with him that I felt the need to share all his goodness with those close to us.
We thank you for all your prayers and your concerns. God is and has been answering them daily! Little Sam has a long ways to go but we know with God’s help we will all survive this. I will be developing pictures tomorrow to share with you.
We’ve had good news along with bad for six days now but we are rejoicing in having our little guy with us. As my sister put it: we are watching Sam develop outside of the womb. What an awesome wonder that is! Sam is most definitely one of God’s little miracles!




Uncle John’s Reflections !

March 25, 2004: One Miraculous Morning
As remembered by Uncle John

The phone call came at 5:38am. Two guys on the phone at that time of morning can only mean one or two things: (1) There must be something significant to say; and (2) Not much will be said.

Dad: “Hey, it’s Mike. Jenna is in labor.”
Uncle John: “I’m on my way.”

That’s about it! Significant and short – a classic conversation between two guys.
After a furiously fast shower and no shave, I left for St. John’s Mercy Hospital. Arrival
time; about 6:20am. As all pastors do, I checked in with the nurses’ station on the
second floor. I was taken by nurse Decker (daughter of a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran
Church in Eureka, MO) back to the room in which the birth was happenin’! And when I
say “happenin”‘, I mean “happenin”‘! I heard some very large noises coming from the
room which sounded a lot like Jenna in a very agitated, pain-filled state. A nurse came
flying out of another room and was heading into Jenna’s room when she stopped and
looked at me suspiciously in the hallway and said, “Do you need some help?” “No I’m
just waiting to see my nephew.” I said. “Well,” said the nurse, “would you please wait in
the waiting room? We will send someone out for you when it is time.”
So … there I sat in the waiting room. 6:27am passed (time of arrival) Doris and Art
came to sit with me. We waited … and waited . .. Every time the doors to the Labor and
Delivery area opened we craned our necks to see if it was a doctor or a nurse or Mike
Our necks got a huge workout that morning! I did see a doctor and a nurse with a little
baby come out of the doors at one point. The nurse had the baby all bundled up and was
squeezing a bag near the baby’s face. The bag was connected to a tube which was
connected to a tank being pulled by a doctor. Both doctor and nurse were moving with
intention. (It had to be Sam!) Finally, about 8am, Mike came out of the doors. We
jumped up and went to him. Mike said that Samuel Henry Buesking was born at 6:27am
The doctors had him in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Samuel was not doing
very well. °
Mike brought Art and Doris and I back to Jenna’s room. Also in the room was Dr
Bartlesmeyer, the OB that was involved in Samuel’s delivery. Dr. B welcomed us all and
gave us the scoop. He said that the Drs. in the NICU were doing everything they could
for Samuel. However, it did not look like he would be able to live very long. He
recommended that we go over to the NICU to administer the baptism. Then, the doctors
would unhook Samuel from all of the life support and have Mike bring him back to
Jenna’s room to spend his remaining time with his mom and dad before he died.
After a few moments of reacting to that news, the guys (Mike, Art, and me) set out on the
baptism mission. We were escorted by Jenna’s post-delivery nurse, Jodi Vuksic. We

were met in the hallway by the chaplain. As we walked she asked what I needed for the

baptism. I answered, “Water.” She mentioned some other things that they had available

at the hospital for baptisms, but I simply said that in this case I was most interested in

water. We arrived at the NICU to take care of business! Thank God Jodi was there to get

a Polaroid camera in our hands so that we would have some pictures to take back to

Jenna after the baptism! The baptism tray was brought out with lots of cool stuff on it.

There was a green booklet entitled “The Rite of Baptism”, a vial of oil, a candle, a silver

gravy boat (sorry about the crude terminology -I do not know what else to call it!) of

water, and a small seashell. I took the seashell in one hand and poured some of the water

into it. I then went over to Samuel and applied the water three times in the shape of a

cross with my right index finger on the left side of his head as I said, “Samuel Henry

Buesking, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.” I hope God can understand mumble-jumble, because I don’t think anyone could

have heard me say “Holy Spirit” – by that time I was losing it? After I gained some

semblance of composure, I prayed over Samuel. Mike’s hand was on my back as the

guys prayed with and for Samuel, thanking God for His miracle of new life, asking God

to relieve any pain and suffering Samuel might be experiencing, and praying that Samuel

could rejoice in His relationship with God. I really do not remember what I said at this

point. We simply prayed …

. .. And God heard!

After some Kodak moments. Art and I took the pictures back to Jenna’s room. Mike

stayed with Sam, preparing himself for the walk from the NICU to Jenna’s room carrying

their first child in his arms. What a joy to walk in and see Jenna and Doris and the

chaplain praying together! Sure was a lot of praying going on!!! After the prayer, the

chaplain left, and Art and Doris and Jenna and I were together for a few moments. Jenna

could not get enough of the pictures we brought from the NICU. She even let Doris hold

one . but just one! When Jenna realized she was hoarding the pictures, she laughed

and said to Doris, “Oh! Did you want to see these too?” They traded pictures – Jenna

released the big stack to Doris and Doris gave up her single photo to Jenna. I think if

Jenna would have only had that one picture she would have had everything she needed.

