Thursday, December 29, 2011
Washed Away with Grace
Chapter 5 The Lord Gives.
Elizabeth murmured "Oh my God" then her utterings became increasingly louder… She wasn't cursing her Lord's name; rather she was pleading for help. Calling His name felt like the only thing she could do. She was helplessly in shock. She stared at this tiny dark child and realized the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck. She could see the heart was beating and a miniscule mouth was gasping tiny gasps of air. Elizabeth's whole body shook as she gained control enough to unwrap the cord from around the tiny neck. It was at that point she realized that she had a daughter. "Oh God help me" Elizabeth uttered. God heard her cries and sent her an angel. Elizabeth's Angel was in the form of a woman who found herself in the same Rest-Stop Bathroom. A knock reverberated on the stall door. "Are You Okay Honey??" a persistent voice asked. "Help Me." Elizabeth replied as she managed to unlock the stall door with her free hand.
A medium height blond just past middle age, with dark sunglasses opened the door. She didn't say much at first, but Elizabeth could read the shock on her face. Elizabeth heard her say "I'm not trained in this, but I'm here for you as long as you need." Within a moment or two the blond angel had taken control and was able to pull out the fact that her husband was waiting outside in the rest stop somewhere, all the while holding Elizabeth's free hand. She got the attention of some others in the restroom, had them start ushering people out, found Elizabeth's husband who was brought into the restroom. One look at his wife and very premature child and he almost passed out and had to leave for fear of getting sick. He busied himself by calling for help and doing his best to compose himself so that he could be a support to his wife. The ambulance was called, the children were taken over to the Burger King inside the rest stop, given food and kid's meal toys and all of a sudden employees took on roll of childcare providers to keep the young boy and girl preoccupied.
Elizabeth couldn't take her eyes off of her daughter. She reminded her of a kitten, eyes not big enough to be open, small enough to fit in her hand, although little legs and arms fell over the sides of her hand. The tiniest fingers and toes you could imagine, no hair on the tiny head, but Elizabeth was struck at her delicate features. She was beautiful, even though she was so very small. Elizabeth was in shock but she couldn't stop watching her. Every shallow gasp of air that went in and out of her lungs didn't go unnoticed. Every time her little lips moved Elizabeth breathed a sigh of relief because it meant her daughter was still fighting for life. Meanwhile, through it all, Elizabeth's angel stayed by her side, holding her hand.
After what felt like an eternity, Elizabeth's husband and the ambulance crew came into the bathroom. The ambulance crew was not prepared for what they saw. They were told that a woman had a miscarriage and her baby was dead. They stood dumbfounded, staring at this tiny living child who weighed just ounces. They didn't know what to do. Finally they came to their senses and realized that they were not capable of helping so tiny of a child and that if there was any chance whatsoever they needed to get this child to the NICU stat. Elizabeth's angel gave her hand another squeeze, and as Elizabeth stood up and fixed her skirt, she gave her blond angel a hug and with tears in her eyes she looked into the dark glasses and said the only two words she could manage "Thank You". Those words seemed so trivial even though she meant them fully from her heart. She knew she would never see the blond woman again, and she couldn't remember her name. She only knew that her presence and the strong pressure of the soft hand was the only thing that kept her lucid. She would never forget that shoulder length wavy blond hair that had been colored perfectly and those almost black sunglasses, because she knew God had sent her the angel she needed to give her strength when Elizabeth had none left.
They put Elizabeth on a gurney and wrapped the child up in a small towel that almost swallowed her up and rushed the baby into the ambulance. Elizabeth was rolled thru the rest stop with her husband and kids walking by her side. Bob kissed her forehead and said he would be following in the van right behind the ambulance and he & the kids would meet us at the hospital. Hundreds of people became silent, as they stared at her as she was escorted outside. Many with compassion, some with annoyance for the bathroom being unusable for so long, most with confusion on what was going on and the stares were just trying to figure out what had happened to this young woman being rushed out on a stretcher. No matter the reason for the eyes watching her, the hundreds of eyes felt as they bored into her soul. She couldn't hide, as much as she wanted to. She just stared down at the towels and blankets covering her and tried to be as inconspicuous as possible, even though she knew it was pointless. Hers would be the story of many for days afterward. A story she herself would never forget, no matter how many years passed…