By Joanna Moloney-
Choosing hope. It’s a big task. A brave task. But without hope, what exactly do you have?
When my kids were born 15 weeks early. When they weighed under two pounds. When they couldn’t breathe on their own. When I couldn’t even hold them to comfort them. Hope was all I had.
One minute I was pregnant and glowing. The hope that filled my consciousness then was that of a young wife, excitedly waiting for her family to double. Hoping for two healthy babies. Hoping for an easy delivery. Hoping that we would be able to handle twin infants.
The next minute I was ordered to stay in bed for fear of delivering A&R much too soon. And then I was admitted to the hospital. My hope quickly turned into something much less optimistic. I hoped that they would stay inside long enough to survive and thrive. Long enough to avoid the complications that often come with prematurity.
A week later it happened. I delivered my boys even though they weren’t ready yet. My hope quickly turned into fear. The fear of losing my boys, who were once so safe inside me. Soon after the reality set in that they would need a lot of intervention to survive. Now I simply hoped for one more day. Days turned into weeks, and after months of oxygen and feeding tubes, brain scans and surgeries, hope was still the only thing I could cling to. I witnessed way too much sadness in the NICU to ever to feel safe.
And even when we finally did bring our babies home, that hope lingered. Like a shadow that didn’t disappear when the sun went down. “I hope they will walk. I hope they will talk. I hope they will learn.” Hope is what kept me sane.
And here we are. Almost two years later. A family of four. We no longer view hope as the only thing that helps us move forward. We just do what is necessary to give our boys the same chance that others get. We are strong for them and we love them.
We didn’t lose hope, no. That hope that so diligently brought us here, has simply turned into life.
No one asks for a preemie. No one asks for a special needs child. But if given the choice now, I wouldn’t ask God for anything else. And yes, I am filled with hope. Hope for my children’s future. Because they did survive. And they are thriving.