Being in the NICU is not every girl’s dream when she pictures the birth of her baby. That is currently our reality. Coming to grips with this has been a painful process. With the amount of time I am spending at the hospital, coming and going from home, pumping and trying to sleep, I have had little time to organize my thoughts through journaling or blogging. But tonight I am taking advantage of a few minutes before the next pump to sort through these emotions.
Our sweet Annabelle Sloan was born on Thursday, October 29th at 11:16 am. She was 34 weeks old. While we knew it was a possibility that she would come early, my water breaking before we even hit November caught me off guard to say the least. But with much excitement and anticipation I cannot describe the joy of seeing our baby girl for the first time.
For months, God has been preparing us for this event. As many of you know, our life has been and location has been up in the air for quite a while. Planning flew out the window a long time ago.
Before going any further, I must say how grateful I am that she is completely healthy. The obstacles we are having to overcome do not appear to be anything more than her just being young. We are asking her to do things that she should not have to do for at least 3-6 more weeks. The medical staff keeps assuring me that she is acting her age (although we want her to act at least 3 weeks older so we can all go home!). We continue to praise God for his grace and goodness in this blessing.
With that being said, being in the hospital is not easy, especially when it is your child lying in the bed. I have moments of peace and hope knowing this is only temporary. There are other times of feeling completely overwhelmed, fearing the worst case scenario. “Welcome to parenthood” is the response I sometimes get. I guess these are normal emotions amplified by the NICU.
We are already 1 week into this journey (if you ask me at another time I may say we are only a week into this journey). We are growing and learning in many ways. But do you know what stands out and holds me up more than anything? Prayer. Prayer. Prayer. We are praying without ceasing and have people across the United States and even the world praying for our Annabelle. There are many things to send a prayer of praise for. I have also had moments of literally laying on the floor sobbing, crying out to God for strength because I had no idea how to keep pressing on when there are never guarantees. While I know a situation could always be worse and that we have friends who have endured more than I can imagine, this reality is just…I don’t even have the words. Seeing your baby in the NICU is heart wrenching.
And then I am back to prayer. It is our lifeline. We are boldly approaching God about specific requests and he is answering in big ways. I ask many questions to the doctors and nurses about what “should” be or when certain skills “typically” develop. But at the end of the day I don’t really care what is “normal” or “typical.” My God can do anything. My God can do more than we ask or imagine. With God all things are possible. And this is what sustains me.
This is short tonight because this is all I have time for. I am pretty sure I could sit and write for hours during this trial. I ask you to pray for our Annabelle. And whatever your trial currently is keep praying. Prayer changes us. We have a loving Father who wants to hear from us. Keep praying, my friends. It is the only way to survive.