The storm is raging outside my window. Or at least, that’s how it feels. It feels and sounds intense, when really it’s just now starting to pick up. There’s talk of hail. There’s talk of a tornado. All I hear is some heavy rain on the window, and beating down on those giant roof fans.
I remember the very first night with Noella, just the two of us in our hospital room. It rained on a hot summer night, and I saw it from fresh eyes. The eyes of a new tender mom holding her baby, whispering quietly that it’s God who sends the rain. And little blessings wrapped in pink and white striped blankets.
21 months later, and here we are in room 321 with our second daughter. She’s 14 weeks old and she’s struggling. The nurses are concerned. When someone who is in charge of caring for and helping your daughter, someone who has more answers and experience and knowledge than you, looks concerned, you panic. It’s that deep pain and nausea mixed together in the pit of your stomach. It’s raw fear and worry is what it is.
It’s 3am and I stand at the window, pacing back and forth, back and forth, in my pajamas, watching the rain, unsure of what else to do. I feel so helpless seeing Shilo in her baby jail crib, in a very deep sleep, not wanting to move or wake. The little orange and white striped pjs with the pineapple on the front, that she was wearing when we came into the ER the night before, are now tossed aside and she’s wearing nothing but a diaper and lots of wires taped to her body. “A baby should be in comfy soft pjs”, I think to myself, trying to get out of the way as nurses come in and out.
I watch the rain pick up, and I plead with God to help her. One of her airways is blocked and her numbers blink orange on the screen. I learn that ICU is also monitoring her, and they call from a different floor. “Open her airways, God!” I beg. Her oxygen just keeps dropping, and her breathing is very labored.
I begin to pace even faster, expanding my circle 8 path so I can cover more ground in my state of anxiousness. I hear the nurses talk as they try different things. I start to cry but I try not to let them see. Now is not the time to distract them. Shilo needs help right now. I’m aware how fast things can turn, and I’m vividly aware of how bad things can get when little lungs struggle. I pray. I cry. I text Shawn who’s at home with Noella, and I wonder how they’re both doing in this storm. Did they lose power too? Is Noella afraid? I know I am right now.
Because of the storm, and not knowing how bad it could get, there’s talk of trying any and all necessary manipulations on Shilo in case they need to send her to Cook’s Children’s hospital. My mind really starts to spin, because to me this is them preparing for the worst case scenario. Cook’s is 3 hours and 38 min away from here. What would that mean? How would we get her there? What would they do there that can’t be done here? Pace. Cry. Beg. Text Shawn. Pace. Cry. Beg. Text Shawn. Someone mentions the word ventilator and I feel like my throat is closing.
It’s now 4:30am. I wish morning would come. Things seem less scary in the daylight somehow. Concern is still there. Shilo is still struggling. I have a long talk with Shawn on the phone once the team of nurses leaves the room. Her doctor has been called, surely awaken from deep sleep.
Shawn’s scared too. He wishes he was with us. We pray together. He has asked me this before in scary situations, “Can God be trusted?” and while the answer is always “YES”, it’s a hard, hard question to answer when you’re in the middle of it. Whatever “it” is at the time. Yes he can be trusted, but the deeper question comes to the surface of my mind, “What if I trust him and he still allows my greatest fear to come to pass?! WHAT IF.”
How do I trust? How do I occupy my mind? How do I not obsess over the low and lowering numbers on the screen? It was a long night. But God was gracious and Shilo’s home now and doing really well. She’s wearing fleece zip up pjs again (as babies should), and trying so hard to roll over for the first time.
I realize I’ll probably spend much of my life knowing that “YES!” I trust God, but still, in my humanity, I’ll go back and forth battling the “WHAT IF?!” he allows the unthinkable to happen.
He’s still faithful, and that’s what we will cling to.
The storm is over, Shilo’s home, and we’re so very thankful.