Friday, September 6, 2013

Whose Baby is This Anyway?

When I was in the hospital, in the moments before Hazel Grace was born, in those minutes between the time that the doctor held my hand and told me he would have to take the baby and the time that the sharp cold metal cut into my flesh to remove her from her dark sacred place,

in those brief moments that both seemed to last hours and pass in a flash,

I whispered something to my mother.

A name.

A name that we had been holding to our chest for weeks now.

Naming a child is very personal and can be very difficult.  This name, the name that you, as a parent, choose for this child who is yet to be born, is a name that will last her lifetime and in some ways define her...

who she is and how people will see her in years to come as they hear the name.

Our name choices have often been met with resistance from our families, both Jimmy's and mine, so we don't tell the name until the child is born.

But this time was different.

I was afraid that I would not get to see this child born and named.

First, I was told that I would be put under for the surgery to remove her from me, and I was terrified.

A baby born at 24 weeks does not have much on her side...

Not a great chance to live.

And I was terrified that I would be under, unconscious, sleeping, when she came into this world abruptly and then left it just as quickly.

So through the tears of fear, anger and denial, I whispered something to my mother as they prepared to wheel me to the operating room:

Her name is Hazel Grace.

She must have a name before she gets here in case she leaves again all too soon.

Hazel Grace....God sees

And God did see because plans changed and I was able to be awake for the surgery and I heard her and I saw her before she was whisked away.

Hazel Grace...God sees.

And later, when I was able to go and see my Hazel Grace, I peered into the plastic of the isolette and I saw this tiny form that resembled a baby bird resting under a blue light and I wondered

How can this be my baby?

How can this be a baby at all?

What have I done?

What have we done?

What has God done????

My babies are round chubby affairs with scrunched up faces and kicking feet and mewling voices calling immediately for their mother and her milk.

But this?

I couldn't touch, couldn't hold, couldn't hear...

And through the tears, could barely see.

But now, as my sweet baby Hazel Grace grows and fills herself out getting fat on mother's milk and nurses' love

I say, 'That is a baby.  That is my baby'

But even as the words leave my mouth I hear the whispered name again...

Hazel Grace...God sees.

God sees.

And I ask again,

What have I done?

What have we done?

What has God done?

And I hear the answer as clearly as the beeping monitors and as insistently and as steadily as the beating of her heart...

A baby?  Yes.

My baby?  Not quite.

Because Hazel Grace...God sees...

Even when I couldn't.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Our sweet baby Hazel Grace is not a gift that I brought into the world, nor that the doctors have kept alive...

Because alone, these things are ineffectual and worth nothing.

But this baby, this tiny micro preemie, carries her heritage with her like a mantle:

Hazel Grace...God sees.

That's why she's here.

She's of God and from God and loaned to us to be used by God for great things.

Dear, sweet baby Hazel Grace...God sees...

God sees!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this is so so so beautiful that I don't even have adequate words. Thank you for sharing this beauty.