First look through my eyes
Because of the Caesarean section, Candice could not accompany me to have a first look at Ethan after he was cleaned. Very excited I made my way to the ICU. He was in an incubator, laying very peacefully. I stared at him for quite some time before I actually put my hands through the doors to touch him. All I could think was, “Wow, this is our son! He is finally here!” His face was covered with cloth to protect his sensitive eyes from the light. I smile as he responds when I touch his body with my finger. So tiny…36cm in length and weighing 940 grams.
First look through Candice’s eyes
Almost 2 days had past and now was the time for Candice to see our son again after that brief moment after birth. I felt a bit apprehensive at this point because I might have downplayed his condition a bit. Nervously I asked, as I brought the wheelchair around, “you’re ready to meet your son?” she smiled, “oh yes!!”
My heart was now throbbing as we reached the door of the ICU. We needed to wash our hands before entering the sterile environment. The door opens and the friendly nurses give the new mom a warm welcome. They remove the blanket covering the incubator to reveal his tiny body. She looks intently; he moves slightly, her heart melts! She smiles as this little person immediately enters the core of her heart.
She’s a mother now!
“he is so precious and so cute” she puts her hand through the incubator’s little door and touches his hand. He immediately reacts and coils his little hand round her pinky.
She looks at me, “was that a smile!?” “yes, it was” I guess that is his way of saying I’m content, my parents are here.
That afternoon we spent about 30 minutes with him and if Candice had her way she would never have left him. But she was still sore and needed to rest. I needed to get some feeding bottles from the pharmacy downstairs and also something to eat. I wheeled Candice back to her bed, where she waited for me to return. Downstairs while waiting on my sandwich that I ordered, I played back the event in my mind and tears started streaming down my face. I am thankful, Lord.
On the first floor, with Candice something more dramatic and emotional ensued. When I left, Candice, too, played the scene in her head. For the first time she realised the little pipes running into his body. For the first time she realised how fragile and helpless he was. For the first time she realised that his face was covered with an oxygen mask and that she couldn’t see it. For a moment it seemed as if he was totally dependent on that machine. And at that moment she wept. Bitterly. Her cries were so loud and so uncontrollable that her whole body began to shake.
Silently a young nurse came closer. She rubbed Candice’s hand and asked if she was sad. “No, I’m not sad. I just saw my baby for the first time and his so fragile”. “He will be ok”, the kind nurse said. “They will take very good care of him. There’s no need to be afraid.” She continued in silence to rub her arm while she was still crying. As if she was allowing everything to come out.
“Look at me” the young girl said in a very gentle voice. “I’m a premature baby.” She looked at her and it was as if the pain subsided. “God brought your baby into this world and He will protect him.”
Abba Father WILL protect Ethan.
As prayers were going up continually, Ethan grew stronger each day. He started out with 1ml of breastmilk per hour! One drop, I thought, is all it takes to sustain life for now. There is a long journey that lays ahead for us before we get to take him home but for now…he is here and that’s all that matters.
I’m here, Mommy and Daddy! Abba has sent me and I’m finally here!
I can feel your fingers touching me and I’m wiggling my body as a sign for you to know that I know you’re here.
I can hear your voices; so soft and gentle and it makes me fall in love with you.
I want you to hold me, to feel your arms around me.
Please stay with me a little longer. Just until I fall asleep again…