“Your baby is missing his left eye.” With that one sentence, my life was forever changed. This was supposed to be a routine ultrasound where I would have the chance to finally see my precious baby and perhaps take home a picture. My husband and I had previously welcomed a little boy into our life and were looking forward to our second child.
This news completely blindsided us but we prayed. Our family prayed. Our friends and their friends prayed for a miracle, that God would heal our baby, but sometimes God’s answer is “no” as it was for us. Our son William was born without his left eye as well as his left ear.
I was able to cradle him for just a moment before he was rushed to the neonatal ICU. Even though I had prayed for God to heal him, I knew that William could be born with this condition, yet nothing can ever truly prepare you for that reality. My heart sank into despair as I listened to the nurse share her concerns about my son. It was a lot to process! I could only be grateful for the support of my family and friends. The ensuing days and months felt like a run-away roller coaster ride.
William remained in the NICU for three months, and for weeks we could not hold him because of the danger of dislodging the breathing tube inserted into his throat. Since I could not cradle him in the traditional way, I had to be creative in letting my baby know I was there for him. I would drape my upper body over the side of his crib, gently encircling him in my arms, and sing for hours. I could see him looking at me, and I was confident he recognized me as his mommy.
The day we had been longing for finally came. We were able to take him home, excited but also a little intimidated, as we now fully oversaw his care which included managing a tracheostomy, a feeding tube, and more. We struggled to get sufficient rest between the crib alarms alerting us to an urgent need, or the emergencies that required a hasty trip back to the hospital with him.
In these moments, I struggled with anger, resentment, and anxiety as I wondered how God could turn any of this suffering into something good. Yet even in our weakest moments, we realized God still loves us and draws us closer to Himself. Through it all, He sustained me and I am in awe of His unceasing grace.
Though the road from my son’s delivery to now was filled with bumps and a lot of learning, I am delighted to be his mother. My sweet William is almost six and what a testimony he is to all who meet him. He is a cherished gift from God and we are forever grateful that he is ours to love.