Last week’s episode of This Is Us, left me in tears. I was reminded of the 44, long and painful, days we spent in the NICU at our daughters side. In that moment, the Lord gave me the idea to write a letter to “Kate”, Kate being all preemie moms, present and future, encouraging her through my experience. I pray you’re encouraged and expectant. Expectant of the Lord to work a miracle. Just like He did for us.
Dear “This is Us” Kate Pearson-Damon,
I know you’re asking, Why? Why me? Why my baby? Is he going to live?
Your mind is bombarded with unanswered questions.
Looking at your baby, who looks more like an alien (Chillllleeeee!!!), through the small, clear box. Tears streaming down your face. You’d do anything to trade places. He’s too little. Too fragile.
Brace yourself. Buckle your seat belt, hunteeee! You’re in for a rough ride! There will be many ups, but also stomach sinking lows. You know. The type of low where you’ve been dieting, practically starving yourself, for weeks only to step on the scale and be up a pound. Yeah, that stomach sinking low. There will be twists. There will be turns. There will be many, many tears and downright two year old temper tantrums. Yes, adults can have temper tantrums too!
Your faith will be tested. Some days it’ll be steadfast. Other days, you’ll be hanging on by a thread, grasping for faith. Look up. Keep your eyes fixed on heaven.
Your current situation does NOT change who God is.
Caution. Grieving ahead…
roll your eyes grieve, as you enter the hospital, headed for the NICU, greeted by yet another mom smiling ear to ear. Baby in tow. Why does her baby get to go home?
You’ll grieve the labor you envisioned your whole life. Never getting a chance to push.
Maternity pictures you didn’t take.
A hospital bag you never packed.
The baby, your baby, you didn’t hold.
My love, you’ll grieve so much more in the days and weeks to come.
In that cold, dark room you’ll get lost in the endless beeps of the medical equipment. I could kidnap my baby and run away. What can they do? He’s mine. Your baby will stir, bringing you back to reality. He’s in the best place on earth, for now.
You’ll be downright exhausted. You’ll be consumed with guilt every second you’re away. You’ll be pissed at the nurses. What do you mean I can’t hold MY baby today? Luckily, most days, you’ll recognize them for who they are. Angels on earth.
Find joy in the journey. Like a long road trip, soak up the beauty all around you. Step outside of yourself. Your heartache. Your feelings. Your disappointments. In this very moment. Right there. In the NICU. There’s beauty all around. I challenge you to find it.
Your NICU sister,