As we prepared for our daughter’s birth and hospital stay, a friend prayed we would be a light in the NICU. The first couple days were pretty dark. I was in survival mode, recovering from birth while exhausting myself going back and forth to the NICU to see my baby. After I was released from the hospital and returned to the Ronald McDonald House, I melted down in tears and had no desire to exert the effort to return to the hospital ever again, except my baby was still over there in the NICU.
A light came into the NICU on Day 4.
It was 4pm on Friday afternoon, and I was hungry. I went out to the NICU waiting room to eat dinner, because we are not allowed to eat in the NICU. The waiting room was silent. A couple sat on the couch off to one side looking exhausted. There was a young lady in the corner eating dinner and staring at the TV. At the table in the middle of the room, sat a Latino mom who I had met earlier that day. I sat with her, and quietly asked, “how is your baby doing?” She responded in broken English, then the couple on the couch said something to us. The girl in the corner turned around and joined in, as we realized the one thing we all have common: a baby in the NICU.
The couple said, “we’re probably not going to remember everyone’s name, but what’s your name and your baby’s name?” We went around saying names and then suddenly we were taking turns sharing our stories and asking questions. The girl in the corner who had appeared to be so depressed, came alive realizing she and the wife had similar birth stories and complications. The couple shared how their baby had lots of issues in their hospital and had to be transferred to Portland. Upon arrival, the same tests were done with much better results. The doctors were shocked. The couple said, “She is our miracle baby. Be encouraged, whatever your situation is, God does miracles.”
That’s the moment the light came in, and I remembered I’m supposed to be a light in the NICU too. So I agreed, “He sure does!” and shared a bit of our story.
After a wonderful bonding time, we all left the waiting room together and returned to our babies. A light had come into the NICU and I was ready to be a light too.
After that Duane & I started having fun making faces at camera when we asked the nurses to let us into the NICU. I was intentional about talking to anyone who was in the NICU waiting room, hearing their story and sharing our miracle.
I soon discovered it was also the waiting room for “normal” labor and delivery. The “normal” people would feel sorry for me, realizing our baby is in the NICU. So I had the opportunity to encourage them with our story of how we didn’t know if our baby would be able to breath when she was born, and expected her to be whisked away and possibly need surgery. Instead she came out screaming and was doing so much better than we expected, because God does miracles!