Monday, August 1, 2011

Empty Arms

I was trying to wrap my head around it, but I couldn't. He didn't have Down syndrome...he was just a chubby baby with a thick neck! His fingers were fine...he had just been a stinker during the Level II Ultrasound and didn't want to open his fist. All the things we'd prepared for - that I, his mother, had prepared for - were not present. Yet he was STILL in the NICU. He was being monitored. It should only be for a bit. I clung to that, knowing way down deep it was likely to be more complicated than that. It always was.

Initially, he was only to be gone a few hours. Those hours came and went. I was moved to the post-partum room. I laid there, waiting for the door open, clinging to the hope that Rob and the nurse would wheel in a little bassinet and I could scoop him up and hold him tight. But Rob entered empty handed. Those "couple of hours" were now "twenty-four hours". Rob asked if he should stay. The answer was "NO!" It was Wednesday - it was Awana night. Jeremy HAD to get his Grand Prix car registered. He would be back later that evening, but in the meantime, I was surrounded by silence. I knew family wanted to be there with me, but I just couldn't bear it. I didn't want to talk about how it would all be "ok". I was ticked and God was gonna hear all about it.

I laid there, beyond impatient. I was fuming. I was angry. I let God have it! How could He do this - AGAIN! For heavens sake, hadn't we been through enough?!?! What more could He possibly want me to learn - us to learn? Why oh why did He have to use MY kids? Wasn't there some other way? I was LIVID! All I had wanted to do was give birth, have that sweet baby boy placed in my arms and go home the next day. Was that really too much too ask?? I was in my most human state. I was being completely and totally selfish and I wanted my son with me - not in some NICU. I knew what I was missing. My arms truly ached to hold him, but they couldn't. It was torture.

Rob returned later that evening and we spoke with one of the members from the NICU. Our sweet, beautiful Lincoln was struggling. He had fluid in his lungs and they were at risk for infection, if there wasn't one already. He was dependent on oxygen. They would take additional chest x-rays and blood work the following morning and proceed from there. The doctor left the room. We sat there. We didn't have to say much to one another. We'd been here before and we were here again. Annoyed was the best word we could use to describe how we felt in that moment.

The following morning arrived. Lincoln wasn't any worse, but he wasn't any better. The day progressed. We knew we'd be there until the following day, so we began to make plans to bring in the whole family for a visit that evening. But it wouldn't happen. The NICU doctor called and informed us they were transferring our sweet boy to another hospital - within just a few hours! We looked at each other...really, God, REALLY???

In all that we'd experienced with our other children, we knew there was a purpose to all this insanity. We could feel the Lord's presence, but we were grumbling - loudly, I might add. We had no desire to be His "tool" in that moment. He knew it, we knew it and I'm certain He was getting a good chuckle as we waited not so patiently for Him to show us the "bigger picture". But He had us where He wanted us and we couldn't exactly leave, so off to the NICU we went to await Lincoln's transfer.

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