Sunday, November 25, 2012

Grateful


[I've had this post saved for a few weeks...never got around to editing and posting it.]

Everywhere I look I'm seeing friends and family expressing their gratitude since it is November. It is a nice sentiment and a nice change from the electoral rhetoric. I'm not participating in a formal Instagram or Facebook challenge, but I am feeling very grateful.

Last week we spent 5 days in the hospital, well like 4.5 days. Our daughter ended up having her tonsils and adenoids removed to treat her sleep apnea (jury still out on whether it worked). Often that procedure is outpatient, but for children under 3 they like to keep them at least overnight to make sure they come off the anesthesia okay and are breathing and drinking well. Evie refused to drink, almost completely, for several days, so we stayed there while she received IV fluids and was coaxed with every fluid known to man. Finally on Friday she drank enough and they let us go home.

While there I was reminded how lucky we are to have a normally happy healthy Evie.

Her non-sleep has been brutal. Joe and I do feel as worn out as if we have 4 or 5 kids, we are at capacity. At times I have felt we are beyond capacity and parenting has not been exactly what we anticipated.

But we have never had to worry about her life expectancy or major physical or mental handicaps. And we certainly never had to deal with the heartache of losing a child. Of course, I was aware of this before. But in the face of my trial this abstract awareness did not make it easier, it only made it sad that so many of us are going through hard things.

But being at the hospital changed that. Seeing a neighbor following their baby up on an elevator, baby in a large incubator, not sure of when they'll get to take their baby home. Walking down the hall past doors with signs about oncology, bone marrow transplants, physical therapy, and all manner of very hard things--and this, in a children's hospital. Hearing them call a code blue over the intercom: it broke my heart and made me cry.

Our little person was in a lot of pain, yes. But she was going to make a full recovery. And if we were lucky she would be better than ever afterwards--she would sleep more, cry less, and her cheerful upbeat personality would shine through even more. I've never felt so lucky and blessed. To have a beautiful child, a healthy child, and to have access to the best medical care in the world to help address the one health issue she has.

It has been a hard week this week. We are tired. And watching our child go through so much pain has been difficult and guilt inducing. But for the first time in a long time I feel really grateful. I feel, not just that I should be grateful, but I actually feel grateful.

So this November while I am grateful for many things in our family's life, I am most grateful for a shift in perspective. I thought this year at Thanksgiving I would be saying "I'm so grateful that Evie can sleep now!" and my family would laugh and nod their heads. That outcome may still be true, but the miracle for me is that even with the outcome uncertain I already feel grateful. To have a healthy toddler. A smiley, cute one. A forgiving one, who loves me even when I have been so frustrated with her. One who giggles and snuggles up to me when she's in pain because I am her mommy.

It's a good life and I'm lucky to have it. I've always been lucky to have it, but this year I'm grateful to be feeling lucky, peaceful, and full of a thankful heart. I should have felt this way all along, but I'll take an improved perspective anytime...better late than never.

6 little remarks:

Kacey said...

What a sweet post, Anna. We all forget sometimes just how much we have to be grateful for. I am so glad you have a healthy, smiley Evie...and hopefully a good sleeper in the near future, too. :)

Ali said...

Beautiful.

Tannie Datwyler said...

Oh Anna, this is just so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Jessie said...

What they said. :) I remember feeling the same way when Cailin had RSV. There were so many sick babies... way sicker than my child (though hers could've been bad if untreated). We are so lucky, indeed.

Malinovka said...

Love this post!

Emily S said...

Primary's is completely overwhelming in every way . . . cannot expound. Hope Evie is all better in every way!

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