An old friend visited Mira the other day. And I was touched. But, these days, that’s actually not such a rare feeling. And THAT’S touching. When most people hear the words “child support,” I’m sure it brings up visions of division, mandates and general negativity. But, for me, I wouldn’t be eight weeks in and of sound mind if not for “child support.” That is, the love, prayers and help from everyone (literally EVERYONE) I’ve come in contact with.
As a woman who’s lived most of my life for myself and by myself, asking for and accepting help has been a challenge. It has always humbled me when someone steps up and does something for me unsolicited and unexpected. So it goes without saying that all the love God has heaped upon me through other people feels overwhelming and surreal.
I have dozens of “child support” stories from the very beginning. Here are just a few of the most touching ones:
- I have family members who work in the NICU (one’s a nurse and one is a respiratory therapist). The support and information they provided in the days before I had Mira proved to be calming, perspective changing and gave me a peace of mind.
- A couple days after I was discharged from the hospital, I visited Mira. I walked into her room where I met a nurse I hadn’t seen before. She told me that she helped deliver Mira and that “your baby chose me and I knew I had to take care of her.” She told me that she had requested to be Mira’s primary nurse and, whenever she worked, would be taking care of Mira until she goes home.
- I read to Mira every night. And, whenever possible, I insert her name into the stories. My mama heard me doing this one night and took it upon herself to get books made that included Mira as part of the story. So now I get to read books where Mira is the main character and it’s just beautiful.
- A woman at the hospital delivered an edible arrangement to my room in the days before I had Mira. From that point, every time I see her, she gives me encouragement, hugs and assistance with navigating the financial components of my situation.
- I ended up back in the hospital a few days after Mira was born. During that time, I wasn’t able to see Mira. When I returned after being discharged, everyone in the NICU knew I was sick and welcomed me back, asked how I was doing and told me they took care of my baby while I was away. Her main nurse even read books to her every night I was gone because she knew I’d want her to have a bedtime story. And to this day, every nurse who’s ever cared for her, somehow drops by her bed on their shift to see how she’s doing.
- All the testimonies – from strangers to people I know. From the woman on the phone at the insurance company to people close to me that I’d never known had NICU stories. Every single one of them has made me feel encouraged, calm and not alone.
- I have a beautiful group of friends and a great family. Every single person has stepped up with prayers, gifts, food, texts, calls and the list of humbling acts of kindness goes on. The thing that has touched me most are the prayers. We can feel them all.
I pray that you have a support system as strong and wonderful as I have discovered mine to be. And if you find yourself alone, know that everyone in the NICU is cheering for you. Partner with them in the care of your child because their first priority is to see your baby healthy and heading home.
Another thing – don’t keep your situation to yourself. The amount of care and the call for prayers that people put out when they know you have a baby in the NICU is unreal, touching and very much needed to get you through the tough times.
Thanks for your prayers and support.