There is a running debate going among Jesher’s nurses. The discussion isn’t volatile or abrasive; however, it is spirited. I personally think they are about one week away from setting the odds and accepting wagers. The controversy is rising! The dispute is growing! At the center of the discourse is Jesher’s face and one intriguing question: Does Jesher look more like his mom or his dad?
Recently, a picture surfaced that shifted the momentum of the debate, prompting NICU odds-makers to move ‘the line’ from its previous 50/50 split. It has been used to validate claims in the pro-Michael camp, and it has been religiously dismissed by pro-Lhorraine cheerleaders. It is a picture of me in my father’s lap circa 1983. For pro-Michael supporters, it represents indisputable evidence of Jesher’s resemblance. For pro-Lhorraine fans, it only illustrates a fleeting moment of similarity. The picture is propelling playful contention, and it continues to be a source of genial banter. Who does Jesher most resemble? As a mediator, I can clearly see that it is too early to tell, so I have turned my attention to a less controversial aspect of the photograph. Do you see how happy I look in my dad’s arms?
When I look at the picture, I don’t stare at it to differentiate who Jesher favors most. For those who have seen Jesher, this snapshot immediately draws their minds into a compare-and-contrast analysis, juxtaposing noses, mouths, eyes, cheeks, and hands. Admittedly, this sorta happens to me too, but, when I look at the picture, I study my father’s facial expression and parallel it with my infant profile. I compare my mouth in the snapshot with my dad’s mouth in the snapshot. I contrast my hands in the photo with my father’s hands in the photo. I collate my eyes in the frame with my pop’s eyes in the frame. I take note of how important it is to start loving a child early. I log how a father’s smile is infectious. I remind myself that even as infants, dads have a lot to do with the levels of joy a child feels.
Yes, I want Jesher to look like me, but only in the context of this photograph. For the vast majority of his life, I want him to look like his mother! (Oh how blessed he would be if he inherited the uncommon beauty of his mother!) I want Jesher to receive the allure housed in her genetics. I only ask for one additional thing: Whenever Jesher and I spend time together, may he smile like I’m smiling in this picture. May he perfectly resemble the happiness and comfort emanating from my face. In these moments, I want Jesher to look like me! But I pray he looks like his mother in all the rest : )
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
FEEDING–As of today, Jesher successfully completed a full bottle–33 milliliters down the hatch! The occasion became an event in his pod. As he continued to chug, by-standers began to gather around to see if he would do it. Lhorraine cheered for Jesher as if he would win 1 million dollars if he accomplished the feat. And our boy did it! In just his fifth bottle-feed, he completed a bottle. The NICU employees are a buzz, and Lhorraine and I are still giggling about the whole scene. PLEASE JOIN US IN THANKING YAHWEH FOR CAUSING JESHER TO BE AHEAD OF SCHEDULE! CONTINUE TO ASK GOD TO STRENGTHEN JESHER’S BREATH, SUCK, SWALLOW ABILITIES.
BED UPGRADE–It’s official, Jesher is being moved to a “BIG-BOY CRIB” TODAY. His doctor assessed him today and felt that Jesher was ready to make the jump! Over the weekend, Jesher crossed the 1800 gram (or 4 lbs.) mark. At this weight, he has a great chance of regulating his own temperature. He will be transferred to the next available crib and monitored over the next 72 hours to gauge whether or not he is capable of staying warm without mechanical aid. PLEASE ASK THE LORD TO MAINTAIN JESHER’S TEMPERATURE WITH THE WARMTH OF HIS STEADFAST LOVE.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY–Jesher’s occupational therapist, Tasha, is doing an amazing job! She visits once-a-day and applies a series of massages to help loosen Jesher’s muscles and joints. Due to the stress of premature birth, many preemies develop muscular hypertension (which can evolve into hypertonia). The massages and exercises are helping to relax the tenseness in Jesher’s limbs and back. Later this week, Jesher will begin receiving hydro-therapy to further relax his joints and muscles. PLEASE ASK GOD TO DE-STRESS JESHER’S BODY; HE HAS BEEN THROUGH A LOT AND NEEDS GOD TO HELP HIS MUSCLES RELAX PROPERLY.
This is my favorite picture of Dad and me. Both of us are smiling. Both of us are relaxed. Both of us are appreciative of what the other contributes to our life. I don’t know what is happening in the room at the time the photo was taken; I only know that I am in Dad’s arms and loving every moment. And who would have thought that the little guy in this photo would someday have a son? The full weight of the thought hasn’t set-in for me yet; however, I am resolute about continuing the tradition pictured here: As soon as Jesher is old enough, we will re-enact this picture. [And barring the second coming of Jesus, I pray that Jesher will someday become a dad and continue the ritual.]
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.” Matthew 6:31-32