We have been blessed with a new little grandson this week....and he decided that he wanted to come early. His parents only could hold him briefly before he was whisked away to the NICU.
They have not yet been able to hold him, but can touch him and talk to him while he is in the Incubator. He has some issues that may cause him to be in the NICU for up to 3 weeks.
As these adult children are far from their parents, this has been a challenging situation for them. However, thanks to air travel, the Internet, digital cameras and tremendous medical technology and staff, they have been empowered and supported. The technology for this little one is very sophisticated. It is a normal environment for me as I work in the medical arena and have also worked in a NICU. But, let me tell you, it is very different when you are all of a sudden on the 'family side' of the NICU. It's a bit much for young parents, and as a grandparent, I am grateful for the expertise of the medical staff and how proactive they are.
Social media has played a remarkably important part of this early delivery. My adult children have used Facebook, Instant Messaging, Email, and their Cellphones to contact and receive messages from family and friends. The instantaneous messaging has been extremely comforting to them.
Also, new friends have also stepped up. These new parents have been in a new LDS ward for 3 weeks, yet they have seen and heard from several ward members including the Bishop and the Relief Society President. I am very grateful for this support as both my daughter and my grandson have received Priesthood blessings at the hands of priesthood holders from this new ward.
As for the future, words such as "I never thought I would have to deal with anything like this" have been uttered. However, the Lord appears to desire to bless this young family at this time. I found this wonderful quote from President Kimball:
“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we came here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.” (As quoted by Spencer W. Kimball, in Faith Precedes the Miracle, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1972, page 98.)
This is one important aspect of the Plan of Salvation. I look forward to loving this new member of our family, and also see the growth and development that will come to his parents and to all of us.
May the Lord bless them all.