I’ve written before about our son Paul’s premature birth and the still birth of his twin brother Luke. However, one day while reading my daughter-in-law, Felicity‘s blog, I was reminded of a very significant moment in that season of our lives and wanted to record it here.
Felicity had written a post about our granddaughter Claire, whose story mirrors our son Paul’s. She had noted how Claire had danced in a recital and she stated: “I just kept thinking how far we’ve come from this season 7 years ago. Then she was a 3-pound preemie with a very uncertain future; what would I have given to have seen this moment?” (bold emphasis mine)
Twenty-eight years ago Paul weighed in at 2 lb. 6 oz, and 29 weeks gestation. (This was prior to some of the “wonder drugs” they now use to help “premies” lungs remain flexible.) His prematurity led to a condition called Highlands Membrane Disease which means the lining of his lungs became brittle. Unfortunately the force of the respirator on his brittle little lungs blew holes in both of them. Along with these complications he had a valve in his heart that hadn’t closed and was causing his oxygen levels to bounce around severely. Heart surgery had been being considered, but was no longer an option due to his blown lungs.
At this point Paul was less than a week old and extremely unstable, yet we were needing to go home and have a memorial service for our infant son Luke. The reality of leaving Paul in such critical condition frightened me greatly. What if he died while we were gone? What if not hearing our voice for a few days caused him to give up? What if we couldn’t get back here if something else happened? What if . . . ? I was standing beside his isolette, filled with fear, tears coursing down my face, wondering how I was going to muster the courage to leave the next day, when suddenly a picture flashed through my mind.
I saw a little blond boy, wearing red shorts and a yellow, red, blue and white striped shirt. It was as if I was standing in my kitchen rather than in the NICU in Denver, CO. The little boy’s hair was long enough to be blowing in the wind as he ran giggling past the kitchen window. My heart melted as I caught a glimpse of his sweet little face. Peace began to replace the fear that had been running rampant in my heart and I sensed God had given me something of substance to hold on to!
The next day we drove four hours home to a memorial service for our little boy in heaven, while our son Paul fought to live here on earth. To shorten a very, long, tedious story, Paul came home to live with us eleven weeks after he had been born. He was in and out of the hospital for the first 18 months of his life, but then he began to thrive!
One day, when Paul was a little over 2 years of age, I was standing at my kitchen window watching our three children playing in the back yard, when suddenly Paul ran by the window giggling. Can you guess what he was wearing? Yes, he was wearing red shorts, a yellow, red, blue and white striped shirt, and his hair was blowing in the breeze! Tears filled my eyes, as I realized the picture God dropped into my heart two years earlier was no longer a glimpse.
It was now a reality!