I’ve never seen it before, and it is impossible for me to ever see it again. It is a once in a lifetime experience. I saw my wife hold our first child for the first time. During this momentous occasion, I decided to read Jesher the award winning children’s book Last Stop on Market Street. I happened to look up and catch the above-pictured moment of absolute bliss and couldn’t help myself. I had to pause the story and capture the peace flowing from mom and bathing son. It’s called Kangaroo Care. It is a well-researched practice that champions the benefit of skin-to-skin contact for newborns. I never knew how much moms (and dads) benefit their babies by providing meaningful skin-to-skin cuddling. And as I watched Jesher Gabriel lay on his mother’s bare skin, it instantly became apparent to me why Kangaroo Care is so pivotal–it was allowing Jesher to hear Lhorraine’s heart.
My wife Lhorraine was allowing her firstborn son to get as close as possible to her beating love for him. Before now, Jesher always heard her heart from the inside, but this was his first opportunity to hear her heart from the outside. So when I watched the nurses rest Jesher’s tethered body in his mother’s arms, I introspectively made a wish upon a distant star: I hope Jesher gets the heart of his mom.
With every pump of her chest, I new Jesher Gabriel was listening to a heart-beat that understood his challenging first week outside of the womb. Like Jesher, my wife has undergone extended hospital stays, tolerated tubes and wires confining her to a bed, and overheard doctors debate whether or not she would live to see adulthood. Like Jesher, she has survived the pokes, prods, and pricks of medical professionals who could not figure out what was wrong. Like Jesher, Lhorraine is proof that divine providence exists. And all of that experience was now beating a rhythmic tune into Jesher’s cheek, cheering him on while synchronizing his heart to hers.
As Jesher rested on his mother, I smiled as I thought how blessed he is to have Lhorraine as his kangaroo. She understands. She empathizes (she doesn’t just sympathize). She knows what he is going through. She knows what it’s like to fight death and come out on top. She is a warrior. She doesn’t stop. She doesn’t quit. She just fights. That’s what Jesher has within him…the blood of a warrior, pumping with each heart beat. And he gets it from his mom.
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
ECHO SCAN–Jesher underwent a very important procedure called an echocardiogram. This scan will allow doctors to assess Jesher’s heart health. We will receive the results on tonight or on tomorrow afternoon. PLEASE PRAY THAT JESHER’S HEART DEVELOPS WITHOUT ABNORMALITY.
TESTING DAY–Jesher will undergo multiple tests on tomorrow that will serve as his weekly report. These tests will chart his treatment for the next week and allow doctor’s to gauge how his body is naturally addressing his premature birth. Any area that registers low on the progress chart will need to receive external assistance. PLEASE PRAY FOR JESHER’S LIVER, BRAIN, HEART, and LUNGS; IF THESE AREAS ARE STRONG AND HEALTHY, JESHER’S RECOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT WILL RECEIVE A NEEDED BOOST.
BLOOD–We need Jesher’s blood platelet numbers to normalize. He continues to receive blood transfusions to off-set his low levels, but we are asking God to jump-start his natural blood-making abilities. Jesher needs his platelet levels to increase in order for him to stabilize his immune defenses and lower his bilirubin levels. PLEASE PRAY FOR A SUPERNATURAL ACTIVATION OF JESHER’S PLATELET PROCESSES; PRAY THAT THE BLOOD OF JESUS WOULD HEAL JESHER’S BLOOD.
As I ease-dropped on their kangaroo care, I held a quiet conversation with God: Wow Yahweh, you have allowed me to love two warriors of uncommon strength. Yes, my wife has mourned the abrupt and unfortunate interruption of her pregnancy. I have heard her cry out to her Creator, warring in the Spirit on behalf of our son, and I have seen her wrestle with the uncomfortable recovery process that follows an emergency C-section. But with all this being acknowledged, the doctors and nurses continue to marvel at the strength of our family. However, when they attempt to attribute Jesher’s feisty resilience to his dad’s personality, I quickly interject: No, no, no! He gets that strength from his mother.
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.” Isaiah 40:28-29