The parade of health professionals briefing us on life after NICU continued throughout the morning, and after each specialist said their part, I would turn and say to Jesher, “It’s time to go home bro!” Honestly, much of the medical jargon and final reviews never made it to my frontal lobe. For four months, we had hung onto every syllable of “hospital speak”; however, my ears and my brain weren’t as perceptive on this particular day. I didn’t have my usual level of clarity. My eyes were hazy; I was lightheaded, and my heart rhythm was irregular. No, I wasn’t suffering from any ailment. I was just too excited. 120 days after our journey began, we were going home!
Our ‘room-in‘ night had come and gone with little sleep and a lot of childish nerves, but we made it. Jesher was up more frequently than expected due to constipation caused by his vitamin fortified formula (NeoSure), so he was a bit cranky. He signaled his discomfort with high screeches or low grunts whenever he thought we forgot about his clogged tummy. And that’s when I would politely interrupt whomever was in the middle of listing our follow-up schedule, lean over the hospital-white crib rails, and repeat my comforting phrase (probably more for my own comfort than for his): “I know Jesher; I hear you. Let’s go home bro!”
I couldn’t believe it. I kept trying to let the thought sink into my soul, but the habits of the past just wouldn’t allow me to comprehend the occasion. Our daily routine had revolved around going “to see” Jesher or stopping by “to check on” Jesher, and this daily ritual had been our life for 1/3rd of this year. At times we wouldn’t eat, sleep, drink, or nap because of our devotion to this cause. Jesher had parents, and we wanted him to know he had parents. We wanted to make sure he knew that his parents were not the dedicated professionals who donned blue scrubs and grey stethoscopes. Yes, Jesher’s nurses, therapist, doctors, and practitioners provided outstanding care for our lil’ warrior, but there was one thing they couldn’t provide: They couldn’t provide parental support. So our job description was self-explanatory. Our sole purpose was to be there, to show up, to comeback, and to keep coming. That’s why the idea of taking Jesher with us was so foreign. It was a cataclysmic paradigm shift—a shift that had me feeling weak-legged and heavy-armed. Today, Jesher would come with us; we wouldn’t have to go to him.
And somewhere between Jesher’s final assessment and the signing of his discharge order, it hit me…Our Father in Heaven must be geeked about bringing us home! As a professed follower of Yahweh, my faith is often uplifted by the prophecy of day when God won’t come spend time with me here on Earth and then return back to His home only to start the routine again the next day. One day—and I do pray it is sooner than later—Yahweh will send His firstborn son to come to Earth and tell me, “Let’s go home bro!” It won’t be a day where encouragement, tears, moral support, or prayer is needed. Those concepts are only necessary when parents are limited to coming and going, visiting and returning, waiting and watching. But when a parent gets to take his or her child home with them, no longer separated by the unfortunate circumstances of injury and recovery, the only thing that fills the air is an electric positivity that can only be expressed with smiles and laughter. And that’s all I had to offer Jesher as I picked up his car seat and walked towards the 7th floor elevator. I didn’t have much to say. I just smiled at him and laughed with his mother. But just as the elevator doors opened, I remembered to console our son once again before he drifted off to sleep. It wasn’t verbose; however, I do think it communicated the fullness of my heart. I leaned forward, while lifting his seat towards the middle of my chest, with both arms, and whispered, “Let’s go home, bro!”
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
WEIGHT–Jesher is currently 6lbs. 8oz, and already he is out-performing his dad. When I came home from the hospital, I was only 6lbs. even. And Lhorraine is the primary one to thank for this. Although she was in a time of extreme grief and discouragement, she still pumped milk for Jesher 4-6 times per day. Even without the emotional benefit of nursing her child, and even when dealing with the cold callousness of a mechanical substitute, she would pump with a fierce determination that nourished our son from the very beginning. Through tears and grit teeth, she would force herself to get out of bed and pump early in the morning and late at night. And this, along with the covering blanket of the Holy Spirit, has led to our son beginning to show signs of having ‘baby fat.’ PLEASE ASK YAHWEH TO BLESS LHORRAINE IN SUCH A MARKED MANNER THAT SHE, LIKE THE BIBLICAL SARAH, IS FILLED WITH LAUGHTER AND JOY BEYOND MEASURE! PLEASE CLAIM THAT GENESIS 21:6 WILL HAPPEN TO HER, IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
CONSTIPATION–Jesher did come home quite constipated. We are now going through the process of researching an alternative fortified formula for him. With so many options and so many opinions out there, we are asking God to come near to us and guide us on Jesher’s diet as He guided Manoah and his wife in Judges 13:5. PLEASE ASK THE LORD TO SEND US AN ANGELIC MESSENGER TO GUIDE OUR STEPS AS WE SEEK OUT A FORMULA THAT WILL NOT CAUSE OUR SON THE DISCOMFORT HE IS CURRENTLY ATTEMPTING TO MANAGE.
NEUROLOGICAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT–Jesher’s discharge paperwork outlines an amazing prognosis of his state. As I have shared in the past, the team of healthcare providers have been baffled at how Jesher’s health has turned around in only four months. One doctor even told us, “As of today, I consider Jesher to be a regular baby with no signs of apparent developmental or physiological deficits.” Yahweh is so powerful! With this report being declared, we understand that the true sign of this assessment being fulfilled will come this time next year. So between now and June 30, 2019, we are asking God to protect our son from all diseases, deficits, and disorders. PLEASE JOIN US IN DECLARING OVER JESHER WORDS OF LIFE…ASK GOD TO CAUSE HIS BODY TO PROSPER AS HIS SOUL PROSPERS ACCORDING TO (3 JOHN 1:2).
The Bible takes time to remind us that Earth is not our home:
“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.” [Hebrews 13:14, 15]
Like Jesus, we are supposed to look at our trial and declare: “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). And this experience has reassured me of how much my Heavenly Father must be anticipating the day when He gets to say, “Welcome home son!” Like Jesher, we all are in a pattern of sickness and recovery, attempting to cope with the pokes, prods, pains, and predicaments of a rough environment. But also like Jesher, we can all look forward to a day when we will be relieved of our difficulties and taken to a better place, a place that was prepared by God for His children—a place we now call heaven but we will soon call home.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” John 14:1-2