November 2011: Life, Unexpected

This entry was posted on Jun 13 2012, by Tina and is filed under Newsletter Archive

Family Camp Update


Here in the Canyon, we are winding down to our last Family Camp of the year. We’ve had a full year of families sharing smiles, reconnecting, and growing closer in their relationships with each other and God. The holiday season can be a time of wonderment for some and a source of stress for others. We encourage you to set aside your expectations for the way things should go and, instead, focus on pressing into God and each other.

We hope to see you in the Canyon soon.


Life, Unexpected

by Mandy Gramkow

I remember the stillness in the room in the moments after the NICU team whisked our Sweet Beckett away. Time stopped. Ben and I didn’t look at each other; we just looked straight at the wall ahead and wept. A well-meaning nurse offered congratulations, but honestly, that was the last thing we wanted to hear. This wasn’t supposed to be this way.

All we wanted was a full-term, chunky baby…or at least a baby past the twenty-eight week mark when our daughter Ellie was born. We had just begun preparing for the anxiety that would come with week twenty-eight; twenty-five weeks wasn’t even on our radar. And when the contractions came, all we wanted was for them to stop. I remember Ben dropping his head to my shoulder weeping as we heard Beckett’s first cry. This wasn’t supposed to be this way.

Beckett is perfect, but he doesn’t look like other babies. With little fat on his body, he is skin on bones. We can see his veins through his knuckles. We can’t see his face because of the CPAP. His skin is shiny, sticky, and transparent. His head and nose are moldable and distorted from the breathing accessories. I hate to admit that I am hesitant to share pictures because he just looks so weak. Here I am, his mom, making excuses for one of God’s most beautiful creations. I struggle to accept all of this; it just wasn’t supposed to be this way.

But each day I spend with him, I fall more and more in love. God has shown me that Beckett is much more than what I thought he was supposed to be. He cries to let me know that his lungs are still working. He wraps his fingers around my pinky to let me know that he can feel my touch. His heart rate calms down when we snuggle skin to skin. I can see that his chin is just like his daddy’s. He peeks his eyes open to me when I talk to him through his isolette. He curls up his feet under his bum, and it fits ever so perfectly in the palm of my hand when I hold him on my chest. I didn’t think it was supposed to be this way, but now I know.

You are supposed to be our miracle.

And I am supposed to share Your Story.

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