I went to Hawaii and came home with a tattoo. Yes, it was planned and yes, it hurt. But it really wasn’t bad. As you probably know, I’m terrified of needles – a fear that I had to come face to face with too many times over the past few years. For some reason, this needle felt more purposeful than any blood draw I’ve ever had, so that made it a bit easier. I know that sounds crazy! The question on everyone’s mind (because I know this is all you’ve been thinking about – ha!) is why a seashell??
So here’s the story: when Lainey was about 5 weeks old, she had her first surgery. She was weighing about 2 pounds at that point and still so teeny tiny. The surgery was fairly routine in the world of the NICU, a PDA ligation, and Bryan and I even joked that a game of Operation would take longer than the actual surgery took! It happened first thing in the morning and we got to see her afterwards and she looked good, so we went home to rest.
When we went back up to the NICU later that day, we learned that after the surgery Lainey had a lot of trouble regulating her blood pressure. Its just kept falling. Throughout the course of the day and night she would be put on 8-10 different medications to try to stabilize her, and keep her heart pumping. When we left the NICU that night, the nurse looked at me and said, “We just need to make it through the night.” Those are words I will never forget. Most of the night I was up questioning the Lord. Why were we going through this? Was He going to bring Lainey Home to Him that night? This was a necessary surgery, but maybe we should have postponed it – did I do everything that I could have done as her mother? Lord give us a sign that this will be ok!
Eventually we fell asleep. We woke up at 5am and called the nurse in the NICU. There had been no change overnight. In fact things were as bad as they had been. The nurse assured us there was nothing we could do and that we needed to rest. We fell back asleep and both Bryan and I dreamed about Lainey when she was older.
Bryan dreamed that he was walking the hills of Ireland with a 6 or 7 year old Lainey and they were picking up seashells on the tops of mountains. She looked at Bryan and said, “Daddy, why are there seashells on the top of the mountain??” And he said to her, “These seashells are here because this whole area used to be underwater. The seashells are symbols of the past. But everything looks different now doesn’t it?” She nodded her head yes. “These shells remind us of what used to be. Just like your scar reminds us of what used to be. Its a symbol of your past. It shows us where you came from, and how everything is different now.”
That was it. And then Bryan woke up and the second he woke up, he knew she was going to be ok. We immediately called the NICU and the nurse was ecstatic to tell us that Lainey had made a complete 180. She turned a corner and was doing great! There’s no doubt in our mind that God was speaking to us through our dreams and that He rescued our baby girl that morning.
Lainey has a scar across her back from that surgery and small scars on her arms and legs from different pokes throughout her NICU stay. One day, we will tell her about her Daddy’s dream and how the Lord answered our prayers. We will celebrate her scars as a sign of where she’s come from!
And now I have a “scar” too. To remind me of where we’ve come from and of the prayers the Lord continues to answer.