Thursday, September 18, 2014

Baby Cuddling, Week One

Two Sundays ago was my first day getting up to my 4:30am alarm. It was the first time I groggily called the NICU, willing my voice not to croak like a bullfrog. It was the first time I tried {and failed!} to clock in using my volunteer PIN.

It was the first time I made the rounds in the NICU, asking the kind nurses if they had any babies needing cuddling. It was my first time {ever!} in the Family and Maternity Center {FMC}, and it was my first time holding a baby completely uninterrupted for longer than an hour.

The nurse didn't know this baby boy's name, so I didn't get to know it, either. We just knew he was a little fussy and that his mom needed some sleep. I settled into my rocking chair and opened my arms. The nurse gently transferred him to me, and I started gazing at him.

Everyone says that every baby is perfect, and I absolutely agree. Babies with pale skin, brown skin, yellow skin, red blotchy skin, purple skin... babies with no hair, black hair, curly hair, blonde hair, two hairs total... they are all perfect.

This two-day-old baby and I got to hang out for three hours. We watched {okay, I watched and whispered descriptions to him since his eyes were closed} the sun rise and the morning fog dissipate. I prayed over him and sang to him.

He squeaked and I hummed. He stirred and I stroked. He twisted and I patted. And when my shift was over and I gave him back to the nurse, I wondered where the time had gone and why couldn't I stay for the rest of the day. And then I realized that I would never see this baby again, and I confess that I cried a little.

I can't really describe the joyful ache I feel in my heart and my arms. I feel full of gratitude for the opportunity, contentedness with a baby in my arms, humbled to be serving new moms in this simple way... and I feel lonely for my future babies, sad for the NICU babies who can't go home with their parents yet, and pain for the parents who never get to take their newborn home.

Describing my time at the hospital really helps me process allll these emotions, so brace yourself for some baby cuddling stories! I don't know how much information I can share, but if you want to join me in praying for these little strangers, that would be wonderful. Thanks for listening. 


  1. This is a wonderful post, Rebekah. I can't wait to read more. That's awesome that you pray over the babies. I'm so happy you get to do this.

  2. Beautiful.

  3. Thank you, friend! I think of you when I'm holding babies :)

  4. Aw, shucks! I'm glad you like it... was a bit nervous about posting it, so thank you for your comment.
    I love praying for the babies and their parents, and I love holding them {as if I needed to say that part -ha!}. It's incredible what power there is in a little life! :)

  5. AAAAAAWWWWWWWW. SO stinkin' beautiful! I promise I will email you back soon!!

  6. :D :D :D Thank you, for real.

    I'm looking forward to an email from you! :D