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Trusting God in the NICU, by Kate Anderson

Updated: Sep 25, 2021

Trust - The firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

I’ve never had to trust a group of people as much as I did when my babies were staying in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). All three of my kids were in the NICU after birth for different reasons and various lengths of time. Putting your child’s life in the hands of a medical team just minutes after they are born is terrifying. And you just have to assume that they’re going to take good care of your baby. I had to have complete trust that everything was going to be OK. I handed my babies over to nurses and watched as they cared for them for weeks. It’s a full on test from God. Do I trust Him in some of my most vulnerable moments? When my first son Nicholas was born by emergency C-section at 35 weeks, I relied on my doctor to get him out safely and alive. I couldn’t feel him moving around anymore, and we found later that his cord was wrapped around his neck and twisted three times. I could only hold him for 10 minutes until he was taken from me and sent to the NICU. I wouldn’t see him again for another two hours, because I had to go back to recovery. I put my complete faith in God that Nicholas was going to get the best care without his mother by his side. During my second son Daniel’s stay in the NICU, I felt completely helpless for four weeks. He had surgery for a colostomy bag immediately after birth, and was put on a ventilator during his recovery. When we tried taking out the ventilator the next day, his lung collapsed, because his nasal passages were really narrow, and he couldn’t breathe. He had surgery to widen his nostrils, and was put back on the ventilator for three weeks. I sat by Daniel’s bedside every day and watched other people take care of him. I couldn’t hold him. At one point he had a cover over his bed to keep the moisture inside to help his nose heal. I felt so far away from him even though I was sitting right there. There was literally nothing I could do for him, but just be present. If that’s not having complete trust in God, I don’t know what is. I prayed a lot. It was the only thing I could do for Daniel at the time. And it’s probably the most powerful thing I did for him. By the time it was Grace’s turn, I was over the NICU. I was impatient and just wanted things to happen quickly so we could get her home. But I had to slow down and have faith that this is what Grace needed and we would go home when she was ready. Having kids in the NICU is incredibly humbling. Everything is completely out of your control. The life of your baby is in someone else's hands. I had to give my control to God and let Him handle everything. I had to trust that the nurse’s abilities were good enough to care for my children. Trust. Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. In this case, having faith that that someone, God, will take care of my little ones. And He did.

Kate lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. You can read her writing at her blog This Special Journey.

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