In the months leading up to my daughter’s birth, I was anxious. Both of her sisters took nearly two weeks to make it home from the hospital. The emotional drain of maintaining two households, even for just that short period of time, weighed heavily on me. 2020 is a year unlike any other. The last thing that I wanted was a two week hospital stay in the middle of the pandemic. So I took it up in prayer.
I developed a very specific intention, outlining precisely what it is that I wanted: a safe delivery, admission to the well baby floor, and a quick discharge. For 54 days, I prayed a rosary every day for that intention. I offered Masses and prayers throughout my day. It was my single focus.
As the delivery drew closer and my novena wound down, I felt the need to humble myself. It was my deepest desire for my family to be together and home recovering quickly, but not if she truly needed help. I reminded myself, and prayed, for God’s Will to be done, not my own.
Waiting in the hospital, I felt myself losing control. I was minutes away from seeing whether or not my prayer would be answered. As I felt myself spiral, I brought myself back to prayer. It was the moment of truth.
Veronica arrived, and immediately was doing better than her sisters. She still needed help. I prayed more. They took her over to intensive care on a six hour observation clock. If she improved, she could avoid admission. If she didn’t turn the corner, it was another long admission.
They got Veronica all set up in her room. I turned off the lights, pulled the shades, and turned on some soft music. I sat down by her bed and held her hand. There, in her first hour of life, we prayed the rosary aloud together.
As it happened, the hospital was so busy that they had no room for Alison, so they brought her over to us. It’s not protocol, and typically isn’t allowed, but it happened. It was then that God showed us His power.
Hour by hour, she grew stronger. By the sixth hour, she was cleared to go to the well baby floor. Two days later, we were all heading home.
Throughout this process, I struggled with doubt, with anxiety, and with disbelief. What is trusting God, what is testing Him? These are very human experiences with prayer. God knows our hearts, He can read us better than we even know ourselves.
I didn’t pray the 54 day novena perfectly, but I did pray it faithfully. God is waiting to show us His power, if only we’ll give Him enough room to work.