SWEET LITTLE JONAH
It seems that with each pregnancy, I am a little bigger,
a little slower, and a little more uncomfortable! This was
how I was feeling at 9 months of carrying Jonah. I couldn't
WAIT to see my new little blessing, to hold my baby, to
have my own newborn again!
THIS baby will have the
perfect life! I will give him a PERFECT environment. Because
I have had lots of other children, I know what I am doing,
and I will do a GREAT job of raising him. These were my
thoughts as I prepared to see him for the very first time.
Labor was a little rough,
but just as the evening rush hour was beginning in downtown
Dallas, little Jonah peeped into the world with barely a
cry. I was able to hold him for just a few moments of absolute
bliss. The newborn nurse seemed a little too attentive to
my baby, but I began to relax as I was wheeled to a hospital
room and put to bed.
"Will my baby be
coming in a moment?" I asked.
"After he's examined."
Although my body was
screaming for sleep due to exhaustion and medication, I
refused to give in. I couldn't wait to hold Jonah again,
in private. I wanted to count his toes, to watch him sleep,
to hold his little hand, to hear his little breathing noises.
However, although I didn't
know it, breathing was a problem for my little one. He never
came to my room because he was quickly admitted to the Neo-Natal
Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.
When I was finally told,
I was devastated.
The pediatrician came
to my room, telling us that Jonah, MY baby, the one I could
barely remember holding, had about a 50/50 chance of survival.
Then, he prayed with us.
No, we couldn't see him
just now, they said -- maybe tomorrow.
I cried all through the
prayer and into the night. Early the next morning, another
pediatrician and a lung specialist visited my room. Yes,
Jonah was in respiratory distress, and yes, his outcome
was uncertain. He would have to stay in the NICU for awhile.
Yes, I was allowed to see him, but certainly not allowed
to touch him, as moving him could put Jonah further in distress.
Holding my baby was out of the question.
If ever you have been
a new mother, and if ever you have had a baby with a problem,
you know how many tears I cried over the next few days.
As I walked into the NICU and saw so many other parents
bent over little beds with tiny, premature newborns inside,
attached to tubes and wires, I wanted to scream. Why was
this happening to ME? We had never had a baby with a major
health problem at birth, and I struggled to believe it all.
Jonah was the biggest baby in the NICU, so completely developed
After several days, reality
began to set in. The IV's in Jonah's arms and hands had
overloaded so many veins, that he was covered with bruises.
Finally the nurses attached the IV to his head, and continued
feeding him through a tube in his nose. I could tell that
he was losing weight, and didn't look so pink and healthy
as he had before. I no longer felt indignant when I stood
with so many other parents in the NICU. I felt as hopeless
as many of them looked. So hopeless. And tired. I couldn't
make my baby better.
Since I was advised not
to touch Jonah, and holding him was "out of the question",
I began singing to him. Leaning over his little bed and
singing into his little oxygen cubicle, I made up the words
meant only for his ears,
Sweet little Jonah
boy, Mommy's little angel…
I sang to him over and
over until my back could no longer bend, and until my voice
could no longer sing another note. If indeed he had to go
on to heaven, I wanted him to know me some day, by my song.
Sunday morning was the
hardest. I knew I would have to leave Jonah at the hospital
and go home. True, I had 5 more angels at home, anxious
to see Mommy, but I felt as though my heart was being ripped
out and left in the NICU in that little bed with all the
tubes and wires. Rivers of tears were flowing as I lay in
the hospital bed, thinking about the day. Would I live through
it? My husband had already called before worship was to
begin at our church. The people, our church family, were
all praying, he said, but I just wouldn't be comforted.
How could I leave my baby?
Then God spoke. He didn't
speak to me in an earthquake or in my rushing tidal wave
of tears, but in the very quiet moments of the morning,
in that hospital bed.
"Have you forgotten?
This is My baby. Jonah was My gift to you and Ken. You cannot
control his destiny."
How ashamed I felt! Of
course this was His baby. Of course I couldn't make Jonah
better, and at this time, I couldn't even comfort him through
his sickness. Only the Father could do that.
I lay prostrate, begging
His forgiveness for my selfishness and despair.
"Jonah is Yours!
If You choose life on earth for him, I'll be so thankful.
But if You choose death on earth for Jonah, I accept that,
Father. I know he'll just be going home. And I will not
be bitter. And I will never stop following You. You are
my Father, and I love You."
What freedom, what peace!
And even though I dreaded going to the NICU to tell Jonah
good-bye, even though I dreaded leaving a part of me behind,
I was ready -- ready to face that frail little baby with
all the tubes and needles, ready to accept reality, ready
to claim victory through Christ, no matter what happened.
The moment the NICU opened
late Sunday morning, I was at the door. I had finally made
an attempt to dress myself, to comb my hair, to continue
life as God would have it. But when I walked toward the
place where Jonah's bed had been, I stopped. The bed was
gone! There was another bed, a normal newborn bed in its
place with another baby there. This baby had no tubes or
wires; this baby had on a little diaper and a nightshirt.
He was lying on his tummy, sleeping peacefully, with his
little bottom pushed up into the air. I looked at the card
on the bed: "BOY LOVELACE". In disbelief, I stared
at the thin, but pink baby lying there. A nurse came up
"Look how quickly
Jonah has healed!! The hole in his lung fixed itself and
he's breathing on his own! He no longer needs medicine or
anything! We think he might be ready to learn to drink from
a bottle…I'll go get one. Would you like to hold your baby?"
I held my Father's baby
in my arms for what felt like the first time, and I sobbed.
I knew I had been given a precious gift. God had chosen
life on earth for Jonah, and He was entrusting Ken and me
to be Jonah's caregivers!
After a week's stay,
Jonah came home.
Now I look at my 10-year-old
and I marvel at the precious gift of my son. He's learning
to play the piano, he knows how to walk on stilts, and he
has already accepted Christ into his heart! My heart is
full of joy.
Sometimes when we sit
together, I tell Jonah of his Father in heaven, the One
to whom he really belongs. I tell him of that blessed day
when I surrendered him completely to God. And then I sing,
Sweet little Jonah
boy, Mommy's little angel…
Jonah just smiles.
© 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights