This blog post is part of a series that I began for telling our story. You can read the first post here.
The amazing NICU doctors got our daughter stabilized, but machines were part of the deal. Tubes, wires, leads, etc. came off of our daughter every which-way. We couldn’t hold her. And they needed to run so. many. tests. They knew she had an infection, but not what kind of infection. Blood work had shown nothing from two days prior, but now she was profoundly sick. So they did a lumbar puncture, which broke my poor mama heart. By early evening, she was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, and was in septic shock. We made the decision to baptize her that night. I did my best to snap a photo of the event, while holding two different cell phones with the speaker phone turned on. This allowed Samantha’s godparents to hear what was happening. If video chats had been a thing, I would have done that, but Face time didn’t exist yet.
Our sweet girl became a member of the family of God while laying in a NICU bed that was a hundred times her size, swollen from the IV’s pumping fluid and medicine into her tiny body, with an unknown bacteria raging through her body. Everyone who entered her room had to put on gowns and gloves in order to prevent spreading the bacteria, in case it was contagious. We could only have two guests in her room at any time, which was why godparents couldn’t be there (that, and two of the four were my sister and her husband, who had four little girls at home). We even had to use special water for the baptism! For the non-Lutherans out there, this is not typical for us. Any water will do for a baptism. BUT, it needed to be purified for her safety, so the chaplain on duty brought a small vial of purified water and a certificate for the baptism for us. I don’t know if she was Episcopal or Presbyterian or something else, but in times of crisis, it really doesn’t matter, does it?
I don’t know if I even realized at the time that she was baptized on Maundy Thursday. Something about the convergence of those two sacraments stays with me today…
Next post coming tomorrow.