The other day as we were leaving the NICU, we got into a conversation with one of the other moms. We've been getting to know this mom, because she's one of the few that have been with us since Alicia moved in.
The conversation started off like many others that we've had with our fellow NICU patrons. "How's your baby today? Has he/she gained any weight? Are they breathing on their own, etc..." Over the course of our conversation, we got to talking about the delivery of our children. We told her that Alicia was delivered by C-section. When she heard this, the mom responded unexpectedly, "That's good." I was thinking, "Good? Really? Why?" Before I could ask my question, she explained that her son, was actually a twin. She had delivered both of her children vaginally, and because premature babies' heads are really fragile, her older child - a daughter, suffered tremendous head trauma during delivery and had died a few days later. Doctors say that the brother has his sister to thank for him being alive today. Because she came first, she opened up the birth canal and loosened it for him to come out, so it wasn't as traumatic for him.
We had no idea. This whole time we thought this mother's son was a singleton like us, but come to find out, she not only had to deal with the trauma of having a preemie, she and her husband also had to deal with the death of a child. Wow. Talk about needing strength.
Hearing this story made me think of two things.
First, scars. Linda endured the discomfort of a C-section and the resulting pain and scar of the surgery in order to bring Alicia into this world. It was a decision that we had to make quickly in order to save the life of our baby. And while, we are completely happy and grateful that we made this decision, Linda will forever have a scar as a permanent reminder of what it cost to bring our dear daughter into the world. There was a time when I wished that Linda could have delivered vaginally, so she would have to have this scar. But after hearing this story, I'm glad we did the C-section. The C-section saved Alicia's head from being squashed in the birth canal. And since I'm not the one that has the scar, it might seem insensitive of me to say so, but I think Linda would agree that having a scar is a small price to pay for our daughter to be alive and well. Made me think of the suffering our Lord, Jesus Christ, had to endure, and the resulting scars that he still has that are a reminder of the price he paid to give us life and freedom. Amazing.
Second, it was a tremendous reminder again of God's faithfulness and protection over us. For all the challenges we've had to face, things could definitely have been a lot worse. There are many, many things that could have gone wrong that didn't - things we know of, and things we don't know of. Made me think of how often in our lives, God has protected us from things or prevented certain things from happening and we just aren't aware of them. How many unseen miracles occur in our daily lives that we just don't know about? Countless I'm sure. Car accidents avoided, potential illnesses thwarted, hours of work saved from oblivion. Yet how often do we stop to thank him for his inconspicuous aid? I would venture to guess, not very often. Some of us spend a lot of time wondering, "Where was God in all of this?" I think if we ask him, and if take the time to really examine our lives, we'll see that there were many things that could have happened that didn't. Things that could have been completely damaging to us that were diverted. Sometimes the things we don't have are as much of a blessing as things that we do get.
God is amazing.
As for us, we continue to give thanks for every day we have with Alicia. I think we forget sometimes that our days are not promised to us. The fact that we're alive, and that she's alive. We give thanks.
Great news! She's broken the 900 mark! Yahoo! She's up to 910 grams today a 14 gram increase from yesterday. For those of you more attuned to pounds, that's 2.1 pounds! She's over two pounds. Now that's a cause for celebration!
When all of this started and we heard that she'd need to be over 1000 grams to get out of her incubator, I felt like that number was so far off, it might as well have been in the stratosphere. But that day is getting closer and closer. In fact, if she continues growing at the rate that she has, then she'll probably reach the 1000 mark in about a week! So exciting!
Now we just need to get her breathing on track, and we're good to go! =)
Day by day we move forward friends! Thanks for staying with us and walking with us and celebrating each milestone along the way!