Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bitty Bantam's Birthday

Today is Bitty Bantam's birthday--and I've never been happier to celebrate a first birthday! You see, we nearly lost him at five weeks of age. He had severe pneumonia due to RSV infection; he was hospitalized for two weeks and was on a ventilator for six days (here's a picture). To see him now--robust and grinning, lurching around and clapping for himself whenever someone notices his new facility on two legs--is such a rush of blessing and delight.

We have a friend with a two-week-old baby in the PICU right now--without the pneumonia, but needing a ventilator due to the RSV. (It causes so much mucous production, the littlest babies just can't keep up.) Visiting her brought back so acutely all the anxieties I remember just 13 months ago--and also the amazing way God met us through the whole experience.

In particular, I recalled vividly the angel God permitted me to see for just a moment in an identical hospital room.

Our son had been admitted around dinnertime and put immediately into the PICU; around midnight I finally fell asleep, exhausted, on a couch in his room. At 2 a.m. they woke me. "He's worse...need to intubate...sign this...leave the room." I could hardly understand what they were saying. Worse? I thought, since we were in the hospital, that he'd be getting better now! Leave him?? How could I?

Tears began falling down my cheeks as I tried to take it all in. A sympathetic nurse offered to let me hold my baby for a few minutes before leaving, while she went to get some equipment. Holding my infant son in my arms, I began praying. I trust my Father completely, and even through my pain, I prayed, "Help me to accept whatever happens. I know you love him even more than I do. Thy will be done." Knowing I was about to leave him, I prayed for angels to fill the room.

If I had been asked to describe the angels I thought I was invoking, I would have imagined cherubs--little baby angels to surround my little guy--or, since I had to leave, perhaps a nurturing, maternal presence. So I was stunned by what I suddenly "saw" in the room with me as I prayed for angels. Just for a freeze-framed moment, I saw a warrior, with shining face and hair and dressed in luminous white, holding a staff with two hands in front of his body, robes swirling in mid-air--and then in a flash of furious fighting, he was gone. He looked like very much like something out of the movie The Matrix.

I was immediately emboldened to pray for my son's very life! If God had sent at least one angel there to do battle with the forces that threatened his life, I knew it was right to join in. I was "en-couraged" by this tangible sign of God's protective care for my little one.

Could I have imagined the angel? It's possible that my brain flipped past the cherubs and the maternal image, grabbed at the warrior idea and conjured up something like I'd seen before, in The Matrix. I don't think so--the image came so quickly, was so unbidden--and then was gone, unlike an imagining one could sustain. But even if my imagination participated in the "seeing," (even as our participation is required in prayer and other spiritual activities), how else could one see the supernatural? Surely not with physical eyes.

Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Psalm 103:20


Michelle said...

WOW!!! What an awesome story!! Praise the Lord! Your baby is just precious!!! I LOVE the chunk!!!

HolyMama! said...

Thank you so much for this! One of ours had RSV, too, but not so much that he needed a ventilator. I can't imagine how difficult that was. Happy Birthday to such a sweet- blessedly healthy - Bitty Bantam.

Liquidoxology said...

You have something to live for! Anette

emlouisa said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing this story!!! It brought tears to my eyes. My little one was a preemie and so I understand about the whole ICU thing. It is so hard to leave them!!!

Glad he is doing okay. What a blessing!

Pianomum said...

A truly wonderful blessing from God. We all praise Him for bringing little Chub through. Pianomum

elaine@bloginmyeye said...

Oooooh, I'm getting chills.