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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wednesday Guest Post "Life" by Teddy N.

Teddy N.

Mother of a 2 yr old boy
I enjoy reading. I chose to write a guest entry in Rose's blog about this particular subject because when it happened, she reached out to me.
She may not have realized it at the time, but her kind words touched me.
Plus, I devore her writings, maybe it was time she enjoys reading someone else's.


 When faced with a difficult situation, it’s so easy to say "May God have the last say." Do we really mean it? Do we know the real depth of that sentence? Or do we just say it because we wish deep down inside that God’s choice in that particular situation will be what we wish it to be? What if God’s decision is harsh? Will you accept it? Or will you question him? Will your faith be altered?

She was eagerly anticipated! From the day my husband’s niece came to our home to announce to us that they were expecting, we could not stop praising God! Especially due to how hard it had been just less than a year ago, when her parents had lost what would have been their first born son, at 5 months into the pregnancy. This time, knowing what the initial issue had been, all the precautionary measures were taken (cervical cerclage to avoid preterm delivery).
Despite it all, at 25 weeks, the water broke and she (the mother) had to be hospitalized for complete bed rest. This was to try and keep the baby in for as long as possible. 2 weeks later, she started labor and baby Logan was born. I was attached to her from the day I laid my eyes on her. She was beautiful! And strong, yes she was strong for a preemie. I felt privileged, to be on the extremely limited list of people that could see her at any time. I did not care about wearing nail polish anymore, as it was banned in the NICU. Whenever I could, I would run to Children`s hospital during my lunch break,  or on my weekends off, to comfort the parents. To the best of my abilities, I was there for them the way I would have loved for them to be there for me, had the tables been turned.
Since her birth, everything was going smoothly. She was a strong preemie…however, two weeks into her life things drastically changed.  She started swelling up, and was diagnosed with Necrotizing Enter Colitis (NEC). She had to undergo surgery, removing 50% of her intestines. I hate recalling everything she went through after that. It was a complete rollercoaster of emotions, one second at a time, every day that the sun rose, we praised God. Hopes were still up, doctors were giving us hopes, and prayers were keeping us all strong…

One day when I was at work, her mom called me, to come and say my goodbyes as she was doing really poorly. When I got there, they had decided to have her baptized. That was the first day I ever let a tear down. Up until then, I refused to let myself cry as if it was giving into the idea that she could just not make it. I told her parents that I did not come to say goodbye to her; I came to see her. Maybe it was denial, but I still hoped for the best.
Through it all I stayed strong, always telling her parents not to cry in her presence. Somehow, throughout all this, I always had the right words to say, the right jokes when laughter was needed. Many times I would come out of the hospital wondering about God’s will. How could he put this couple through such hardship more than once? Yes, I was strong in front of them, but it was all taking a toll on my relationship with God.

On Sunday September 2nd, I had picked up my friend for a quick dinner at my home, just for her to relax away from the hospital and for some fresh air.  A couple of hours later, after she left us, we received a phone call from the hospital, asking my husband and myself to head out there as soon as possible. This time, I knew it was the end...
It just so happened that our dear Logan had deteriorated so much, that there was nothing else the doctors could do for her. She had swollen up so much, the remaining 50% of her intestines were infected, she wasn't responding to her treatment; do I really need to go on? She was in excruciating pain and was kept alive by all the machines and oxygen.

There were three options offered to the parents:
1. To stop all treatment and let her slowly die (in pain).
2. To let all the plugs be pulled.
3. To walk her into her death.

Option 3 was picked. That's the reason we were all called to the hospital, at least the close family. We were given a private room in the NICU. Logan was brought in.
I had read and heard of assisted death before, but never in my life did I think I would witness one of a babe. We prayed, sang, showered her with love. We all carried her turn by turn and sweetly whispered to her. We prayed, prayed, and prayed, we sang lullabies. We all wanted her to have her last moments of feeling loved. We wanted her to know she was loved dearly. When her parents were finally ready and in the arm of her father, her oxygen was cut off. Within seconds, she took a last breath, but not without smiling so big as if to say "thank you."
It’s hard for me to put in words the emotions I felt that day. It’s hard for me to truncate in 1500 words the experience I felt with the life and death of baby Logan.
What I know is that, she has shaken my faith. Strengthened it at first, when I had all hopes that she would be alright, then weakened it so badly when she left us. I remember clearly my first breakdown in that room after I kissed her cold body. All I kept saying was why God does allow this? Over and over, I kept saying: "why, why and why?"

One thing I knew for sure was that she wasn't here for nothing. She taught all of us a thing or two. For me, it was endurance, the many facets of love and Faith.
Do we have faith strong enough to be at the edge of a cliff and know that if we let go, God will catch us and not let us crash? That day, I felt like he had let all of us down, all of us crashed. It took me a couple of days, to realize that He always has the last word and to accept that whatever he chooses, I must bow down. What I saw Logan go through, I will never forget. The many sick babies I saw in the NICU this past month, will not leave me.  Her beautiful wide smile as she took her last breath will always make me smile and accept that God takes as he gives.

Life goes on, yet that experience has changed me. Clearly, it has made me re-evaluate my relationship with God, but it also has made me realize that nothing in life should be taken for granted… Nothing.

‎”There is, I am convinced, no picture that conveys in all its dreadfulness, a vision of sorrow, despairing, remediless, supreme. If I could paint such a picture, the canvas would show only a woman looking down at her empty arms.”
-Charlotte Bronte
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