Garrin, my sweet little boy, I so wish that I could wave a magic wand and take away all of your ailments. I wish that there was some way for you to go back in my tummy, where you should be for the next 16 weeks. I wish there was a secret cure for the respiratory challenges you are facing.
While my wishes are unrealistic, I am doing what I can for you, sweetheart. I am pumping milk for you every two to three hours and praying for all of us more frequently than that. I am singing to you, reading to you, and talking to you as often as I can without disturbing your slumber. While you may not know I’m here, I sleep at the foot of your bed every night. I day dream about our future together. Most of all, I am loving you. I’m doing everything I can think of, Garrin, to help lighten your burden, even in the smallest amount.
But the healthcare team keeps telling me that I have to take care of me too. So today, I got brave, and I left the hospital with Daddy for lunch. We were only gone for 45 minutes — more baby steps. In between meals and pumping, I attempted to catch up on a little on sleep. I read a devotional book for parents of NICU babes, and I bought a few things on Amazon. Eating, sleeping, reading, and shopping — taking care of me.
Unsurprisingly, I don’t quite feel like myself yet. I am grieving the loss of being pregnant with you, your rolls and kicks that would have surely grown stronger, the controlled birth and standard hospital stay we should have had, and the maternity leave experiences and firsts we are missing out on. Grieving isn’t a bad thing, but I know that I can’t let it control my life, and I can’t let it challenge my faith. My plans are irrelevant in comparison to God’s, and I know he has them for us, Garrin, and our family.
While I don’t know what the future holds, I can already identify ways in which you are changing our lives, more so than our new living situation. You are a gift from God, my son, a gift I know is on loan. While I pray with my whole heart that we will have dozens and dozens of years together, I will always be grateful for the chance to see you wrinkle your forehead, to touch your fingers and toes, to feel you kick against my hands as I change your diaper, and to watch you wiggle and squirm. I love you forever and amen, baby boy, forever and amen.