I cried through the entire Primary Program yesterday. Typically I laugh through it(Alec loves to perform), and get sentimental, but yesterday I had tears dripping down my cheeks the entire time. The thing is...it wasn't about my kids at all.
The 5-6 year olds got up to say their parts. One of the little boys was one of my NICU babies, 5 1/2 years ago. He was born at my hospital, had to be shipped to PCMC for a few weeks, and (because his parents pushed for it, Primary's doesn't like to give babies back ;)) came back to us, still a very sick, very LITTLE baby. I still remember the relief in his mother's eyes, to see an old friend would be caring for her delicate infant on that night he came back to our NICU.
This baby defied the odds. I remember several nights, trying desperately to keep him alive, wondering if I was going to have to call my friend and tell her to come in because the worst was upon us. I also remember spending much of my time those nights in silent prayer, praying I would be able to intervene in ways that would "fix" this very little baby.
Well, he got past the critical stage, grew, put on weight, and eventually was able to go home. However, because of all the "medical stuff" he went through, we (the NICU staff/doctors) didn't have high hopes that he would ever be entirely normal. You can read the statistics, but babies born at 25 weeks don't have good chances at normal outcomes...although some defeat the odds.
Yesterday, this little boy, now 6, got up with his primary class. He said his part in a clear voice, with no problems, and no one would ever know that he was born 15 weeks early and was not expected to live. Part of this is credit to his parents and grandparents, who would never give up and are wonderful advocates for their children. The other part is do to the Lord answering their prayers, and I feel so privileged that he answered their prayers through my hands and the hands of my excellent co-workers. Sometimes, I get disillusioned in my job. I wonder if all the "heroic attempts" and "lifesaving procedures" are doing more harm than good. The interventions necessary to save premature infants range from uncomfortable to extremely, excruciatingly painful. But seeing that little boy, who defied all the odds, gives me hope that we're mostly just working through the Lord's hands...and I need to trust in Him.
I was proud of my children, and did enjoy watching all those primary kids and seeing how they've progressed in the year since I haven't been in primary. It was the best, and worth only getting 4 hours of sleep to see.