Monday, November 17, 2008

A Thankful Lull

I've broken my commitment to you, my readers. I vowed to blog everyday something for which I was thankful. I failed. The only blog I wrote was on Monday. So now I need to catch up.

A lady at our church (and my co-worker) became a grandmother for the first time on Saturday. She was so very happy. Her new grandchild was born five or six weeks early, I can't remember which. Although he is fine and breathing on his own, his lungs were not fully developed at birth. A typical response to this is steroids, which they are going to start. He has been in the NICU since Saturday.

I have to tell you, if you've never been in a NICU, it will change your life - forever. I remember back to when Celie was there. Those first few moments after her birth were the scariest moments I can remember to date. As she was whisked out of our room, we just sat in silence. I was completely nauseated and worried. I was worried about Sarah and what she was feeling. I was worried about Celie and how she didn't choose to come into this world, but was given to us. We felt like we knew her already. Her personality in the womb was very accurate.

As I visited the NICU for the first time, I saw my daughter in the plastic, newborn carrier/bed thing. She had IVs in her head and arm. There were monitors hooked up to her all the time. At times, I was more focused on what was displaying on the monitors than Celie. I remember saying, "Oh look, her oxygen level is at 99%....that's good right?" Meanwhile, my daughter who didn't know me, was like a science experiment. It's crippling. There's nothing you can do. You can't comfort her, you can't reassure her; all you can do is look at her and hope she knows that you love her with all your heart.

It was so hard for me to be expressive in the NICU. There are babies all around you who are struggling to survive - to breath. There are couples in there, just like us, looking at their babies. Some babies weren't allowed to cry because they could get to carried away and could loose the very breath that they were struggling to maintain. It's a sad, sad, place. Every time I left, a knot grew in my throat. I didn't want to leave her. I wanted to sit there and watch her, but I also needed and wanted to be with Sarah whose emotional state at those moments I know I will never fully understand.

There are only a few times I've ever prayed as hard or as frequent as I did in the hospital. It's all I knew to do. Nothing happened the way we planned. I felt like a charity case and a drug user because my daughter was in the NICU and it wasn't her fault. It was just the way it was supposed to happen.

If something would have happened to Celie, I would have been devastated, but I would have been so thankful that the Lord let us experience this kind of love for even a short period of time. We have to remember that we are not in control, the Lord is in control of everything in our lives. That was never made more clear to me than on Feb. 23, Celie's birthday. He used this to break us and then to mold us as His power was shown through Celie's healing. I will never ever forget when the Neonatologist told us she was going to be just fine and coming home with us just like nothing bad had happened.

Thank you Lord for your sovereignty, your answer to prayer and the precious gift of life we should be so honored to create. We've given Celie back to the Lord in her dedication ceremony and I pray for her salvation every single day, that the Lord will make himself known to her so she too will come to know Christ the same way her family does.

Celie is at home now with her MeMe being as mischievous and full of herself as possible. She is out of control and the most precious gift we've ever been given.

We love you Celie!

Mommy and Daddy