Fresh Courage Take

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This morning I woke up and immediately found myself in a depressed mood. Lately I have been struggling with some of the more difficult emotions that accompany finding oneself pregnant following an infant death. Since the beginning of this pregnancy, I have built a dam that has held in most of the emotions and pain pretty well. Recently, however, the dam has begun to crack, and this morning it was so near breaking that I found myself grasping at straws trying to find the strength to patch up the dam and hang in there a little longer.

For some reason, I found myself reading through old blog drafts that I have written but never posted. I found one that I wrote exactly one month after Jack died. I had not forgotten the experience, but since I never published it, I had forgotten that I had written about it. It is a pretty special experience to me and I am so glad that I found my own personal detailed account of it today – on a day when I needed to be reminded that prayers are answered.

29 January 2009
Almost every morning, they would take Jack off of the medication that was paralyzing him – in hopes that he would move around a little to help get rid of some of the excess fluid. It usually took about eleven hours or so for the paralysis to wear off, and when he started moving around “too much” they would put him right back on it. The most movement Adam or I ever saw during these “holidays” (that’s what they called them) was slight twitching of the hands and feet. They would always tell us when we called in the middle of the night that he started moving too much so they had to put him back on. We never got to see what “too much” movement entailed.

One night, during the last week of Jack’s life, I went back up the hospital by myself. It must have been ten or eleven, and although we had spent another long day standing by his side, I wanted to be back with him. This wasn’t an uncommon occurrence; quite often Adam or I would go up at night after we would grab something to eat and had gotten Megan down for bed.

So this night, I went back and he was doing the twitching as usual. I loved sitting and watching even the slightest movements (the nurses used to laugh at how excited we both got when he would move). I removed his eye shades, so that I could see his eyes because occasionally they would be open (not that he was looking around; they would just be open). Whenever his eyes were slightly opened, I always would always say: “Hi baby! Can you see mommy? Mommy’s here…” or something like that. I had always seen his eyes either opened or closed. I never once saw him “opening” them, or “closing” them.

On this particular night, his eyes were not open when I took off his shades. This time, however, as I sat watching him and talking to him, his eyes opened. And not only did they open, but I watched as his eyelids opened wider and then closed a little and then did it all over again and then they were still. It was but only for a brief moment, but it was so wonderful! I remember praying to my Heavenly Father, asking that I could experience it again, just one more time.

My heart grew heavy as I watched and watched and nothing happened. In my mind I wondered why Heavenly Father had not answered this, a very simple request, that I just might see my son’s eyelids move once more. Defeated, I said my goodbyes, and turned to leave. Then I thought to myself, “you know what? No. Heavenly Father does hear you. He does answer prayers, and you are not leaving here with even the tiniest ounce of doubt otherwise.” I once again petitioned my Heavenly Father that I might see movement from my little boy’s eyes. I looked up at Jack and watched as he immediately again opened and closed his eyes ever so slightly.

I will never forget that tender mercy and the reminder that Heavenly Father does answer our prayers. Probably my faith would not have been ill affected had Jack not fluttered his little eyes, but it did become stronger as I witnessed a direct answer to prayer.

Today I was reminded that Heavenly Father hears my prayers. I know that he will comfort me and strengthen me at this time and that he will be the glue that patches up my weakened dam.

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6 responses »

  1. May the Lord continue to watch over you, my sweet friend. You are a woman of great Faith and I know the Lord will comfort and strengthen you at this time and always…

  2. How I wish I could hug you. I know when went through some of my darkest days I just wanted to be held, like a child, and told everything was going to be alright. What a wonderful memory, I am so glad you found this and shared it. I love your faith and determination at that moment, and I love even more Heavenly Father’s mercy and Jack’s understanding. That baby boy loves you Elizabeth. This experience is full of that. Your prayers are heard for sure, and I know mine are too, thats why you’re in them every day, and hopefully you’ll feel my hugs from far away!

  3. Thank you for sharing this experience. When I was in labor with Norine, Mike and Tyler gave me a blessing. Tyler said it is very painful for her to say good bye. I am sure she did not want to leave her strong cousin Jack. We love you, Jack.

  4. Sweet Liz, little prayers in the NICU are amazing things. What an amazing journal entry.

    As my little boy grows bigger and stronger I ache for those babies that don’t. My heart aches for your Jack, but I am so happy for the boy that is coming. I am sure he’s having a wonderful time bonding with Jack and is going to come here with all sorts of wonderful thoughts of his big brother.

    Love to you all

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