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Seeing Mommy Mary At Work, Part 3

alec vanderboom

(Read Part One and Part Two).

Telling this beautiful story always makes me cry!

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Last year, our seemingly healthy six day old newborn suddenly ended at Children's National Hospital in downtown Washington, D.C. As soon as we found out that Baby Tess needed to be transferred, my husband drove our car to the new hospital. (Because I had just had a c-section and still couldn't drive, I ended up being the parent who rode in the ambulance with our baby). My husband arrived at the new hospital least an hour before me and had lots of time to talk to the new doctors.


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When I got into Tessy's hospital room, my husband told me some very grave news. Tessy's birth defect was commonly linked to other serious problems in the heart and the brain. The doctors at Children's Hospital would be screening for all sorts of really awful complications.

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In a gesture completely opposite to the pattern of our ten year marriage, I put my hand on my husband's shoulder with an attitude of complete trust. "We are NOT going to cross those bridges until we come to them. Right now, we just have one diagnosis. That's enough. We're not going to worry about anything else until the doctors tell us that we have reason to worry."

As soon as I said those words, I looked out the NICU window--


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there was my Mom's house! The Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It felt like Mary was right there in person, putting her hand on top of mine and saying "that's right Abby! That's the right attitude to take!"

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Because my kid's body was nutty, we ended up moving NICU rooms like 10 times. Yet we could ALWAYS see the shrine from Tessy's new hospital room. (We never ended up in one of the many, many rooms without this specific view). That visual connection to the Shrine during Tessy's three week NICU stay was so comforting!

I promised that when we got Tess out of the Children's Hospital, our first stop would be to the Shrine. Here's a picture of me saying "thank you!".

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Thank you, Mommy Mary!