Thursday, June 10, 2010

Celebrate Courage

This was going to be a boring blog about stretch marks and how they don't go away, no matter what you smear on your belly, breasts, buttocks or beefy thighs. Well, I have a better, very celebratory blog instead.

I had the profound honor to be with a wonderful couple about two years ago after the birth of their very premature daughter. None of the experts expected her live for even a day; I remember her being about twenty three weeks gestation. Small as the palm of my little hand. She was put on a ventilator and her parents were diligent about being with her for the time she lived at the hospital. They prayed and sang to her , hoped and wished. Family an ocean away and at the mercy of a different culture, different medicine, different rituals, a completely different philosophy of life and death. Listening to every special neonatologist's take on her state and her terminal condition.

We all began to hope too; she became the miracle baby girl, because she tried so hard to hang on to life. She seemed to struggle to grasp each second almost knowing how desperately her mother needed her to stay. She was taken off the ventilator because it appeared that she had no brain activity and still she lived. What a roller coaster of emotions for all who grew to love that tiny bundle of hope.
She lived for about three weeks in that hospital, with these loving parents at her bedside.

And then they mourned and grieved and cried and wondered why their baby. Why them?Who ever knows the answers to these questions? It is the ultimate mystery of life. Why?

I just got a joyful announcement that they have given birth to a healthy, full term and fat little boy. I am celebrating their courage. They did the work of loss and grief and recovered to try again, because no one wants anything more than a baby when you think you can't have one. Whether its repeated loss or infertility or unexplained. Congratulations. I celebrate your courage and wish that he brings much love and light into this mystery called life that we all experience together, sometimes just one second at a time.