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Monday, February 10, 2014

Tour of the NICU. And realizing that I have no answers. Luckily that won't matter.

When we met with the neonatologist last week, she suggested that we take a tour of the NICU at Forsyth Hospital where I will be delivering Rebecca.

She set up the appointment and luckily, we were able to do it this weekend so Dan didn't have to miss any more work.   I know he is starting to feel the pressure of having missed so many days to be with his mom and all the time away due to  the ultrasounds and echocardiograms he goes on with me and all the days he is potentially going to miss after her delivery. But, I also know, he wouldn't change a thing. I just continue to pray that his work his understanding. 

The NICU was very clean and homey and peaceful.  I'm not sure what I was expecting but it looked like a very nice NICU.

We toured both levels.  Level one for the bigger babies and level two for the smaller babies.  And y'all, there were babies every where.  I could not believe how many tiny little babies there were.  But what struck me as odd was that for all the babies in both levels (probably at least 45) there were only two sets of parents there.

I assume it is because these babies have been there for months (or will be there for months) and parents can't be expected to be in the NICU for days on end without a break.  And most likely, most of these babies will ultimately be discharged and sent home to live a long and happy life with their families.

But in my mind, what I'm envisioning with Rebecca is one of us (or some family member) being with her around the clock.  I don't know if that's realistic but in my heart I feel like our time with her will be numbered in days not weeks or months and I don't want her to pass alone.  

I am praying that she is able to stay in the NICU at Forsyth because if she's in the NICU at Brenner's that means she is there because she needs surgery.  (They don't do pediatric surgeries at Forsyth and they don't deliver babies at Baptist where Brenner's is located.)  And if she doesn't need surgery then there is a chance that we might get to bring her home for a bit.

The doctors keep asking us how we see our time with Rebecca or what our vision of our best possible outcome for her is. And I know they are doing this to try to get a feel for what we want to happen with her after her delivery.

What horrible questions to have to answer.  My best possible outcome is that she be born perfectly healthy.  They always look a little sad for us when we say that.

But if that's not what's going to happen, I don't really have an answer.

Is it better for her to be stillborn so that she doesn't have to suffer?  Is it better that she live a few months and then pass away peacefully in the night?  Is it better that she lives a few days, just long enough for each of us to get to hold her and love on her? 

At different points in time I have thought that each of these sound like a decent answer and then conversely, the most horrible answer possible.

In the end, I know what I answer won't matter.

God has a plan for Rebecca.  It is a beautiful and wonderful plan for her.  Far better than anything I could ever imagine or dream for her.  It's not my plan but His plan.

And that makes it the perfect plan. 

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
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.
You saw me before I was born.
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 139:13-16


Madeline said...

I am sure it is so hard to be facing the unknown but having such a fierce love for Rebecca. Your family has so many prayer warriors and you have such a great faith that I just know that even in the difficult decisions you will find peace when they're made. That sweet sweet girl of yours will be surrounded by love for however long she is on this earth and even when she is not. She is lucky indeed.

Aimee said...

The waiting and the not knowing - what a hard cross for you to bear right now and going into the future. Still praying for you and thinking of you so much!

Unknown said...

amazingly, the waiting is the hardest part. Once Rebecca is here, all will become clear. The Holy Spirit will guide each choice my friend. LOVE is all she needs. It's the greatest lesson Miss Courtney has taught us. LOVE wins! We are praying and hoping for a miracle with you. God's will be done. Hugs from me to you <3

RR Mama said...

Keeping you in my prayers. She already such a lucky little girl to have such wonderful parents.

Mari said...

I have to admit that this post made me cry. It's awful to look at those possibilities and try to choose a best from them.
Still praying for a miracle. I know God chose you and Dan to be Rebecca's parents and he has a plan for all of this. I also know that she is blessed to have the family she does.

Kelli said...

Keeping you in my prayers.

Unknown said...

My prayers for you. I think it isn't your responsibility to try and foresee and plan for every scenario. How Rebecca's life will unfold is in God's hands, like all of our lives. You have identified some of the qualities you want for her life: that she feel loved and watched and comfortable. Those goals will help you make decisions when the time comes.

Kathryn said...

The NICU is such an interesting place - we found that many parents visit in the evenings, when they can spend more time with their child and less time with the hustle and bustle of specialists and tests. For us, we visited from 9am-3pm and then came back every evening from 7-11pm. Of course, the first few weeks, the hospital allowed us to "room in" so we could be just steps away. It depends on the severity of the health of the baby and availability of such a room. What a blessing you were able to tour the NICU and visit with the doctors. That is a gift, Beth. A true gift. Enjoy the kicks and punches. We are praying for a 39-week delivery for you and that throughout it all, you have peace.

Busy Bee Suz said...

So many unanswered questions; but there is always hope. God has his plans and we never know what they will be until they come to fruition.
Continued prayers for you, Rebecca and your family.

deborah said...

All the scenarios. And as a mama, I can certainly imagine how they run through your mind. What a comfort and joy to know that God does have a plan and is caring for you all.