The Every Cry
by Jeanna Plunkett
“Mommy, why do you cry on every Easter? When we are dyeing our eggs, you always have tears running down your cheeks. How can anyone be sad at Easter?”
Oh little one, my pregnancy with you was wrought with problems. You don’t understand these big words now, but placenta previa caused mommy severe bleeding at 12 weeks. Then, a horrible thing happened at 20 weeks: my water broke. That was just two weeks before Easter of 2002. So, I spent Easter in the hospital. In fact, it was Easter morning, just after your twin brothers left for church with Nana and Granddaddy all dressed up in their Easter suits, when Mommy got some really bad news. Dr. Bailey did another ultrasound to take a peek at you and realized that my fluid level was critically low. He couldn’t offer much hope that your lungs would be able to develop enough so that you could breathe. He dismissed me from the hospital on that Easter Sunday of 2002 to go home and wait for labor to begin.
So, when I look across the table and see the excitement of Easter in your eyes and your little fingers busy decorating eggs, I cry tears of celebration. Each Easter I celebrate that “….with God all things are possible!”(Matt. 19:26). When medicine and mankind can offer us no hope, Jeremiah 17:7 tells us, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.” With God, there is always hope!
“Mommy, why do cry on my every birthday?”
The party was full of the laughter and squeals of excited children, so I didn’t even think he noticed. But, he did, and so, I explained, just as I had so many times before.
Jamey, you were born on April 22, 2002 at 1:11 a.m. With a due date of August 8, 2002, this meant that you came way too early. You were what they call “premature” and the doctor referred to you as a “24-weeker.” The tears that I cry each birthday are tears of remembrance of the first time that I saw you, my teeny-tiny little 1 lb 9.8 oz. miracle baby boy. They are tears of remembrance for the eight weeks that you could not breathe without the help of a ventilator. I cry tears of remembrance for the 87 excruciating days that we spent in the NICU with you, not knowing if we would ever get to bring you home. Some of those tears are even tears of remembrance for the day that they told us we would be bringing you home from the NICU. This was wonderful news, except you would still need an apnea monitor and nasal canula for months to come, so I cry over the disappointment and the stress of those months, too.
“Mommy, why do you cry every time they sing that song at church? And I see you look at Daddy and he holds your hand every time they sing it.”
“He’s got the whole world in His hands….He’s got the whole world in His hands…He’s got the whole world in His hands…..He’s got the whole world in His hands……..He’s got the tiny little baby in His hand….He’s got the tiny little baby in His hand…..He’s got the tiny little baby in His hand……”
Oh, sweet little one, I cry tears of remembrance of the days that you were too sick for me to hold in my arms. Jamey, I remember when they told me that even the sound of my voice was too much stimulation for you. I felt helpless in every sense of the word. But, even when I could not hold you, I knew that the Lord had you in the palm of His hand and that He was holding my hand, too. Isaiah 41:13. “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”
When they sing this precious song at church, I cry at the remembrance of when you were three years old and walked up to me with sleepy eyes, reached up both little arms, and said, “Mommy, I want to hold you.”
Precious NICU Mother, in 2 Kings 20:5, the Lord says, “I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears…” My recently released book, Prayers from the NICU: A Mother’s Devotional, contains inspiring stories from our 87-day NICU journey with Jamey as well as stories from our brief NICU stay with the twins three years earlier. A personal prayer journal is also provided for NICU mothers to record their baby’s progress and their personal requests to God during this most trying of times. Never forget……God hears your every prayer from the NICU and sees the every cry. For information on ordering Prayers from the NICU, visit www.nicuprayers.tateauthor.com.