My First Parenting Lesson Was a Hard One

I carried my bundled baby into the pediatrician’s office that bitter January morning, at the telephone advice of the lactation consultant. Dr. L took one look at my 10 day old baby and blurted out, “She’s blue. Either she’s a cardiac baby or she has RSV.” He gently took her from my arms and began to listen to her heart and lungs.

I knew something was wrong. 2 days earlier, I had taken her to my family doctor because she had a stuffy nose. He passed it off as normal newborn stuffiness. Nothing to worry about. Not only was I a new and inexperienced mother, I was still a fairly new nurse. I graduated from nursing school only 2 years earlier and got a job on the maternity unit at our local hospital. I worked with newborn babies, but I didn’t work with sick babies. I trusted his judgment.

The next night she wouldn’t wake up to eat. I was getting worried. We stripped her down to a diaper and rubbed wet washcloths all over her tiny body but she still wouldn’t wake up.

My mind raced as I remembered lectures in nursing school about nasal flaring and retractions as signs of respiratory distress. Mary Jane was starting to show these signs. To the untrained eye, it was almost imperceptible. I questioned my nursing assessment, thinking I was just being a paranoid new mother. The blueish tint around her mouth was the last straw. Normal newborn stuffiness? Not anymore. I called the hospital and talked to the lactation consultant. She spoke to Dr. L and he told me to bring her in right away.

We immediately ended up in the ER, with oxygen and IV fluids. Test results showed RSV (a respiratory virus) and ruled out any cardiac complications. She spent a day in the Pediatric Unit at our local community hospital, under the oxygen tent. She showed little improvement. The doctors decided they were not the best equipped to treat her and would be dispatching the Life Lion helicopter to transport her to Hershey Medical Center, 30 miles away. We would not be able to fly with her.

Up until this point, I had not been separated from my baby. Those 30 miles were traumatic and distressing. We were praying and crying all the way.

The next few days were touch and go. Her oxygen levels remained low and no one could reassure us that everything was going to be ok. As Brian and I wrestled with the uncertainty of the outcome of this situation, we came to a desperate place where we were able to release her to God. To trust that she was in his hands and that it was all under his control.

After many restless nights sitting by her little crib, watching oxygen saturation and heart monitors, pumping lots of breast milk, tears all spent, Mary Jane’s oxygen levels began to improve. Within a week of being admitted, we were able to go home.

What a relief to be back home again! We eventually settled into a rhythm and got used to life with a new baby. We left Hershey, changed. A deep gratitude for the recovery of our baby girl – and the lesson in trust.

ronically, God is gently reminding me of this very first parenting lesson in trust. Now that she has her drivers license, I find myself worrying about her safety when she is out and about. I am guilty of fear and not trusting that God still has her (and each of my other children) in the palm of his hand. I am reminded in my anxiety over my children’s safety, that God has ordained every hour/day of our lives.

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Matthew 6:27

How about you? Do you have situations that you are having a hard time trusting God’s goodness? Let me say a prayer for both of us.

“God, we know in our heads that you are a good God, a good Father.

We know that you are sovereign and supreme and that your eyes watch over our coming and our going both now and forevermore (Psalm 121:8).

Sometimes we need to be reminded of your track record.

You have always been faithful.

You have always come alongside me, in one way or another.

You have used the hands of people to comfort in times of grief.

You have used the mouths of people to encourage in times of discouragement.

You have poured out your Holy Spirit of healing in times of pain.

Do it again, Lord.

We bring our desperate situations before you and ask for your intervention.

We want to see you move.

We want to experience the peace that surpasses all understanding,

guarding our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).”

In Jesus name,



This article originally appeared at

Mamas: When You’re Buried, Here’s Why You Don’t Have to Dig Out

Wanda Stauffer
Wanda began writing as a tween in the aftermath of her mother’s death and continued writing during the illness and death of her father. By age 20, both of Wanda’s biological parents had died. During times of crisis, writing was a lifeline to process feelings and thoughts. Today, Wanda uses writing to offer encouragement to women stuck in hard places. What she wants most is for Jesus to use her stories of God’s faithfulness during difficult seasons of life to instill hope in struggling women. Follow Wanda's writing at

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