birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Divine Intervention

Life is not fair. The expectation that it is, or should be is childish. Often it is the child that is constellated whenever things don't go our way. Or some other archetype.

The biggest unfair thing I can honestly write about is the birth of my first grandchild. After many medical consultations, my daughter in law (DIL)and her husband went forward with a breech birth.

Soren spent the first week of his life in the NICU. I didn't even know what a NICU was. Now I do. When he was born, he couldn't breathe. We arrived minutes after his birth, exhausted from travel. The trip has riddled with anxiety and apprehension. Double that.

As we approached the birth room, two nurses spotted us and swooped down to relay the medical news. My son had carried his breathless child, running to get help. Shocking. My DIL'S mother and father were there, clueless and unaware of what was happening. My medicated DIL had no idea where the baby was or why.

The medical center where Soren was born was in a remodel process. The hallways and wings looked like something out of a Spielberg film, with that lighting effect he uses to make it feel other worldly. Remember ET? Close Encounters? So, the usual hum of a hospital was punctuated with sounds of tearing down and building up. A fun house maze.

Before Soren was born, I had a vision. The vision told me the I was meant to be involved in this child's life. An enigmatic message. More than the usual Grandma milk and cookies. I was MEANT to be there.

Before the birth it was agreed that Steve and I would take a leave of absence from jobs and home to be in San Diego for this newborn. Help with family, and all that.

What should have been a joyous celebration of life was tinged with death and uncertainty. For others around us, the party was on. I simply could not understand how that could be so when the child was fighting for his life in the NICU!

I prayed like a life depended on it, because it did.

Soren went home eventually. And everyone wanted to put the birth behind. He was a gorgeous baby with the skin and eyes of an angel.

It became clear, later, that something was wrong with the baby. I was his caretaker during the day when mom went back to work, and family leave time was over. I noticed he fatigued easily and was "floppy". Alarmed, we told the parents of our concern. Steve, my husband is a Special Ed administrator, and has worked with many pre-school aged kids with developmental disabilities. He knew, we knew, we felt, what we saw--something was very wrong. The grief that struck that day was UNFAIR.

The parents wanted to turn a deaf ear to our concerns. We pushed anyway. Insisted on a pediatric neurologist testing, to diagnose the baby. This caused a huge split in the family, as others saw it differently. We pushed anyway. The effort to have Soren evaluated completely took about nine months. Those of you who know early child development, the clock is ticking on critical periods which are fluid and fleeting. Timing of intervention is also critical.

Soren is now nine. He has Cerebral Palsy which is located in motor functioning. He cannot walk. His affected limbs, feet, legs, hands--those that I loved and held so dearly are warped and unresponsive to physical and occupational therapy.

Soren is also bright, a voracious reader, imaginative, and artistic. He has gorgeous brown curls on his head, with limpid eyes to match. He flirts and has a sense of humor. He is very loved. He has a little brother now, Sacha.

To this day, I, We, believe we were called to be there in his life. Not knowing as we signed on for San Diego stint, that what was being asked of us came from the Divine. Not just, to be a part of his life, but to ensure it.

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