I’m really familiar with the hospital where we are going to have Gabriel. My mom has worked there for more than 20 years. I worked there for a little while in college as a diet tech. I remember spending time there as a child, in mom’s office, in the cafeteria. I remember that hospital being where I saw a dead body for the first time. I was with mom at work, I think she was going to take me to the doctor, and we walked down the road to get some lunch. The way that she goes in and out of the hospital is through a back entrance that is also where the funeral homes pull up to pick up the bodies. So as we were walking back up into the hospital, we passed some men rolling a bagged body down the same ramp we were on. I was shocked and remember losing my appetite, but also learning that that was, unfortunately, part of life.
That image has stuck with me for many years, and I will probably never forget it. Another image that sticks with me is watching moms being pushed out in a wheelchair holding their new babies. What little girls doesn’t love watching that? And it holds greater meaning to me now, obviously, but not just for Gabriel. I didn’t get to leave the hospital like that with Jack. I was discharged and Jack had to stay. I was wheeled out and had to leave him, and my heart, behind at Holy Cross Hospital. We got to bring Jack home. God healed him, and we started our life at home with him just a short time later. But you see, I’ve been nervous about that since very early in this pregnancy. In fact, at my 20 week appointment, I had planned to talk to the doctor about delivery and what had happened with Jack. I felt so confident this time that we wouldn’t have a NICU baby. That I would get wheeled out a couple of days later with my baby in my arms, and that would forever be my image to keep.
Now… we’ don’t know. Bringing Gabriel home would exceed my wildest dreams. It will be nothing short of a complete miracle — although every moment, every day with him already is. And I find myself wondering, how will Gabriel leave the hospital? Will we get to bring him home? Or will Gabriel’s tiny, little body leave the way I watched someone else’s loved one go many, many years ago?
We pray we have time with Gabriel while he is still living. We pray he is born alive and that we get to spend joyful time with him. We boldly ask the Lord for these things. We pray we get to bring Gabriel home — show him his room, Jack’s room. Spend time cuddling up with him on the couch. Pass him around to our loved ones and let them drool over him, too. We pray for these things.
And while I’ve wondered how Gabriel will leave the hospital after he is born, I know either way, no matter how Gabriel leaves the hospital, he will be going home. He’ll either be coming home with us, to our family’s home, to his room that is waiting for him. Or he will leave the hospital before we do, to spend eternity in his Heavenly Home with his Heavenly Father. And both of those thoughts bring me peace. And I am thankful for that. I am thankful for God’s perfect peace. Thank you to all of you praying for us — praying for peace for us during this time.