I bent over. I looked at the delicate, brown beauty resting peacefully in her lucite crib. She is around 5 pounds. A sign above her crib reads, “1 lb. 3 oz.” Her birth weight.
They stopped me. A young girl, in her wheel chair. Her mom at the helm. They were leaving the NICU. I was walking toward it. A car seat in my hands. They knew this meant my little girl was close to going home.
They lit with excitement for me. They recognized me. They saw me the morning my girls were born. The same day their little girl was born. Our girls were leaving the delivery room while hers was arriving, by ambulance.
One pound. Five Ounces.
Her daughter was in the NICU station next to mine. She is 10 inches long.
The girl in the wheelchair tells me that today she got to touch her for the first time. She pulls out a phone. A picture of her touching her tiny daughter on the small screen. They shared her name with me. She’s named after her Grandma. A look of optimism, with a tinge of fear, was in their eyes.
I told the young girl and her mom about the little miracle who lies in a crib in the room with my daughter. That she started off weighing less than their daughter. That she looks great and is around 5 pounds. Hope and encouragement engorges their eyes and their cheeks.
I teared up as we celebrated together. I tell them that I’ve been praying for their girl. For once, I’m not just saying that. I am excited and filled with hope for them. Their little girl gave me hope.
I walked into the NICU for the first time. We had to wait 15 hours after our girl was born to see her.
The last time I saw her, she was blue. She was struggling to breathe. The staff had gathered our family to see her as she was rolled from the OR to the NICU. I assumed they did this to give them a chance to see her in case there wasn’t a next time.
I walked to the NICU with my mom. I entered alone. I wanted some time with my little girl. I didn’t know what I’d see.
She was in the first ‘crib’. Right in front of me when I walked in. Cords, cables and tubes ran from her hand, feet, abdomen and mouth. She was rosy and beautiful. Her features delicate and tender.
Right behind me was the little girl who arrived by ambulance. She made my girl look strong and big. She was under a bright light in a heated incubator. She moved about with IVs and monitors attached. She was an amazing testimony to the resilience of life.
That girl helped me. I counted my blessings. I cherished and celebrated how well my little girl was doing. I knew how well by contrast.
Here was her family celebrating with me. Excited for me about the possibility of my baby girl going home with us and her sister. I was overwhelmed with joy and appreciation.
Our girl, Ellie just joined us in our room this afternoon. She’s laying next to her sister, Evi. She’s tiny. She’s fragile. But she’s with us. Tomorrow, if all goes well, we’ll go home. Together.
We’ll bring that girl who’s 1 pound and change home with us in our hearts and prayers. Thanking her (and God) for giving hope and strength in a time of weakness.