Thursday, April 18, 2013

holding one miracle, begging two more...

{This, as we continue praying for Boston... 
for hope in the midst of horror, and grace in the midst of grief...}

Her twins are in the hospital.  One smaller than my hand.  

She’s already lost two babies.  Saw them born, late-term, saw their little bodies unmoving.  Laid them in the ground.  She cried when she told me.  I cried too.  She said she nearly lost her mind the second time.  That she went nearly wild with grief.  I feel wild just listening.  

Then, finally, after months of trying, another pregnancy.  

A miracle birth, God’s hand turning this third baby at the last minute from breach to normal, her little daughter sliding out, incredibly, headfirst.  Uncomplicated.  Perfect.  

And now, this.  The doctors misdiagnosed, said one baby was a baby and the other was a growth.  Gave her “strong medicine” for a month to dissolve the excess tissue… which was really her other daughter.  And then, one day, another ultrasound - two heartbeats.  

The shock-joy of it!  

But then, her blood pressure rises.  Stays high too long.  She’s admitted to the hospital, where they tell her she'll stay until the babies are born or until her blood pressure drops.  It stays high too long, and there isn’t enough fluid in her womb.  

They do an emergency Caesarean section, lift out her two tiny daughters.  Oxygen tubes, monitors, incubators.  

She expresses milk every three hours, the nursers feed the babies, but her girls don’t grow.  The tiniest one drinks and swallows, her sister throws everything back up.  The doctors try everything.  

Their tiny lungs develop pneumonia… 

I feed my baby girl in a room full of late afternoon sunshine.  The only sounds are her sucking noises and her little sighs as she fills her tummy.  Her breath feels warm on my skin.  Her little hand clutches my shirt.  

My eyes trace the curve of her cheek, tiny pink veins under her skin.  She pulls off and turns her head to stare at me, reaches up her hand to touch my cheek.  As if making sure I’m really there.  

I hold my breath.  Slowly turn my mouth to kiss her palm.  Motionless, we stare at each other, her big blue eyes blueberries dusted with sunlight.

With another little sigh, she turns her head back to milk.  I close my eyes.  Feel the warmth of sun streaming in past green and gold curtains.  

And I pray.  Every time I feed my daughter, now, I close my eyes and beg God for another miracle.

Two more.  

God, you turned one breach baby girl at the last second.  Make these new babies thrive. Please!

At bedtime, I stand a few long minutes holding Ruby by her bed, her sleepiness nestled into me.  I savor the heavy warm weight of her, her little body fitting the curve of mine, her quick-slow sleep-breathing.  

I bury my face in her soft neck, smell her baby goodness.  Rub my cheek against her whisper-fuzz hair.  I can’t bring myself to put her down.  

I’m floating in the dark with her, swaying back and forth together, all the universe wheeling overhead and underneath.  My own miracle.  My baby girl.  

I never want this warm, weighted moment to end.  This gift of her, warm and breathing in my arms.  

The next day, I hear from a mutual friend that the babies are gaining weight.  One grew 7 grams, her sister 10.  

I breathe a little easier.  Kiss my baby girl, hold her a little tighter.  

Thankful for grace.

(photos of Ruby Grace, growing)


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