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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)

TITLE: Holding Joy
By Shannah Hogue
05/23/06


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Beep. Beep. Beep.

The steady hum of the nearby equipment kept time as Kathryn rocked the tiny baby, held tightly against her chest. Only ten more minutes before a nurse returned to check on them.

What a wonder this tiny bean of a baby was. They both loved “kangaroo care” time. It was one of the few parts of the day when the baby was both awake and quiet. And it was the only part of the day where the blond-haired young woman felt like the mommy she had so recently become.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Kathryn gently rocked her little girl, eyes closed, imagining that they were rocking in the pale yellow nursery over an hour away. It would probably be months before they’d be there together, if at all. But during “kangaroo care” time, Kathryn never thought of the “ifs”; she was totally enveloped in the now. And now was a miracle she relished.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

After three and a half years, and more proceduress than she could count, the test had come back positive. They were going to have a baby. She remembered the joy of that moment, the thrill of the promise of the new life inside her. They had celebrated every part of the process. Kathryn grimaced amusedly…okay, they had not celebrated morning sickness and swollen ankles. But she had so much enjoyed feeling this little girl grow inside her.

Kathryn had known their baby would be a girl. She hadn’t told anyone, but she’d been sure of it. And when the ultrasound confirmed it, she had radiated. And she had decided at that moment that their little girl would be named Joy.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

It was at 26 weeks that things had started to go wrong…one thing after another. She’d been admitted to the hospital, given a variety of drugs and tests. Both she and Joy were monitored for every conceivable scenario. Finally, unable to stop the contractions that were bringing Joy into the world far too early, the doctors decided to risk prematurity.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

And now, six weeks later, here they sat. There were good reports and bad, often on the same day. The doctors were giving dire predictions about Joy’s development and future problems, warning them that she still might not survive at all. But through it all, Kathryn merely smiled and nodded. She wasn’t supposed to have been able to conceive, yet here she was. She wasn’t supposed to be able to carry a child past the first trimester, yet here was Joy.

Yes…here was joy. In these silent moments of “kangaroo care” time in the middle of the NICU, interrupted only by the pulse of the nearby machines, Kathryn could do nothing but sigh deeply, contentedly, and smile. No matter what the future held, right now, in both her heart and her hands, she held Joy.


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This article has been read 463 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 05/26/06
Lovely.
Sherry Wendling05/27/06
Really evocative writing here! You beautifully captured that elusive "now" essence of JOY...The joy of just being here, now, alive and grateful and brimming with trust. Super job!
Kate Wells05/29/06
I was right there in NICU with her... you brought me in and kept my attention. Good writing. Kate~