Thankful Thursday: Six months ago today

Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at 10:53 am

Six months ago today, I was sicker than I’d ever been in my life.

Prepping for the c-section

Six months ago today, I made a decision I’d never thought I’d make.

Six months ago today, my infant daughter was delivered via C-section, eight weeks before her due date.

Weighing in

Six months ago today, my Tirzah Mae was born.

She spent her first 26 days outside the womb in the NICU. She was fed through her veins at first, and then through a tube into her stomach, finally at the breast. She went from an incubator under bili-lights to the incubator without then to an open crib.

Tirzah Mae under the bili lights

She’s spent the last 155 days with us. She is fed at the breast, sleeps near us, is warmed by our warmth when she needs it.

Tirzah Mae and Papa enjoy each other's company

Five months out for just the one month in.

The books say that parents never forget their preemies’ births, their hospitalizations, their difficulties. And maybe the books are right.

But already, the memories start to fade. I forget how tiny she was, how helpless. I forget how desperate we were. I forget that she isn’t just another baby.

Snuggling inside mama's dress

When people ask her age, I tell them she’s about six months – starting to leave off “but she was born two months early”.

Tirzah Mae smiles as she swings

Six months makes a big difference.

One thing hasn’t changed in those six months though.

I still look at her little fingers, so perfectly formed, now full of flesh where once was only skin and bone. I wonder at them – how perfect, how delicate, how complete they are.

Setting her to scale

Eight weeks early, she was still complete. She was a baby, a human fully formed though immature.

I become sentimental, my thoughts meander.

What can I say that means anything, on this day six month out?

Perhaps the only thing I can say is to sing:

“‘Tis grace hath brought us safe thus far
And grace shall lead us home.”

Today, I am thankful for God’s grace. God’s grace in granting me life, in granting Tirzah Mae life. God’s grace in eight extra days in the womb. God’s grace in 26 short days of the NICU. God’s grace in 155 long days at home. God’s grace in sleepless nights, in pumping and shield use. God’s grace in spit up and diapers. God’s grace in baby laughter and Tirzah Mae recognizing herself in the mirror. God’s grace has been omnipresent.

Tirzah Mae plays in the mirror

Thank You, thank You, Gracious God.

Reader Comments (2):

  1. Nena says:

    happy half birthday to God’s Favorite!

  2. Barbara H. says:

    Tirzah Mae is so bright-eyed and pretty!

    We feel the same way with Timothy. When photos from his early NICU days show up on the screensaver, it’s so hard to believe he was ever that tiny. And those long ten weeks in the NICU that seemed insufferably longer now seem so long ago. He just had his first birthday last week, and though he was late to crawl, it seems like his development has just exploded in the last few weeks with crawling, pulling up, and now side-stepping while holding on to something.

    I’m so grateful for God’s grace for both our little preemies and pray that the grace that has led them “safe thus far” will safely lead them on.

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