This past week has been emotionally draining. With a friend's newborn baby boy in the NICU after his surgery last week, and another friend's 2-month old baby girl having surgery a couple of days ago for the same rare disease, I was just about spent. I can't say that I am particularly close to either of these friends. We are acquaintances in the sense that we don't see each other regularly. In fact, I hadn't met with my first friend face to face since several years ago when she started attending a different church. And the other friend and I are bonded by the loss of our previous children, having met each other in a support group. So, Facebook has made it easier for me to be in contact with people I might not otherwise have a face to face relationship. And for this I am grateful, but will keep their names obscured for the sake of the parents privacy.
So, when baby girl was born 2 months prior, I visited her and her mom in the hospital a day after birth. She was so precious, but was having trouble feeding. Days later she was in the NICU and it was discovered she had a rare genetic disease affecting her bowels. She was able to go home within a week when she passed stool on her own, but the doctors knew that soon she would need surgery. I prayed for her and her family the entire week she was in the NICU until her mom was able to bring her home, happy and seemingly healthy.
And when baby boy was born two and 1/2 weeks ago, I was stunned that he too had difficulty with feeding and pooing. He was taken to the NICU and was determined to have the same rare genetic disorder, but was forced to have surgery that day. Immediately I was drawn to prayer. I lifted his little body up to the one who is the Great Physician, certain that He would heal him and bring him home to his mommy. It was the least I could do, I thought, as so many wonderful people had prayed for me during my time with Ethan in the NICU.
And when I asked my baby girl friend to pray for this family too, she gladly agreed and let me know she was meeting with the surgeon this week too.
On Wednesday, I received a message on my answering machine from a support group leader who was sharing with me that baby boy was having complications from surgery and would need to have more surgery. That call shook me to the core. I fell to my knees, begging, weeping, pleading with God to surround the family with his angels and give them peace as they underwent yet another trial. I could not stand to know that this family was enduring more than I thought they could bare. I had never interceded like that in my life. It felt as though God instructed me to pray, stabbing me in my heart, pulling at all my fears at once. The overwhelming need to cry and sob and beg and plead on their behalf took me over. I was in the moment, with God, and asking him to be all that they needed.
It was great to hear news that he had made it through the surgery ok, but sad to know that his recovery time was to be weeks.
The following day, I learned that baby girl was due to have the same surgery as baby boy had the week prior. Knowing what I knew about baby boy, I again interceded with the same intensity that I had previously with baby boy. It is so hard to do anything else. So I will pray. Baby girl's surgery went well and will have some more recovery time.
But, what I learned this past week is no one is exempt from these trials, babies are complex and God is amazing with timing. I cannot describe really how this timing all seemed to work together, but from the way I view it, it has been entirely too perfect. I cannot wait for the day I see baby girl and baby boy crawling and playing with one another, happy and healthy.
And so this week I wept. I wept for remembering my time with a baby in the NICU. I wept for the babies who underwent surgery and NICU stays. I wept for the moms and dads of these infants. I wept for those who are currently pregnant awaiting a healthy newborn. And I wept for those who are still surviving infertility. Yes, I haven't forgotten about you.
People have said that once I was pregnant and expecting I would forget all about the time and torture it took to get here. I assure you, I have not. 6 years ago I was pregnant with my first son. 5.5 years ago I delivered complicatedly my son and within 5 days he died. For two more years I was instructed not to get pregnant so as not to put more risk to me. For an additional 1.5 years we feared another pregnancy. Once we began trying, 6 months passed without a period. 6 additional months passed inducing a period with medications that made me wacky. One month after consulting with a fertility specialist, I achieved and miscarried a second pregnancy. 4 months and no pregnancy later, we decided to endure hormone shots and achieved pregnancy again, only to miscarry my baby girl 2 months later. And for the next grueling 3 months figured that our time to conceive and carry a child to term had ceased, only to find that we were finally expecting a healthy baby to arrive. I feel like I have been trying to have kids for 6 + years. This is the longest pregnancy in the history of the world, it seems. I cannot forget the countless hours I prayed for and wished for and pined for a healthy baby and even though I carry one in my womb, I know too well the hundreds of things that could go wrong. I know too many people who continue to have trials despite surviving others. So, I remember you, my infertility sisters who are still on the journey to achieve pregnancy and I applaud you for still trying. Don't give up and keep trusting that the God who loves you will provide! If he put that desire in your heart, he will fulfill it. BELIEVE IT!!
I close today with a prayer for my NICU babies and for my infertility friends: Father, I pray for baby boy and baby girl who continue in their recovery period after surgery this past week. I pray that you bring peace to the families, strength to the infants and a complete full recovery of them both. I pray for your provision of the other details surrounding the other family members and ask that you be present with them at all times. I pray also for my infertility sisters that you give them glimpses of what you are trying to do within them to bring them the family the so desire. Give them wisdom, good doctors and perseverance despite years of trying. I pray that they achieve pregnancy soon. I pray all this and more in the mighty name of JESUS! AMEN!