Today eight years ago I gave birth to our first born child, Barron Christian Battles. It is a day I will never forget. It was a joyous and beautiful day for Justin and I. Even though the birth experience was a bit traumatic with the cord being wrapped around Barron’s neck which caused him being born lifeless and blue. Within a few hours of birth after receiving some oxygen Barron appeared normal and healthy. We were both released from the hospital a day and half later. We began our life as a family of three.
Unfortunately, Barron didn’t even make it to his first birthday. At just two weeks old he appeared weak and wouldn’t nurse. We took him to the emergency room and shortly thereafter he was admitted to a children’s hospital an hour and a half from home. When we brought him to the hospital that morning I honestly believed they were just going to a refer us to a lactation consultant. I thought because he had stopped breastfeeding that is why he became weak.
That admission to the hospital was ten days. It was awful not knowing exactly what was wrong with our baby. All I could think and pray was for a diagnosis that wasn’t too severe. In the end it was the most severe diagnosis a child can get. It was a diagnoisis of SMA I (Spinal Muscle Atrophy). At that time, without any cure available, SMA I was a death sentence. The average lifespan for a baby diagnosed with SMA I was five months. Our son lived only eight weeks.
To say that time was heartbreaking, life shattering, and awful would be understating things. Words cannot express the pain and anguish felt when your child dies. We made it through that horrible dark time in our life. God brought us through the other side. It was God’s strength that I depended on every day to keep functioning and trying to doing His will. Our marriage not only survived, but thrived in the years to come because of the hardships we had been through. Did I mention we got pregnant ten days after we were married? Our first born child was birthed and died in our first year of marriage. Only God can take that kind of heartache and make a marriage stronger.
Now here we are, eight years later, on the exact day he was born. It is a bittersweet day. We miss him greatly, but feel blessed that we even got to have our angel baby for a short time here on this earth. I know that we will be reunited in heaven someday. That promise alone makes my heart smile. However, I am still human and miss my child. He would have turned eight today. I try not to think about what he would have looked like, what he would have been learning in school, what he would have wanted for his birthday, or what sports he would have been practicing tonight. Those things were not in the plan for his life. He skipped it all and went to heaven. He is alive with our Savior and is basking in the glory of God right now. I know that he does not suffer or feel pain in heaven, for which I am grateful. But on days like today I still miss my child and yearn for him to be here with us.
I trust in God to heal my heart today. The wound that I felt was healed, is still there. The scar will always be there and on days like today the wound feels a bit fresh again. God can take my pain, give me strength, and will get me through today. I know that I am not the only one who experiences these birthdays, anniversaries, and dates of remembrance that bring about fresh pain. I am sorry others feel this pain as well. Turn to God and He can help your heart on these difficult days. How do I know? Because scripture says so and He has helped me so many, many times before.
Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”