A few days ago, I was invited by my dear friend to be a guest at a charity luncheon and fashion show, benefiting one of our leading hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). An annual function, it takes a great effort to put together by many tireless volunteers. Donations of graceful blooms are gathered together with assorted gift baskets that hold everything from hand-made jewels to trips to Disneyland. All are proudly displayed on tables of long, draped in berry and gold. Baskets are beautifully wrapped in clear cellophane, where admiring bidders drool while raising funds to save innocent babies born too soon.
Not long ago, another friend of mine suddenly found in the midst of the NICU. There, she came to know it intimately. In the beginning, she was shocked with pain and grief. The feeling hit her, unexpectedly. Fast, like a freight train running off its tracks. At the time, my friend’s daughter was six months pregnant with twin boys. Snips and snails and puppy dog tails….Quietly, God whisked one tiny soul off to heaven, leaving behind his fragile brother within the quiet of his mother’s womb.
My friend’s daughter lay in a sterile hospital bed to follow doctor’s orders while praying to bring her last little lamb to a full term of “40 weeks.” Tears flowed for the infant angel that had already left an emptiness inside of her. Still, each morning she woke without having delivered, she whispered tears of “Thanks,” to God as well as both of her sons. One unborn, the other in heaven above.
There may be several different reasons for premature labor, but most often nothing a mother can do to prevent it, according to the March of Dimes http://www.marchofdimes.org. In the end, my friend’s first grandson was born weighing not much more than a pound of butter. Yet, he was breathing and alive! Doctors and nurses rushed him to the NICU, where the child of innocence fought for his life. The whole of his family spent the next three months on a hospital roller coaster ride, thankful to God for each breath their fragile child took, each beat his tiny heart drummed.
Truly, God works miracles. Through the skill a fine team of pediatric physicians and neonatal specialists together with nurses who have hidden wings, the day came for my friend’s grandson to go home. There, an extended family eagerly waited to give the three-month-old newborn more loving care than any child could imagine. And, today, the little toddler of curly hair and shy smiles has caught up to where he needs to be on all of the doctor’s charts! He’s a darling boy loved by all and everyone!
When God’s seed is planted within a woman’s womb, a mother’s love is instinctual, pure and undeniable. It exists the moment she suspects a tiny life-force grows within her. Words are whispered while fingertips gently touch a growing belly. Extended families get excited, fathers support their wives and future sibling’s eyes grow wide with wonder. Whatever happens in the future is part of life, a bend in the road that must be taken sometimes while wiping tears away. Somehow everything works out. It’s all part of God’s plan together with the gift of life, I guess….
*With many thanks to the physicians and nurses in NICU’s everywhere for saving little lives. Bless you each and every day.