Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Against the Odds. . .

He came into this world, a world that wasn’t quite prepared for him yet and that he wasn’t prepared for either. Almost 2 months early, every breath was a struggle, his little body “pulling”, tensing and contracting to get every breath. As I watched him, my heart would beat wildly, trying to will energy and air into him.

Anyone who has ever had a preemie in their family understands the fear and uncertainty of this. Your life revolves around scrubbing your self carefully so you won’t contaminate the fragile little life that is struggling so hard to just be here in this world.

Like most preemies, he had his share of troubles, although fewer than many. The trips to the neo-natal unit of the hospital were heart-rending. So many babies tenuously hanging on to life, with every type of complication and condition imaginable. As hard as it was to see this, it was harder still to walk by an isolet and see it empty. Sometimes you smiled with joy which warmed your heart and your faith, knowing that the little one had went home with its parents. But sometimes, there was no joy in the walk. The baby hadn’t made it, had surrendered its precarious hold on life, the exertion of living simply too much for its little spirit. Into Gods gracious arms and gentle embrace, warm and comforted at last, a soul at peace.

But after almost 4 weeks, our precious little guy made his journey home. He had been through so much, and yet he was such a contented little guy, good natured, so easy to love and cuddle. As I had with his two older brothers I sang the Indian gambling song to him. Indians figured that life was the biggest gamble of all, so they sang to their babies, to ask the Great Spirit for protection and luck for the new life.

Hey nicatay, hey wah nah
Hey nicatay, hey wah nah.
Ock tay mana hey wah nah
Ock tay mana hey wah nah.

He’s five now. Still a little small, but other wise a normal kindergartner, full of exuberance and curiosity, trying the boundaries and patience of everything and everyone around him. Thank the Great Spirit. . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have two preemies. I know exactly how you feel. If I knew of some way to send my love in your direction, I would do it right now. My premature daughter (6 weeks early) is 3 years old now, and my preemie son (7 weeks early) is 5 months old now. That worry and that wonder and that fierce protective feeling - that stuff just never goes away. I love my oldest two children (full term babies) just as much, but there is something about preemies... something that grabs the heartstrings and NEVER lets go.