Catholic Spirituality,  Parenting,  Suffering

A Wish and a Prayer

So the stupid blog and the stupid RSS feed and the stupid new URL all work now. And I only shed like, 3 stupid tears each day of the saga over it all, so…all’s well that ends well. The moral of this story is, I suppose, that people like me who rely on the internet for work and play should maybe learn a thing or two about how it all works, or else have some IT savvy friend in their inner circle, lest one find oneself on the phone with Chet from Phoenix late one Monday night, using techie words in inapplicable instances and trying not to heave pregnancy-induced sobs into the phone because it’s 10 pm and I just want to take a bath. Wah. I wish I’d taken a computer class in college.

Moving on.

My friends, there is this little baby. I know there are so many little babies in need of prayers right now, both in the womb and outside of it, but I am asking for specific prayers for the same little girl I introduced you to last week (when my was still broken). She is making great strides and is off all her tubes and monitors and even taking a bottle…but (and this is a big, ugly but) her parents just had their most recent consult with her neurologist and his diagnosis is not a hopeful one. Basically, due to the trauma and loss of oxygen at birth, her cerebrum was catastrophically damaged and he expects her to suffer from cerebral palsy, which can mean an absence of speech, motor skills, limb control, expression of feelings…in a sort of any or all combination.

I know a thing about cerebral palsy, because my uncle, my dad’s little brother, also suffered it due to a traumatic birth and was wheelchair bound and institutionalized for most of his 49 years. He used a computer to communicate and while he had full intelligence, he was basically locked inside of himself and a body that would not cooperate with his mind. I don’t want that for baby Lily, and I can’t believe that God could refuse the petitions of her family and friends if we storm heaven on her behalf.

I know a lot of us are pregnant right now, and I know that sucks sometimes. From morning sickness to back labor to actual tearing of flesh that ought not to be torn…it’s a grueling process, giving life. And if you’re in my camp then you’ll probably be searching for remedies to alleviate some or all of the suffering entailed on a physical level. I guess what I’m asking is that you take a tiny amount of that suffering and offer it up on behalf of Lily and her complete and miraculous healing. Whatever that looks like for you, whether it be waiting 10 minutes to pop a Tums when the heartburn kicks in or offering up those early pre-anesthesiologist contractions upon admission to Labor and Delivery, let’s use our occasions of motherly suffering to call down graces and prayers upon this little baby girl and her family. And if you feel compelled to help in another very real and tangible way, God bless you for it.

I know I complain far too often about my beautiful, healthy children and the imaginary traumas they inflict on me all the live long day – I know! I’m in the least likely position to advocate for some kind of heroic redemptive suffering. But I can make little efforts here and there, I know I can, and I can pray that they have some effect on Lily’s healing and recovery. I hope you’ll consider joining me to do the same.

Thanks for hanging with me during the techno-saga of Advent 2013, and I pray your hearts and your homes are being beautifully prepared for the Big Event in a couple weeks’ time.


  • Amanda

    Will be praying! And as an encouragement, doctors told my best friend the same thing about her first born baby girl. She was without oxygen, etc for a while and they anticipated her to be delayed in every realm, possibly have some physical challenges, brain challenges, etc. That same sweet baby girl is now one and a half and doing wonderfully. No set backs. No delays. Just a sweet and happy toddling toddler. God is good and faithful! And, even if she does have a degree (wherever on the spectrum) of CP, I know so many wonderful persons who have been such gifts and inspirations to me. But, like I said, prayers for sweet Lily, her parents, family, and doctors! His Will be done.

  • Kris

    This is such a beautiful post, Jenny. I’ve been praying for her since your first post about it – thanks for keeping it in the front of people’s minds. I’ll also add that I have a good friend who had a similar situation and prognosis for her daughter. She’s now 28, married, has a baby and graduated from USC with a degree in aerospace engineering. She has some mild CP physical symptoms (walks with a limp) but with physical therapy and exercise her whole life (especially equine therapy), she has managed to overcome all of this and do everything she wants to do.

  • Caitlin

    I’m not sure if another success story is helpful right now, but my daughter was born at 36 weeks because of a placental abruption too. It’s a miracle she even survived the first day. But she did. And she’s now the cutest and most mischievous toddler I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.

  • Kathryn

    We heard so many “devastating diagnoses” in the NICU…you just tell that momma to never give up hope. Never doubt her instincts and never stop loving that baby. Whatever the outcome, she will no doubt be covered in prayer and lifted up at just the right moment. And, it’s completely and totally okay to cuss out God. He and I had our fair share of those rounds 😉 Thanks for letting us know specific ways to pray!

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