Who knows where nicknames come from, but Little Boy Blue is my nickname for JF.
Yesterday when I went to the hospital to visit I ran into the doctor in the hall. She told me that JF was not nippling (taking his bottle) as well as he had been. When I asked why she thought it might be, she told me because of the brain. The feeding therapist had met with him and was concerned. JF has always been a "disorganized eater" where his arms start to move and he doesn't know what to do and he "forgets" to suck and swallow. Usually if he is swaddled he does much better but yesterday he just seemed "lost" as he ate.
Maybe he was just having a tough day. We all have bad days.
But news like this, and especially any mention of the word brain in relation to damage, brings on a whole new cycle of guilt, fear, and grief.
My mom says that God has healed JF and that He will continue to do so, if only in His time. She says that JF improved so rapidly for so many days that it's easy to feel like a one day set back is a set back, but it's not. Mom says that the healing of the brain may take awhile, but it will happen.
But I am so afraid of the long process. I feel inapt to parent him once he is home. I'm afraid of him coming home and I feel overwhelmed when I think of how hard it will be with L, Ben, JF, and JF's special needs. The nurses and doctors speak so warmly and positively about getting JF home. I picture myself lying on the living room floor, sobbing, surrounded by my 3 crying children.
In something that is not a coincidence, the Church's recent Sunday readings have been about faith and healing:
Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times at the word of Elisha, the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child,and he was clean of his leprosy. 2 Kings 5
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!" And when he saw them, he said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?" Then he said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you." Lk 17The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith." The Lord replied,"If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you." Lk 17
Blessed he who keeps faith forever,...
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down; Ps 146
When I hear those above passages I feel guilty because I am surrounded by people who believe, yet sometimes it is so hard for me to hold on to hope. I fear that my faith is not the size of a mustard seed and my son will lack because of it. I have to keep coming back to Peter's words, "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief." I suppose that's all that matters in the end, though - that I keep coming back. I don't know.
The Sunday after JF was born gave us this message:
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; Lk 16
It makes me think that, if nothing else, God has found Travis and I to be trustworthy in the very small matters.
Please pray that God will heal my son's brain. Please pray for continued success with bottle feedings. Please pray for normal muscle tone and no more tremors.
And please pray for me, Travis, our marriage and our family. The stress and emotions are often overwhelming.
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