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. 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.
This Christmas has felt different for me, but tonight I’m remembering and feeling that Christmas years ago and suddenly it is Christmas in my heart.