Psalm 46:1

Published on 4 August 2023 at 20:07

It was not an ideal day to leave the hospital. The day started dark, gloomy and rainy. I remember thinking we should wait another day for clearer weather and sunnier skies. However, as I looked at our baby girl, I knew it had to be that day; her body had already changed pretty drastically and I knew it was getting closer to a condition that I wouldn't want to remember her being in.


We would never be ready...all of the hours in the world would never be enough. Mike and I made a promise to each other that we would leave the hospital at 1:00pm. We both knew that if we didn't make this decision together and hold each other to it, we would never leave.


My friend from high school, who is a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital, stopped by to meet Sunny. I previously learned from one of the other nurses who helped with my labor, that they had switched shifts to ensure that my friend would be working on our original induction day. Since we moved my induction a week earlier, she didn't end up being at the hospital the day Sunny was born. This made her taking the time to come sit with us so meaningful. I expressed to her that I didn't know how I was going to say goodbye to Sunny. I didn't know how I was going to be able to leave the hospital without her. Another mercy shown to us - my friend offered to be the one to walk with Mike when it was time to take Sunny to the morgue (ugh I shutter at that word - I instead refer to it as the "waiting area").


We spent our final hours with Sunny loving on her and talking to her. Our kids took turns holding her and giving her hugs and kisses. It was then time to say our goodbyes; it was the moment I had been dreading for the last several months. It was the moment I didn't have the strength or courage to face. I handed Sunny to Mike. I remember the instant emptiness I felt in my arms - I immediately turned to my friend and hugged her. As I sobbed, she whispered words of encouragement in my ear. Mike and I were devastated, but we knew it was time.


We packed up our belongings, thanked our nurses and left the hospital. There was no baby with us, no carseat, no congratulatory balloons or happy jokes about the sleepless nights that would soon follow. It was solemn.


As we pulled out of the hospital parking lot it occurred to me that what I previously thought was insurmountable, what I previously thought we wouldn't have the strength or courage to do - we did. This wasn't something we wanted to do or something that we would choose for anyone else to have to do, but by the sheer grace of God - we were now on the other side of the valley we had been walking in since January.

Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."

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