I set him on his bed as once again a nurse came rushing in. Just as a reader said the other day she waited, not moving a muscle.

The panic in my eyes to see this nurse, one who hadn’t been with us yet and didn’t know he’d done this before stand there must have been obvious. As she stood she quietly was counting and telling me slowly, “we need to give him a chance to come back on his own.”

Oh my gosh our nurse was a nut job! I wanted her gone! How could she stand and watch him lifeless?!
His color deepened into an ash gray and she hit #9 and quickly began working on him.

How in the world I felt panic and peace at the same time is beyond me but I stepped back a little and just watched. A little bugged that crazy pants was my new nurse, wasting our time and risking my son’s life. And in the same breath feeling totally helpless and aware that I wasn’t feeling anything other than my own fear, that peace was trying to creep through.

Then, beep, beep, beep.

A deep breath, a shaky exhale.

I’d been told just hours before that it could happen more but I honestly hadn’t believed it would.

Just days before I’d been at Cade’s work trick-or-treating with the girls and sure we were at the end of our worries and now here I was, standing with the realization of life slapping me in the face. I had no control over anything and we could lose the one we’d fought to have. Just because I felt it was done didn’t mean I’d get the ending I wanted.

“Often a baby will come back, and in fact he needs to, and has to try to do so on his own. We can’t always do it for him or he will never do it on his own.”

I listened to the nurse and felt her words sink deep in my soul. Another lesson for the NICU and motherhood. Sometimes we want to pick their teachers, friends, save them and protect them from everything, but eventually they have to learn to breath on their own. You can’t steal that from them. They are here to do it themselves.

“Now tell me, when you get home from the NICU what will life be? Do you work? Have any Christmas plans?”

She was changing my attention and letting me snuggle him.

“Well, actually we are currently writing a cookbook.”

A photo of our cookbook sitting on a wooden stand.

My thoughts last Christmas still ring true:

It was so dark in NICU.

I remember this day perfectly. The decision was made to give our little preemie a feeding tube as a precautionary step to make sure his weight continued to increase. NICU life consisted of pumping, nursing and pumping again, finally going to sleep for 20-60 minutes only to wake up and start the whole process over.

All day. All night.

Plus all the moments of holding and worrying over him. It was an unexpected delivery and the feeding tube wasn’t in my plan, neither were the set backs, one after another. But this day I had a strong impression right after this photo that the tube was holding him back and needed to go.

A photo of our new little baby boy curled up on my chest.

He was starting to not nurse as well and I felt a voice from within me tell me it had to go. I voiced this to the head nurse who greatly disagreed but I knew and waited for the pediatrician.

He came in hours later and I repeated my concern. He looked at me thoughtfully and then said, the nurses won’t be happy, but I feel you’re right, so let’s pull it and monitor for the next 24 hours.

Sure enough, he had just wanted his momma and immediately began his journey to come home.

I never knew that a baby could change my life so much. We’d already had two, but this little boy, so tender and fragile, coming home right before Christmas changed the entire season for me. Holding a baby boy, thinking of THE baby boy.

Long ago the world would welcome another baby boy, also an unexpected delivery plan. Not the time or place the going mother probably imagined at first. But I know her heart felt sweet whisperings about him as mine did.

Only Mary knows all of those sacred thoughts and feelings, but that Christmas I felt closer to her and Him than I ever had before. All a mother wants is to lead and protect and love that sweet baby, but her’s was born to die before His time, to die an unnecessary and completely necessary death, to die to save.

Because of Him I can hold my babies close tonight and tell them that no matter what, our family will be together forever. Death may sting, but it will not conquer because of Him.


You’re going to want to click that sound on for this one and love the heck out of this sweet nurse.

I’ve never in my life witnessed anything like this.

I was in my chair, rocking away while he slept and the nurse said, “we are going to give him his first bath now, would you like to come?” 😱😱


I was tired. I was slipping in the easy faith that surely we’d head home super quick and life would be right back to normal. That just wasn’t happening. I will never be the same because of the NICU, but unfortunately sometimes I forget to see where I’ve come from.

Her gentle, warm hands gave mine a squeeze as she removed his diaper and wrapped him in blankets.
“Oh good, I thought, she’s a whackadoo. Just smile like this 😬 as you get another nurse to save him from looney tunes.”

One fold snuggly tucked under another and her tender voice said, we keep our babies feeling secure, close, warm and safe so they bathe in blankets.

Ahhhh, a genius not a crazy pants.

My heart suddenly leapt into my throat, maybe it was the hormones, but I couldn’t help but think on how gently, how completely wrapped around them in love I wanted to mother.

Why do I always want to explode through their fragile souls with my own demands?

And why can’t anyone bathe me like that? Cade should have tried it all those months he bathed me!! 😜😂😂😂 can you even imagine?! Me all wrapped up and Cade talking like her? Lol!!

Just take it in. Go sit somewhere alone and press play. Do you remember? Do you remember how you couldn’t imagine ever getting angry and how much you wanted to be a good mother? Do you remember how you wanted everyone to go away, to snuggle them up and just stare because it was just you and baby, just perfect magic surrounding you both. Can you see it in their eyes still? That sweet baby is still in there. They get feisty and demanding and flat out obnoxious oh but that spirit is in there…

Suddenly I relived our marriage. I can’t hardly explain it, but let me try…