Anyone who reads Christine Carter’s blog, the Mom Café, knows that she’s a woman of faith. She’s extremely optimistic, and her writing is empowering and full of positivity. I know when I read one off her essays I’m going to feel good about the world. So when I read her submission, I was a little surprised by how harrowing it was. I had no idea that her daughter had had such a rough start in life. I was heartbroken as I read, but then the story ended with her little angel’s message of hope and faith. The apple doesn’t fall from the tree! I hope you enjoy this essay.
“It’s Really Going To Be Okay . . .”
I vividly remember being surrounded by doctors who were covering me with an oxygen mask and flipping me over from side to side, as your heart rate plummeted once again. Just hours before, the doctor had sent me straight to the hospital, his haunting last words lingering: “I can’t promise you that your baby is okay. What I can say is you may have saved her life by coming in today.” They forced your delivery to save your life; they had no idea how long you’d been in distress. You came into this world through uncertain hopes, and as they placed you in my trembling arms, I never wanted to let go.
During your first year of life, I watched you endure countless therapies. You screamed and cried so hard they didn’t know what to do. I witnessed your relentless fight and held back my own screams and cries. Your inconsolable tears tore at my heart and all I wanted to do was protect you from your pain.
I dropped you off at your special needs program of treatments and therapies during your second year of life and held my breath as I paced in the parking lot each day. I felt tattered and twisted every minute you were without me, all alone in this strange new world. All I wanted to do was go back inside, pick you up into my arms, carry you away, and never let go.
When they wheeled you in for surgery at nearly three years old, we faced our ultimate decision to risk your life for the use of anesthesia. Going against doctor’s orders, we decided the danger was worth it if we could prevent more torture to your fragile body. We were prepared for the worst and prayed for mercy on your behalf. You had been through enough. The bald patches on your head from pulling out your frayed baby blond hair were evidence of the pain you couldn’t withstand. We couldn’t fathom any additional trauma to your already difficult existence. I prayed for your lungs to stay open, while gasping for my own air. I wanted to lift you into God’s healing arms and tell Him to not let go until you were well.
Five weeks after your brother was born, we spent hours in the emergency room attempting to open your airways. When I begged and pleaded with the doctors at the hospital to take you home, I surrendered to their haunting ultimatum as they transferred you to the respiratory isolation unit. I was faced with the nightmare of leaving you at the hospital and abandoning my place by your side for the sake of nursing my infant son.
There you were, hooked up to several tubes and lying in the crib, gasping for air. I will never forget that moment. Forced to leave you overnight for the first time, I was trembling and terrified as I turned toward the door and walked away. We drove home at 2:00 a.m. and I sobbed all the way in chorus with my son’s exhausted wail. I’d never been so distraught in all my life. I longed to hold your precious body. That night away from you, something broke inside me.
Little did I know there would be many more treatments, hospital runs, admissions, procedures, and surgeries to come . . .
Little did I know that you would endure debilitating medical issues that would leave me terrified and torn, begging to hold on . . .
But forced to let go.
You were so weak. So weary. So worn. So wounded.
And so was I.
But somehow you overcame each tumultuous turn.
And so did I.
I look back on those horrific years filled with days, hours, and minutes of faltering fear, dreaded decisions, debilitating diagnoses, and I realize something remarkably true:
You are not wounded and weak, nor are you weary and worn.
You are a warrior.
And each year since, I continue to face the undeniable feat of letting you go.
Begging to hold on.
But with every struggle to surrender . . .
Your strength has risen in the suffering.
You have taught me that through every trial and test, I must learn to trust.
I never will forget your prophetic words in the car on the way to the hospital one fearful night. You were only three-and-a-half years old, limp with a 105.9 temperature and barely able to breathe. You heard me crying, and with a seemingly seasoned angelic voice you softly sang these words to me:
“It’s okay, Mommy. It’s going to be okay. ”
I hear your fateful words now . . .
Reminding me that what you knew then is what I know now.
It’s really going to be okay.
Chris Carter is a SAHM of two pretty amazing kids. She has been writing at TheMomCafe.com for over five years, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration and faith.
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