I can still feel it, you know, a tinge, an itch, a tingle in my flesh in that spot where almost 19 months ago the doctor drew his scalpel across my abdomen to pull from my body the struggling form of our tiny daughter who had been nestled there under my heart for just 24 short weeks.
My body has healed, and I am well, and she has grown into a 17 pound cruising little girl,
but we both still bear the scars.
I, the scar of a pregnancy ended too soon, of a baby not held in my arms or to my breast for too long, of an infancy marked with doctors' appointments and g-tubes, nasal cannula and syringes instead of sweet smelling baby skin next to mine while cuddling on the couch.
And she, the almost 19 month old who is still learning to walk and doesn't talk, she carries scars of her own: the fear of public sink and paper towel sounds, because that always meant someone was going to do something to her, the desire to sleep in her bed, not in my arms, because that's what she was used to for so long, and the small round hole that holds the tube that gives her nourishment.
But there is one scar, one trial, that can now begin to heal and fade. One sound we can begin to forget and have it only brought back when we hear a similar puff-and-sigh rhythm somewhere else and we have to go through our memory files to remember what it is that noise reminds us of. There is one set of tubing that we can give away, give back, give up, pass on...
And one large tank that hung across my back for so long weighing me down at the same time it gave my little girl on my chest life.
Friends, all of you out there who prayed over us and over our sweet baby Hazel Grace,
Dear, dear friends,
It is with great joy and utmost thankfulness that I tell you that Hazel Grace, our mirco-preemie, one pound seven ounce 24 weeker, has been discontinued off her oxygen!
Yes! You heard right! Hazel Grace is done with the cannula! Done with the sighing condenser dragon that hangs out in our living room, and done with the oxygen tanks! She is done with cannula taped to her face, and done with tubes dragging behind her!
I know that a lot of you have seen us around without her tubes and tanks, but it wasn't until she had passed a full month and a half plus gone through a cold without needing the supplemental oxygen that her pulmonologist officially took her off the oxygen.
And on Thursday, I think the sun will shine a bit brighter over our house, and our house will feel a little bit lighter because Moses, our oxygen delivery man, will come not to deliver, but to take away!
And what joy will be mine in the giving!