It was a picture of Mike’s face right above Samuel in his extreme critical condition.

Mike had a big smile on his face. Jenna started crying and said, “Mike is so amazing!”

A few moments later, someone came in the room. We all expected that it would be Mike

carrying Samuel. However, the first thing I saw was a wheelchair. Behind the wheel

chair was Jodi Vuksic. Jodi came into the room and exuded exuberance and freshness.

She brought the wheelchair to a stop, walked around it to the foot of Jenna’s bed and

said, “There has been a change of plans.” Immediately my heart fell to the ground. I

thought that the worst had happened – that Samuel had not been able to hold on long

enough to spend his final moments with his mother. However, Jodi went on … she

climbed up on the end of Jenna’s bed and looked her in the eyes and said, “After the

baptism, little Samuel started working a little harder. The doctors want to keep working

with him and have decided to keep him in the NICU for the time being. So, we need to

bring Mom to him.”



Well… guess what? Four adults just lost it!

Jodi moved further up on the bed and started rubbing Jenna’s legs as she spoke softly to

her. Jodi wanted to make sure that Jenna was O.K. and also wanted her to know that this

did not mean that Samuel was going to make it. It was going to be a moment-by-moment

thing. But right now. Art and Doris and I needed to get out of there so Jodi could get

Jenna ready to make the trip over to the NICU to see her son!!

Art and Doris barely made it out of the door before breaking down even more. I decided

that if I stayed with Art and Doris that I was going to be absolutely useless to anyone. So

… I headed back to the NICU to witness the feisty one first hand. Way to go. God!

“Iron Sam” By Bill Korris

We “Welcome Home” dear little Sam!
He keeps on growing – gram by gram.
He’s whipped all odds: his strength to cope
Has rallied us, each day, with hope.

Sam’s date of birth: March “twenty five” –
SO premature – could he survive?
His chances? Some said “next to naught!”
But Sam just fought, and fought – and fought!


Countless words and countless prayers
From hearts that knew just what to say –
And God has heard these many pleas:
He’s been with IRON SAM each day.


With a Faith that is truly inspired –
With a Joy that is truly so lyrical –
We’re sharing Sam’s battle each second:
Our 6 lb “I won’t give up” miracle….

God somehow decreed that the time was just right
To give this old world a new “Super Mite”!!!!

Note: Mr. Korris is a dear friend of the elder Buesking family having been instrumental
in teaching the Buesking children confirmation classes at Faith Lutheran Church which
includes Sam’s father, Michael Ray. And what a joy it is to have him use his God given
talent to share with us his poetry. This is not the first poem he has written for this family.
He wrote a poem for Sam’s Grandfather for his retirement and also wrote a poem for
Sam’s parents and shared it with all of us at their wedding reception. THANKS, Bill!!!


Grandma B’s Reflections !

Samuel Henry Buesking, my tenth grandson, a precious gift from God, was born March 25, 2004, at 6:27 a.m. fourteen weeks early at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri. He weighed 2 pounds, 2 ounces, and was 13 inches long. What a miracle it is that he is now 19 days old and holding his own in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). His mother, Jenna, had a premature rupture of the membrane early in the pregnancy due to a blood clot. An ultrasound showed the fetus doing okay with a strong heartbeat and soon learned the sex, a little boy. Thereafter, due to this tear in the sac, SPUD, (small person under development as his parents referred to him) had very low amniotic fluid and the fluid continued to leak continuously until his birth. The high risk doctor advised his parents of all the possible complications and strongly advised them to abort as she could not determine he had kidneys or bladder. After more testing it was learned he did have all his parts. Praise God! My son and his wife decided to continue the pregnancy, putting the situation in the Lord’s hands. I am so proud of them for their faith in our loving savior and courage to continue down an unknown path.

His mother began bed rest with bathroom privileges and began to do extensive research on Oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid) and premature birth. Here she learned about steriod injections she could take to help strengthen the baby’s lining of his lungs. Jenna was given a two day series. She shared some web sites with me so I could begin to learn a little about the situation.

On March 24 , Mike told us Jenna had called her doctor because she thought she was having labor contractions during the night. She was told to come in for a check-up and it was confirmed she was running a temperature and had some contractions while in the doctor’s office. Our son drove her back to Mt. Vernon from Marion to get medical records etc. before driving her to the hospital in St. Louis. Mike left a message with us what was happening and after attending the Lenten Worship Service at Faith we packed an overnight bag and headed to the hospital. Jenna was admitted and they began monitoring the baby. As it appeared nothing was now going on we spent the night with our daughter in Eureka. Around 5:30 a.m. our son-in-law received a call from Mike that Jenna was in labor. Vicki woke me up and Art and I headed to the hospital praying all the way for God to be with Jenna and the baby. We met our son-in-law, a Lutheran Pastor, in the delivery waiting room and he told us things were really happening back in delivery. We waitied for our son to tell us they had a son and he had undeveloped lungs. They did not expect him to live as he could not breath on his own. His mother gave him a quick kiss and he was taken to the NICU to be placed on life support until he could be Baptised. Then after his Baptism the life support would be removed and his father would carry him back to his mother to spend whatever time they had with their son. Jenna was due to go to surgery after having natural childbirth to have a D and C to remove the placenta.

