Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Stories of Hope - Jodie's Story 16

My faith didn’t seem very strong at times in those months in the hospital but it did give me a sense of hope.  Unfortunately I didn’t have the strength in my faith to trust God and not feel anxious. Often, on times where the stress of being away from home and feeling deeply lonely, the wish to move forward definitely won out.  It's not that I wanted Cameron to be very premature but I felt more ready for that to happen since he was at a safer gestational age and I was not so scared. I was caught between wanting to keep him in for so much longer and wanting to move on the next stage of joy and grief.

And so for the first time in a long time I actually prayed.   I asked God to help me, to give me a sign to show me that my boredom, homesickness and anxiety about the birth (and the desire to speed this process up) were selfish and not where my head should be. I didn't ask God for much in those days...I prayed in my own way but tried to only ask him to guide and help me. The night before the surgery in December, the night we learned about TTTS, I had asked God to be with both my boys and to save them both. The outcome wasn't what I asked for, for reasons I knew I wasn’t meant to understand this side of Heaven. So I stopped praying for concrete things like that because I didn't want to be disappointed and have my faith questioned in my head. I trusted in God to give me what He felt was best. But that day I asked for a sign and later on felt myself drawn to a place on a support message board that I hadn't looked at yet. It was the NICU support board and I read a post from a mom about her boys.

They were born at 31 weeks 2 days and her donor baby was 3 lbs 6 oz. He suffered heart issues and kidney issues at birth, was ventilated and then on the CPAP for a few weeks. Things seemed to be going well for him and then when he was 3 weeks old they discovered he had 2 brain bleeds and they were told his disabilities would be severe. This really hit home for me because at 31weeks 4 days Cameron was 3lbs 10 oz and he too was a donor baby who, like this little one was 'stuck' with no amniotic fluid. It made me realize that although everyone says 32 weeks, or close to it, is the big 'safe' place to get to in preterm births, it isn't always safe. That 32 week marker is based on babes who are 'just' preterm.....not ones compromised by other situations like TTTS or pPROM. There are no guarantees that if Cameron was born at this gestational age that his fate would be any different from this other baby's.

Those last two paragraphs are taken from things I wrote while in the hospital and I am once again struck by how the Holy Spirit was working.  He lead me to that website and to that story.  He answered my prayer with a sign and, to this day, it’s one of the most concrete signs I’ve ever felt I got from God. 

Soon it became time to actually schedule the delivery of my boys. It was hard to believe that this stage of our journey, all 79 days of it, would soon be over then and we could move into the next stage. I was so convinced that delivery and the next stage would mean closure and healing and, although I know they couldn’t have happened without delivery, I now realize how long of a process grieving is, how much time it takes to get closure. 

The last week of the pregnancy was such a mixed bag of emotions for Geoff and I.  I was so proud of Geoff for the strength and courage he had shown as he prepared for arrival of our angel and for the tributes we would make for sweet Cole. I was very certain that I could not do what he was doing with the strength he was showing. I was often told by friends and family that they are in awe of the strength I had shown during our journey but I was in awe of my husband and all that he had done and continued to do for our whole family. This journey had been the hardest thing I'd ever experienced but it had taught me so much about the love that we share with each other, with all of our boys and with our friends and family. It had also shown me the love that God has for us will always help us to endure all things.

For me I was just all over the place with my emotions.  I was excited to meet Cameron yet feared of what could go wrong with him still or how healthy he would be when he arrived.  I felt ready to deal with the next stage of grief but was also terrified of it. I didn’t know how I would deal with seeing Cole’s still body…especially having some understanding that it wouldn’t be in perfect condition, that time would have taken its toll on him.  I also struggled with the thought of him leaving me forever, of our time physical connection being over.  

The NICU doctors gave us a worst and best case scenario and said to plan for the worst and hope for the best.  They were very optimistic about his health and so I used that positivity to help me get through each day because I knew that worrying wouldn’t change anything and that the answers would be known soon enough.  

No comments:

Post a Comment