(our Christmas card photo 2011, taken about a week before she got sick)
December 17, 2011, my cherub of a 4-month-old got very very sick with RSV. Drawing breaths became a sincere struggle. We took her to the ER at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital here in Memphis where one of my most nightmarish days continued to unfold. She was eventually put on a ventilator, where she remained, sedated, for the next 9 days, until Christmas night, when it was removed. We went home from the hospital on December 30. (All of my posts from this time can be found here.)
I may have a year's distance from these events now...but I could still just cry and cry if I think too hard about all of fear, the terror, we dealt with for several days when things weren't going well for our baby. The days ticked by, tick tick tick, with no concern for our holiday agendas, as we waited for Juliette to improve. Countless minutes I spent, every 3 hours, alone in the nursing mothers room, pumping and crying and praying for my baby.
And truly, I have watched her in awe over this past year, healthy, thriving, smart...and fallen on my knees in gratitude.
There is no way I can profess to have any answers for you when it comes to dealing with hard and scary things. We were lucky ones...the Lord's answer was yes for our daughter. All I can really say (especially in light of Friday's tragedy in Newtown) is that we are not guaranteed a smooth and easy time in this life. Our world is a broken one. My routine could trick me into thinking otherwise.
But thankfully, this world is not our home! And yes, I am in a season of Advent--of anticipation at Christ's coming--one where I crave for Him to return to the earth and make all things new. I pray to stay in this mindset.
Giving thanks today for my girl and her healthy spirit, and the kindness of God to our family.