Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Our NICU Story

Every day in the NICU, I looked at the success collages on the wall, and dreamed of the day when we would make ours. I wanted SO BADLY to have a picture of the day he went home, then a picture of him at 1 year, 2 years, and so on. Instead, ours is one of the few collages where the baby didn't make it.
I suppose in many ways it is a success. I know we had 11 days with him. I still wanted it to be a lot longer. Anyway, here it is. It's a photo of photos, so it may not be that easy to see, but you can get the general idea. We took it in tonight, and shared tears with the nurses who cared for him. My parents are also providing coffee, tea, and hot chocolate to the families in the family waiting room, which I think is really nice. It was hard to go in, but actually, I expected to find him there . . .and what I found was a lot different than what I had thought. It felt like the life and spirit was gone. I'm sure every parent feels the same exact way, but when Sawyer was there, it seemed like home. It felt exciting and warm and alive. Now it just feels clinical, like a hospital, and not at all where we belong.
We are still so proud of Sawyer, and his collage will soon be hanging on the wall where it belongs, with all the other little fighters who have been through the NICU experience.

Jim wrote the message you can see in the collage. It was read at Sawyer's funeral, and we sent it to the NICU staff. Here is what it says:

The love of a parent is about doing anything you can for your child. But not all parents are medical professionals, and moms and dads need to sleep sometimes. The staff of the NICU are more than just nurses and doctors, they are the missing pieces: all the things a parents would be if they could.

From the moment he was conceived, we aimed to be the very best parents we could for Sawyer. We gave him all we could. The NICU staff provided those things we simply could not. They were our ears, listening for alarms in the night, and our eyes watching as he, and we slept. They were our hands, changing him, giving him the medicine he needed, moving him to ensure he was as comfortable as possible. And they made sure there was not a moment our boy did not know he was loved.

We want to thank them so very much for everything they did for Sawyer. Their efforts are part of our solace - knowing that his every ounce of fight was matched in equal measure by the doggedness, expertise and ingenuity of those caring for him.


Anonymous said...

That is beautiful! I don't even know what else to say. But hang in there you two! You have got to be the 2 strongest people I know. God bless both of you. I'm still praying for you and thinking of you! Joni

Mrs Wibbs said...

You guys are so close to my heart right now even though you don't know me...
I receive the Purpose Driven Life daily devotionals online, and this was the one for April 27. I read it and immediately felt I wanted to share it with you; I have therefore copied part of it for you here, hoping you will find it somewhat comforting/helpful/reassuring...although I am well aware that at times like these one's normal emotions tend to go into hibernation for a while and that you may feel none of the above, and instead, feel angry or affronted or just numb by my sharing this with you...
All I know is that God loves you both passionately, and longs to comfort you.

"God’s great idea
by Jon Walker

“My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:15-16 NIV)

God spoke my son, Jeremy, into my wife’s womb, just as God spoke you into your mother’s womb. Jeremy was “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and God ordained his days, just as he’s ordained yours. (Psalm 139:14,16 NIV)

Jeremy was one of God’s great ideas. Like you, Jeremy was an expression of God’s blue-ribbon brilliance, He was a Matisse-like masterpiece, lovingly, deliberately, and carefully created by the One True God, the creative Creator of the universe.

My son, Jeremy, died at birth because of a destructive DNA disorder called Trisomy 18, but that didn’t diminish the value of his life, his legacy, or his significance to God. Jeremy’s every chromosome fit intricately – and for now, unexplainably to us – into God’s flawless planning."

The devotional then goes on to link this this story to how each one of us has value in God's eyes, and that God has a plan and a purpose for each and every one of his children, whether they should live but a few days, or 100 years.

All my love and ongoing prayers to you