Christmas Memory: My Silent Night

The beeping of the monitors in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit was the only Christmas music I remember hearing that year. My husband and I had wanted children for so many years and finally our first little guy had arrived. He was tiny, handsome and healthy. Seeing him for the first time in the intensive care unit nearly took my breath away. I had been on bed rest for months trying everything I could to have a healthy baby. He was still born premature. The doctor told us it would likely be weeks before we were able to bring him home. It was not the Christmas season we had expected.

There are two special memories I recall from that Christmas. I remember one day in particular. It was the 23rd of December and the NICU was quiet and still. There were less than a handful of babies in the room, and just the faint shuffle of nurses attending to them. Snow was softly falling out the window and I knew the time was drawing near for me to put my sweet little baby back in his nursery crib. I straightened out all of the cords and equipment that he was attached to. I held him close to me longing for more time with him. From down the hall I heard the most beautiful version of Silent Night that I could ever imagine. A string quartet had come to the hospital to cheer up the patients. I held my little baby close as a tear rolled down my cheek. I softly kissed him goodbye and went home for the evening, as I had been doing every day for the past two weeks. It was so hard to leave this little guy that we had wanted for so long, and that had been with me for almost eight months straight. Every morning and every evening my husband and I would make the twenty minute commute to and from the hospital. We would check with the doctors on a daily basis to get an update on the progress of our baby. I couldn’t imagine waking up on Christmas morning without him.

On December 25, 2004 we woke up to the emptiest house. It was worse than Whoville. Our tree had not been decorated that year. My husband dragged it upstairs and stuck it in the corner that was about all the pep we had. We continued on with the usual routine. We opened a few presents from family in a quick rush and then dashed out the door. We spent the day with our sweet baby in the hospital. We checked again with the doctor to see if this might be the day we get to bring him home. The answer was still no, he’s not quite ready. We reluctantly left him there with the nurses while we continued on with the usual Christmas family festivities. We had stopped by my parents’ house for dinner, and then it was over to my in-laws for dessert.

We finished dessert and we were taking family pictures when my husband’s cell phone rang. It was the doctor. Our little baby’s condition had improved, and if we would like to we could come and pick him up. We could not believe it! It was a Christmas I will never forget. Sitting by our undecorated Christmas tree holding the little guy we had waited so long for. There is not a Christmas that goes by without completely being thankful for my family. Whenever I hear the melody of Silent Night, it still makes me cry.

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