Do you know how big 720 grams is? I confess I had to look it up and do the math. (I am metrically challenged.) 720 grams is one pound, nine ounces — about half the size of a rotisserie chicken in the grocery store; less than a medium cantaloupe, a pineapple or a small laptop. But 30 years ago 720 grams changed my life.
When you become a parent, life changes. With each child, life changes. But perhaps most of all, with the first. You can read all the books, hear everyone else’s anecdotes and think you are ready to become a parent. But you are never fully ready until you are plunged into parenthood.
For Michael and I our first experience with parenting was even more extraordinary than we expected. The years leading up to this time we had walked away from God’s leading in our lives. There were lots of circumstances and feelings, but we made the choice to move away from God. So the pending birth of our first child was not a time of leaning on him. Rather it was a time of turmoil and uncertainty.
The joy and anticipation we should have been experiencing were instead replaced by preoccupation with a failing business and depression over difficult decisions we were making. When the doctors told us unexpectedly that our first child would be born at 25 weeks gestation, the news sent us running back to Him. Funny how a crisis does that. Sends us running back to the one who is our Protector and Defender. Michael often relayed to people how he went home the night before she was born and fell on his face begging God to take him instead of our baby and me.
When our first baby was born, 30 years ago today, she weighed 720 grams. 1 pound, 9 ounces. She was 13 inches long. Her prognosis for life was very poor and her expected quality of life was nonexistent. It was three days before I got to see her, to reach my hand in the isolette to touch her. But I did get to touch her and talk to her and tell her that I loved her.
With each passing day she surprised the doctors and nurses. She never had a setback or any of the many surgeries that so many preemies have. And though they continued to tell us not to expect much for her, God continued to show the doctors that He had other plans. After eleven weeks in the hospital, we brought her home. As time passed, she grew and begin to mark all the milestones that we see in childhood years. Then came the teenage years and she again went through all the typical highs and lows that adolescents endure. (She calls these the awkward years. Haha).
When she was in college one day we were having a conversation about what it would be like to lose a parent and she said one of the most beautiful things she’s ever said to me. “I couldn’t stand to lose one of you — there’s too much I need to learn from you.” (Music to a parent’s ears. Still makes my eyes leak.)
Do you know how big 720 grams is? Big enough to steal your heart and change your life forever. Big enough to redirect the path you were taking in life. Big enough to make you laugh and cry at the same time. Big enough to change you from a woman to a mom, and 30 years later to a grandmother.
Happy 30th Birthday Christy! I love you! And nothing you ever do and nothing that ever happens to you will change that.
Sent from my iPad