I think the week after Graham was born was the most difficult week of my life. Emotionally I'd been fairly stable throughout my hospital stay, but I was a wreck after givin birth to Graham (I can't imagine what parents go through when their baby is in the NICU for months). My doctor was visiting me one morning and said, "I think you did better than any patient I've ever had in the hospital for so long, but now I think we need to talk about some medicine for you." I convinced him to wait. I told him that I'd never struggled with depression and that I thought I would be much better once Graham and I were home together. Not that I thought taking the medicine was wrong, but I just wanted to give it some more time.
So I would get up in the mornings and go see Graham down the hall. I'd push the button on the door, tell the nurse who I was, and the NICU doors would open. But before I could make my way to his bed, I'd wash my hands with some super duper soap and put on a gown. The first few days he was covered with wires and had a tube of oxygen running to his nose. I didn't think I would be able to hold him, but before I knew it, one of the nurses had him in my arms. As the days progressed, the wires diminished. Jeff and I would go to the feedings throughout the day. When I was by myself with Graham, I would just hold him, rock him, and sing him songs. There were so many things that were unnatural about Graham being in the NICU, so I clung to what was natural.
I often cried when I left the NICU. Again it seemed so unnatural to leave my son with someone else, and the doctors were so vague about when he would get to go home. One night I was furious when a NICU nurse told me I needed to leave and get some rest. I had been at Graham's bedside for a couple of hours just touching his arm, and she said that he was not getting good rest with me by his side. Was she serious? Wasn't I the mom?
When I got back to my room, the nurse usually came in to take my blood pressure. For some reason, my blood pressure continued to rise. I had to be put on medications and was told I couldn't be dismissed from the hospital until it was under control. I'm sure that made my blood pressure became even more elevated by the mere fact that it was high! I was told that preeclampsia could last 6 weeks post partum. I could not fathom another 6 weeks in the hospital- I was reaching my breaking point.
But God ever so faithfully worked in me and worked in Graham, and a week after Graham was born, we both made our way back home- a home that I had left 6 weeks earlier planning to only be gone for a couple of hours for a doctor's visit. Being in a car, eating food in my own kitchen, and sleeping in my own bed...it was all surreal. And not to mention the fact that I had a baby sleeping in the other room. He wasn't suppose to be in the world for another month. Let me reword that...he wasn't due for another month, but he quite obviously was suppose to enter this world on January 24, 2009.
People often talk about how they grow in their faith in the midst of a difficult situation. People are often motivated to pray more fervently and read the Scriptures more diligently during trials. Unfortunately, this did not happen to me. I wish I could say I became a prayer warrior during this hardship, but I didn't. My friends and family were probably praying more than I was! However, months later, I can look back on the situation and see how God was faithful despite my own efforts. God brought healing to both Graham and me even though I wasn't reciting the Psalms from dawn to dusk and even though I wasn't in constant prayer. It doesn't mean that I shouldn't improve in those areas, but it does mean that God delivers despite what his people do, and for that I will be eternally grateful.
So that concludes it. Five stories about how Graham entered this world. Five stories that help me remember that God is faithful. Five stories that give me a taste of God's goodness. "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good, how blessed is the man who puts his refuge in Him."
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