Today’s post is graciously brought to you by JessieLeigh.
When my little girl arrived in the world at only 24 weeks gestation, I was shocked. I was scared. Terrified, really. And worried. I sat in stunned disbelief and fretted about her chances.
And then I got mad. “Why me, God?” I wondered, “Why me?” Hadn’t I faithfully attended every prenatal appointment? Didn’t I take those prenatal vitamins even though they made me feel green in the gills? I had gone into my pregnancy healthy! Strong, fit, great blood pressure, non-smoker… “why me?”
I talked to some of the other wonderful, devoted parents in the NICU. I met mothers who gave birth to early due to preeclampsia, due to HELLP syndrome, due to kidney problems. On the flip-side, I heard about the absentee mothers whose premature deliveries were blamed on drug and alcohol abuse, on inadequate prenatal care, on injuries sustained in abusive relationships.
They sent the placenta to pathology. The verdict? “Preterm labor due to unknown causes.”
This thought raged through my mind in a vicious circle. I couldn’t wrap my brain around how this could have happened to me, what I had done to deserve it. I lost sleep over it. I lost concentration. I lost valuable time that should have been devoted to praying for my daughter and those other babies.
And then one day it hit me. Why me?
Well, I realized I needed to ponder a few more questions… Why was my daughter getting stonger and healthier while others withered and grew weaker? Why had my son been born a healthy 8-pounder with no complications? Why had I been blessed with two beautiful children in less than twelve months?
I finally realized it wasn’t my call. I didn’t get to do the checks and balances and decide fate. I didn’t “earn” or “deserve” all the good or bad things that happened to me. But I did learn that God will never, ever give you more than you can handle.
By having faith in God’s plan and my own strength, I found peace. I found contentment. I found the conviction to face each day and be ever-mindful of the joy I felt. I was, and am, so very blessed.
Well, I’m still not completely sure of the answer to that. But I choose to believe that perhaps it was so that I got to spend an extra four months with my precious girl. How lucky am I?
— JessieLeigh is a wife and stay-at-home mother of two. After her second child arrived almost four months early, it became her mission to provide support and encouragement to those parenting very premature babies. She can be found maintaining a support blog at Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles, baking, or singing silly songs with her toddlers.