It had been a very long couple of days. Actually, make that a very long week. Last Thursday, I got a call from my son that his wife was being admitted to the hospital due to complications from preeclampsia. Since there is no cure for preeclampsia other than giving birth, they might have to take the baby. At the time she was 30 weeks pregnant. We prayed and waited to see what God would do and as we did so, He kept the parents and grandparents of this little one in perfect peace, knowing that mother and baby were in God's hands and that all would be well... no matter what.
Friday passed and Saturday came. Saturday marked a new "week" in this pregnancy so my daughter-in-law was now in week 31, one week closer to her due date of December 17th. How long would she be able to hang in there? No one knew, except God and He wasn't telling us so we continued to wait expectantly and pray.
I had to go out of town this past weekend and headed for the hospital on Monday morning. I hadn't seen my daughter-in-law since Friday and we had a good visit. This wasn't part of the plan to be hanging out at the hospital. She had things to do, places to go and it was dull and uncomfortable. However, despite all of that she knew this was, in actuality, the very place she needed to be. She didn't like it but she accepted that someone more knowledgeable about things than she (in this case her doctors) knew what they were doing. They were keeping her here for the good of both her and her son so she stayed and tried to make the best of the situation. She had been told that she would have to stay there until the baby was born and that might not be until December or... it might be tomorrow. It was tomorrow, October 18th.
My grandson is in NICU but he is doing well. He may even be able to eat on his own by the end of this week. His mom and dad got to hold him yesterday and I was one of the select few who got to gently touch him.
My husband and I spent a good part of the day at the hospital yesterday as did my son's in-laws. My husband and I got along famously with our daughter-in-law's parents from the very first moment we met them nearly two years ago so they are more than just "the in-laws", they are very dear friends and best of all, a brother and sister in Christ. My mom joined us and we had a wonderful time with our new grandson and his parents.
We learned that since our grandson was in NICU, we could have a complimentary dinner at the Ronald McDonald House that was on-site. It was also a beautiful refuge where we could rest and relax, even though we weren't staying there. Sitting next to the fireplace, all the grandparents had an enjoyable time of fellowship and relaxation. I commented on how I did not realize how tense I had been over the past two days until I felt the tension melting away in that beautiful and calm place. Everyone with me agreed. We all felt it.
A special dinner had actually been planned that night at the Ronald McDonald House. It was more elegant than it usually was with flickering lights and live music. The volunteers had wanted to do something special for the families whose children were fighting for their lives. I have volunteered at a Ronald McDonald House (not this one) before so it was a new experience standing on the other side of the counter. My heart overflowed with thanks that there are people in this world who are willing to sacrifice their time and resources to do something as simple as prepare and serve a meal to those who are hurting. I said, "Thank you". I wanted to let these people know we were grateful.
There were five of us in our party so we found a large table, sat down and prayed for our meal, thanking God for the good report we had received about both mom and baby.While we were eating and of course, conversing, a woman quietly approached with her plate and shyly asked if she could sit at the end of our table where there were several empty chairs. Of course!
I had assumed that she would be joined by her husband or someone else but soon it became apparent that she was alone. I noticed unshed tears and so I quickly introduced myself as well as the rest of our party. We asked her about her baby. That's when she could hold back the tears no longer. On Monday, without any warning, she had gone into premature labor and her baby had been born at 24 weeks. She weighed less than three pounds.
You know, 56 years ago, my husband weighed less than 3 pounds. He was 2 1/2 months premature. She smiled through her tears when that was shared. Things have come a long ways in premature infant care since 1960 and seeing a healthy "preemie" before her and learning that he was currently in grad school earning straight A's was something she needed to hear.
We asked if we could pray for her and she nodded her head as the tears began to flow again. "Please do." The next thing I knew she was quietly crying in my mother's arms while the rest of us prayed for her little daughter whose name is Grace.
Later that night, I reflected on how God was already using our little grandson. You see, it was because of him that five of God's children were moved into a place where they would encounter Grace's mother, a sad and frightened woman who was all alone as her little girl battled for her life. Someday I will have to share that story with my grandson and if he is anything like his grandmother and his father, it will make him smile for both of us delight in seeing what we call, "God's fingerprints". I love it when God shows me a tiny piece of the puzzle, a tiny bit of the big picture of His design.
As Christians we must remember there is no such thing as something happening by chance. Though we may not understand all the whys in our lives, we must remember, as my friend at@kiwibird says, "God knows what He's about". The one thing we do know though is that we can be confident that when we follow God, He directs our path.
Blessings and... please say a prayer for little Grace.