My girlfriend gave birth last week to a baby girl at 23 weeks 5 days gestation…16 weeks 2 days short of full term. Four months early…FOUR MONTHS EARLY.
Jessa had open heart surgery today to close two holes in her heart which are common in micro-preemies. After surgery they are going to keep her sedated for a couple days to allow her tiny body to heal. Mom and dad have been warned that after surgery can be a time of turmoil for babies and that she may have a decline in the next couple days. Knowing it ahead of time is not going to make any of it easier…knowing is not going to lessen the stress felt by all the people who are already so in love with this little miracle.
The first thing I did when I found about the baby I asked Mom what she needed of me and offered tangible things. I could start a Caringbridge page, I could be the go-to person for people to contact with information, could I please start a fundraising page…
I am the main contributor to the Caringbridge page, Mom and dad call me with updates and I post and share on social media. I started a YouCaring fundraiser. I am organizing a supply drive for the Ronald McDonald House where they are staying while their baby is in the hospital.
…and yet I still feel so helpless…
And yet I know I wish somebody had done all of that for me…somewhat.
I posted all my own caring bridge entries. Mostly because I wanted it to be an accurate recording from my perspective of cancer. I do know that there were days I wish my family was here so my sister could post just exactly how sick I was and how desperately I needed people to be praying and loving on me. Those were the things I could not ask for. I could not ask for people to make sure I had food in my house…because I couldn’t eat much anyway. I couldn’t ask for people to clean my house because it was a disaster before I had cancer so I didn’t feel like I deserved help in that area.
I wish I had even one friend here I was close enough with to just show up and do things. Nobody knew me well enough to know that I would never ask. They just figured that if I needed something that I would ask.
I know that Jessa’s parents don’t even know where to begin when it comes to asking for help. The early part of any crisis is the time when you don’t even know what you don’t know. You have no idea what your needs are. That’s where they are right now.
Little Jessa Dawn needs continued prayers and support. Her parents need financial support as their home and family is just over two hours away from the hospital they are in.
I pray every day, several times a day for this little princess. The boys and I have had times where we just drop everything and pray for the baby, for the family, for the doctors, and for everybody else involved.
If you are interested in following her journey, you can join us at:
We see a miracle with Jessa’s every breath. We are so thankful for the opportunity to watch You show up and show off. We know it’s You…only You could get us this far.
Help us help Mom and Dad along this roller coaster of a journey. Speak to us and tell us their needs, help us meet their needs.
Continue to wrap them in love and grace and mercy throughout this journey as we all praise your great name.