When Nicholas was born he suffered a brachial plexus injury or Erb’s Palsy which caused his left arm to be paralyzed. He has been doing remarkably well, recovering lots of movement and even being released from his weekly therapy sessions. Most people can not even tell that he has this injury.
However, over the last several weeks Mark and I have begun to notice some poor habits developing. It is very difficult for babies/children with Erb’s Palsy or brachial plexus injuries to turn their palm toward their body and this is what we have been noticing with Nicholas.
In order to get food into his mouth, he is often ‘helping’ his left hand by pushing it with his right. He is also having some difficulties with crawling.
Before Nicholas was born, my prayer was that during the birth I would accept what God would have for me in terms of the birth. I tend to have difficult births and realized that often during birth I am not happily willing to go through what God has ordained for me, rather I often wonder why it must be so hard and am not content with my lot.
Nicholas’ birth was one of my most difficult (6 hours of confirmed transition), but it was also different. I felt God’s presence and peace more clearly than before. I KNEW that each contraction was sent from God for my good and for His glory and I was able to accept (almost) each one with contentment. I was learning to trust that God knew best, or so I thought.
After the birth we learned that Nicholas’ right arm had been broken and his left paralyzed. As we realized the extent of Nick’s injuries I began to rebel, I wanted to be angry, to blame someone. “Why did this have to happen to my baby,” I thought. All the while arguing with myself that it is ONLY his arm, other families deal with much, much worse, but “this is hard”, I argued back, “I don’t want him to have surgery or be handicapped”, and then the other side would remember, ” you have eight healthy children. Who do you think you are? You, have earned death and hell and have been pardoned and blessed beyond measure, how dare you be dissatisfied with God’s plan for this baby.”
And then it dawned on me I was not learning, I didn’t want to learn to accept God’s good providence. I was fighting against God’s plan for us. As I began to accept that this was part of who God wanted Nicholas to be and as I learned to view Nick’s injury as part of God’s plan, I realized that it was for me also, to help teach me to rest in my loving Savior.
God has been gracious to Nicholas and to his mommy. He has had an amazing recovery. Most of the experts expect him to have minimal, if any, long term affects. So here we are reminded again of God’s mercy to us, humbled that we so quickly forget , and going back to therapy to make sure Nicholas is still on the right path.