Monday, April 22, 2013

remembering Max: his blessing day

tears constantly trickled down my cheeks the first night home. i kept thinking of Max's little body and gigantic spirit laying there without any of us by his side. i longed to be with  him. little did i know this would be the first of many, many sleepless nights, longing to just have my baby at home with me.

when M woke up, he had a message from his dad which referenced the Church Handbook, stating that we could give Max a name and a blessing whenever we wanted to in his special circumstance. we knew immediately that we'd do it that day.

before we left for Oakland, we spent some of the morning playing with the girls. we hadn't spent any normal amount of time with them since before Max had been born. i was, and continue to be so grateful for them. children are healers. they help you feel normal even when you aren't. they don't see your insecurities. they treat you the same, whether or not you have toothpaste around the corners of your mouth, dark circles under your eyes, and are wearing the same thing for the third day in a row because that's just all that fits comfortably.  and while our challenges with Max were impossible to forget, the girls at least gave us reasons to sing, dance, and play in the meantime.

when we got to Oakland, we immediately asked permission to give Max his special blessing. the doctor, nurse and social worker were so accommodating and empathetic towards our beliefs. i appreciated that so much. as i mentioned previously, we were only supposed to have 2 people at Max's bedside in the NICU. that proved to be tricky in many situations, since we would have loved to all be together the whole time. but they gave us special permission to invite any of our family members to come and participate with us. so Mike and i, M's parents and my mom all got to be together (for the first time) by his side to hear Max's blessing.

M was the one to give him that blessing -- and we actually recorded it. i just listened to it again for the first time since then. i feel equally overwhelmed with emotion as i did that day. the Priesthood, the power of God on earth, is so incredible. and while i'm sitting here recognizing that the blessing didn't save his life, i also realize that Max's earthly life was exactly what it should have been. the blessing still served its unique purpose to name him as a part of our family and to give his little body peace and comfort. but perhaps the greatest result of that blessing was for me, M, and our family -- that we could feel the words that M spoke were truly the words God would have spoken if He were there. and those words confirmed to me then, and were reconfirmed to me today that Max must be an incredibly noble spirit.  i simply can't wait to get to know him better.

after the blessing and spending some sweet moments together, our parents  left and M and i stayed with Max. later that night, my mom sent us the sweetest video of the girls taking a bath and singing a song for Max. we showed him the video - and i like to think that he could feel of his sisters' pure love for him and that it meant so much to him. such a perfect, sweet boy. 

a little side note about the NICU: minutes and hours melt away. you forget to eat. you don't realize that dozens of moments of silence have passed by, clouded and muffled by hundreds and thousands of beeps and buzzes.  you don't even realize that the sun went down hours ago and it's time to be sleeping. and it never, ever gets easier to leave your baby's side. luckily you have precious moments and beautiful images to hang onto until you can hold each other tight again.



Mat and Brooke said...

I have so appreciated being able to read these special posts about your sweet little Max. Thank you for allowing all of us to share a small part in your experiences and emotions throughout this time. My love for you and your precious family has grown, as well an appreciation for mine. Every day is such a blessing. I love you, Marce, and continue to pray for you every day. xoxo

Amber said...

What a wonderful mother you are, Marci. I look up to your strong testimony and faith. And years from now, I know you'll be so glad you wrote all this down.

Michele said...

I love all the precious photos, all perfect treasures, but those top two put the biggest lump in my throat. I just love you Marci, and sweet max. I feel like he is such a blessing to your family with his giant spirit and you all are to him to love him so whole heartedly.