My grandson, Samuel Henry Buesking, was Baptised by his Uncle John Jameson with his father and grandfather as witnesses. I stayed in the room with Samuel’s mother and the hospital chaplain came  to pray with us. After the Baptism they joined us and we waited for Mike to bring Samuel to his mother. Soon a nurse came to tell us there had been a change of plans, that after Samuel’s Baptism they saw a change in the baby as he began fighting harder to survive. The doctor wanted to leave him on life support to give him a chance. What a miracle! Was the Holy Spirit at work overtime or what!  Needless to say we were all overjoyed, but at the same time praying for whatever time Samuel might have with us.

Jenna was placed in a wheelchair and we were all off to the NICU to see our precious baby boy. After I met him, I went with my daughter-in-law back to her room so they could get her ready for surgery. She was given an epidural and taken to surgery. They let me accompany her and stay with her during the surgery and recovery. Mike and Grandpa stayed with Samuel. The surgery went well, but during recovery Jenna’s blood pressure kept dropping so they were giving her medication to correct the problem. They called for Mike to come to her bedside. Soon she was doing better and I went to be with my grandson. Samuel was very critical, but what a little fighter to survive. There were many doctors and nurses doing every possible thing to help him stay alive. He had holes in his chest and lungs that did not funtion, but a strong heartbeat. He was not able to cry at birth, but the doctor told Art that he did hear two little weak cry’s before he was put on the ventilator. He was given sugar water, vitamins, and numerous other things were done and Samuel responded. Miracles do happen! Over and over we saw God’s hand at work in our tiny baby grandson. We were encouraged to be in the room with him as much as possbile and able to touch his little body and talk to him telling him how much we loved him and how glad we were he was fighting So hard to live!

We continued to pray and God heard our prayers. Soon, Samuel had made it 24 hours and the next days were so eventful as he continued to improve with many highs and lows. Ten days later his lungs were able to function, holes were gone, and doing better breathing on his own. What a Miracle! They are able to feed him through a feeding tube and he is starting to gain his weight back he lost. His parents have held him several times and he loves that. He is a beautifully formed little baby boy with dark hair, long legs and arms, big hands and feet, especially his big toe, just like his daddy’s. His kidneys and bladder work well and he wears the tiniest little diapers.  I love to visit him and tell him how much I love him. I will need to be very patient with him as he works very hard daily to continue to grow and develop so he may most likely come home around his due date which is June 29. He has had a set-back and had to be put back on a ventilator a few days ago, but hopefully will be weaned off again in a day or two. We are told to expect ups and downs with him.

Needless to say, I am so proud of Samuel’s parents for all they have done to give me another grandchild. I know what a joy it will be to see this loving Christian family growing  together in love and witness what God has done for them, and pray will continue all the days of their life. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of his life as his Grandma Buesking. Can’t wait for the day I get to hold him in my arms and give hime lots of hugs and kisses.

This story is by no means complete, but all the love and prayers that God hears and has heard will make for an amazing future for Samuel and his family. Please remember all of us in your prayers!

Great Grandma Bev’s Reflections !

Great Grandma Bev’s Views & Reviews of Baby Samuel

Born March 25th 2004

When Baby Sams Dad, Mike called me that I have a new Great Grandson March 25th 2004, I was elated to hear the excitement and love in his voice that dear Sam has arrived. I thought about my granddaughter , Jenna, how she must have felt too. Then, the prayers for tiny Sam began..how thankful I was to God and that he continue looking and guiding them to whatever plans He might have for all of them. Much of it, I am told, and have witnessed much anxiety and concerns for Sam since his birth. I felt like I was on a merry go round (really).. As I talked with Grandma Linda Johnson , my daughter & son in law, and a few times with Jenna, I could literally almost feel the heartbreaks they were going through. The Power of Prayer is truly powerful, & God is merciful, indeed. I can just feel and see all the angels in heaven looking out for Sam. They have so far in his life, and I pray they continue for my great grandson Sam..he is a Special Child of God.

Love hears the words that no one else can hear, and creates symphonies from a single harmony.

That is the way I felt when I had the pleasure and opportunity to hold Sam in my arms for the first time…(thank you Mom , Jenna). It was a very very special time and event for me, & I know it was difficult for you to make that decision because of your wonderful motherly protection of child. WOW, that was truly a special moment for me, and I know both Grandma Linda and Grandma Doris must have felt the same way, when they held him for the first time. WOW

It is July 12th 2004, and I have received the good news Sam IS GOING HOME. What a special time this will be for Mike & Jenna.. Celebrate this Gift from God within you on this day & always.

Your Aunt Gayle & Uncle Jim, cousins, Natalie & Mike & Great Grandma all wish you the best of care & good health for the future as you grow. In the meantime, we will be looking at Grandpa Keiths web site & the usual number of phone calls from Aunt Linda & keeping in touch with those we love so much… WELCOME TO OUR FAMILY SAMUEL. I LOVE YOU ALWAYS

Great Grandma Bev from Cherokee, Iowa

July 12th 2004