There's an unseen group of people out there I never knew existed until 14 days ago. It is a pretty exclusive club, with members from all over the country... we even know of some from Canada. The only way you can pick them out is by their green armbands. It's the parents of kids staying in Children's Hospital for treatment.
It's a little strange, but kind of comfortable at the same time. We're all people who normally wouldn't make eye contact with each other on the street. We all look different, and we are from different tax brackets. The only thing (that we know of) that we have in common is the green armband... which represents a child who isn't at home like all the other ones.
When we see each other, we talk like friends. We ask about each other's kids. I'm sure we sound like inmates with all the "what are you in for" and "when are you getting out". It's been nice though; we've met some really nice people.
There's one couple we talk to regularly because our babies are "neighbors". Their baby had a similar condition to Jackman's, and a few other issues too. They've been there for weeks, and the baby keeps having setbacks. They are supposed to start working their way out of the hospital, but it's just one thing after another for them. It makes us so happy and thankful that Jackman is as healthy as he is.
Jackman is in a big room, with several baby bays (for lack of a better term). There are at least 10 on our side of the NICU. If a baby's heart rate, breaths per minute, or oxygen level goes down too far, and alarm goes off. Tonight while we were there, I think every other baby's alarm went off except Jackman's. Some times it may be a fluke, but you can tell that some of the baby's aren't in real good shape. One baby's alarm goes off all the time, almost nonstop. It is heartbreaking to see some of them. I never knew babies could be that small.
I'll frequently say a silent prayer when I walk through the NICU. Sometimes I say one for the babies, sometimes for the parents, sometimes for the nurses and surgeons (who I now put on a pedestal with our troops). Sometimes I say one while I'm holding Jackman, or looking at him. Sometimes (like now) I say one when I think about him and the other babies up there.
It may sound funny, but me and Lisa feel like our situation is too good to be true. Jackman truly looks good and healthy, because he is, and everyone who got to see him (before the NICU was closed to visitors becuase of flu) will confirm it. That's just not the case with all the babies there, and I know some of those parents worry to death, because we are inclined to worry for them.
Every time I see Jackman, it does my heart good. I can't help but be thankful. We sleep easy at night. We aren't always frantically rushing to the hospital. It's not that we are indifferent... not at all. We have peace. I wouldn't doubt that it has something to do with the prayers offered up for us.
I've got an idea. Next time you pray for us, or as soon as you finish reading this, or anytime God moves you... pray for the folks wearing the green armbands and their little ones. They need it.
...pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.