Miracle Baby


Heal his brain.
Heal his body.
Heal his brain.
Heal his body.
Heal his brain…

Again and again I prayed this mantra over the sedated body of Dawson Jace, our newest grandson. His barely-breathing body had been delivered, via emergency C-section; from his mamma who had suffered a placental abruption. He was alive but listless and hardly responsive, having been deprived oxygen for an undetermined amount of time. Early tests showed signs of an undetermined amount of damage to his brain.

IMG_6497So for three days, we circled Dawson’s neo-natal crib and waited while he lay on a cooling pad—as a means of preventing any further brain damage—his body exposed to the cold hospital air and bereft of the skin-to-skin touch his parents longed to give him. The closest we could get to him was to lean over the crib and place our arms around his little body and sing to him … talk to him … pray over him.

And I did, as long as my legs and back would let me. Longer, even.

The various sounds of the EKG and other monitors provided rhythms for my anxious prayers.

Heal his brain.
Heal his body.
Heal his brain.
Heal his body.
Heal his brain…

9AD16B3A-FCE7-487D-A5E3-3062A7D54E09The deep and abiding grandparent energy in that room was strong! We filled in the gaps when his parents could not be in there and hovered nearby when they could. Word of his condition quickly spread; soon people from all over were praying for our little baby.

Finally, he was taken off the cooling pad, heated up (much like a convenience store burrito is warmed under a lamp), dressed, and was finally placed in the arms of his parents. We Three Grands held him every opportunity we could, for as long as we could.

For my part, I snuggled him closely, settling into my hallmark dad bounce, and talked to him…told him how much we loved him…told him about his daddy and how much his Granny Toots would have loved him…told him someday we would go to the park and play. I read him Hop on Pop and Green Eggs and Ham and Guess How Much I Love You. I sang to him. And of course, I took selfies.

Earnestly, I prayed:

Heal his brain.
Heal his body.
Heal his brain.
Heal his body.
Heal his brain…

Today, that baby—our little Dawson Jace—turns one year old.

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Neurological tests indicate little evidence of the trauma his brain suffered. But one doesn’t need these tests to realize that our little miracle baby has thrived since his three days on a cooling pad hooked up to more tech than a space shuttle. Though he will still be monitored for some time to come, Dawson has continued to develop in a way that we feared for a time he would be unable to: he’s perfectly normal.

With gratitude for science and the talent and skill of physicians and nurses…for folks who joined us in prayer…for his parents who care for him, followed doctors’ orders, and made sure he was meeting milestones…for the love of nearby grandmothers and aunts and uncles and cousins….I am filled with overwhelming joy as I write this post on his first birthday.

Rejoicing, I pray over him (though from a distance), again and again:

Your brain was healed.
Your body was healed.
Your brain was healed.
Your body was healed.
Your brain…was healed.

Thank you, God, for healing our little Dawson Jace.

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