Considering it was my first pregnancy and I had no idea what to expect or how to feel, I think it was a pretty normal 9 months. We had no major health problems. All my tests came back normal. All ultrasounds looked great. We really had no reason to worry and we weren't worried. Everything was going along just as we had hoped and prayed.
Then, after several long hours of labor, our precious boy was born. Screaming! What a relief to hear that little voice. He was given a clean bill of health by the doctors and we were told he was "very vigorous" (which was not a surprise given the all flips, turns and kicks I felt while he was in the womb). All was well with our world. Our hearts were so full and so happy. We were thankful! Family came to the hospital to meet our baby boy. Hardly surprising, they fell immediately in love with him, too. The family went home. We were so tired, hardly keeping our eyes open, so we sent our baby to the nursery so we could get a few hours of sleep.
We were awakened by a nurse and a doctor tapping our feet, standing between our beds. The room was dark and we were half conscious.
They had admitted our baby to the NICU (intensive care unit for infants).
My head was swirling. I could hardly make sense of what they were saying. How could this be? He was just fine three hours ago!
Well, we learned that when he went to the nursery, a nurse noticed his little hands trembling as if he was cold. But she was trained to notice when something wasn't quite right. She tested his blood sugar and found that it was dangerously low, so dangerous that he was at risk of having a seizure.
I was not prepared for this. We went immediately to the NICU to see our boy. He had an IV taped to his little hand and bandages on his little feet. He was hooked up to several machines. Quite honestly, I felt that I was in a nightmare.
Baby Boy spent the rest our our hospital stay there, away from the comfort of my regular post-natal room. I spent most of my hospital stay next to him, holding and feeding him as often as I could. The nurses kept telling me to leave him and get some rest so I could recover. How could I rest with my baby in intensive care?! No! I would be with him! I did not care if I recovered. All I wanted was for those doctors to tell me that they were letting him come back to me.
It was the hardest day of my life. It was time for me to go home without my baby. I walked out of that hospital with the "welcome baby" gifts, leaving my precious boy behind. My heart was breaking. I was a wreck. The doctors could not tell me when he would be better. We just had to wait and let the doctors do their best.
God used my mom to show me what being a mother is all about. You see, in the midst of my fear and worry for my baby boy, my mom shared her experience twenty some years ago when she gave birth to me. I was also born with complications and my parents were left feeling helpless and terrified. It was through my mother's helplessness that God showed her He was in control. He was my Heavenly Father. He had made me just how He planned. And He gave me to my parents as a gift. My mom said that when she realized this, that I was God's child, she could rest. She had given me over to God in her heart. He would either allow me to live or take me to be with Him, but my mom understood that her Savior was still in control.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
I had to do the same with my son. I prayed long and hard for my baby's safety, healing, coming home...and that God would help me. I prayed that God would care for my baby as He had cared for me. I praised Him for giving me the chance to be a mother. I thanked Him for loving us. I recognized in the depths of my soul that my baby belongs to God and He will take care of my son, no matter what the circumstance. My baby boy is God's child, too.
For four days we waited, hoped, prayed. Our baby made great improvements, started weaning off his treatment, and relapsed. We started all over again. The doctor came to us literally scratching her head, not giving us any answers but warning us that we should expect him to stay there another week. Devastated, I clung to God's promises and remembered the scripture above.
That night, the doctor gave orders to try weaning him again. By morning, he was still doing great and taking much less treatment. By noon they were telling us that we would be taking him home that day! He had made an unexpected speedy recovery. Five days after giving birth and officially becoming parents, we were able to bring our boy home. It was wonderful. Our family was complete.
I look back on our hospital stay and I can see God's provision and timing even in that nightmare. I am so thankful that we sent our baby to the nursery that night. Without a trained professional noticing that little tremble, he might have actually suffered much worse. Today, our baby has completely recovered. The doctors never were able to tell us why or how this happened, but one thing is sure. We know the Great Physician. :-)
I learned so much from those first five days of being a mom. I learned how precious and delicate life is, how God is present and working in the hardest of times, that I would rather bear all the pain and hurt and sickness for my son than have him experience one moment of it, that my child belongs to God first and me second, and that for the rest of my life I will have to depend on His guidance to raise him.
Things will happen with our children that are out of our control.
May we always cling to the One who has it all.