It’s been a tough few days for Mum and Dad here in Nyanaland. For the past few days, Don and I have been feeling a growing frustration taking over, creeping in from the smallest of cracks in our armour. It started with simple muttered comments about strangers on the street—“Why is she only wearing tights? Where are her pants?? That’s not pants!”—and progressed to us taking humorous jabs at each other, jabs that in reality weren’t that humorous at all. By the time we found ourselves at Nyana’s bedside last night, we were each feeling just bitter and jaded about, well, everything. Not at all a frame of mind to be in when staring down at a two and a half pound baby.
We’re probably feeling oversensitive about just about everything these days, but two or three days of pretty indifferent nurses has really taken a toll on us. We’re starting to wonder if we’ve forgotten the secret password for the NICU, the magic question we’re supposed to ask before the medical team starts having more in-depth conversations with us about her care. If when they say the morning rounds at 9am are optional, they really mean, “well, they are optional, but we’ll treat you like a second-class parent if you’re not here for them”. We’re almost feeling at times that we’re being pushed aside, and then feeling like we’re feeling irrational for feeling that way.
We came home from the hospital feeling a bit better after our Nyana fix. I booted my laptop and soon found myself reading back through earlier posts. I opened my Nyana folder, and scrolled through our photos of her, all three hundred of them. I can’t believe how different she looks today compared to three weeks ago. I remember how the day she was born, I was almost afraid to love her, because she looked so fetal and so fragile. I remember how scared we were for her and for what tomorrow might bring. And so it amazes me to see how far we—and she—have come.
It’s not surprising that a bit of quiet reflection on where we’ve come from made me feel better about where we’re going. It’s difficult sometimes when you’re in the thick of the fight to see the big picture. But I know that we’re moving forward, however stagnant and dejected we may feel right now. And I know that we’re all in the right place, however strange it may feel at the moment. Sometimes you just need a different perspective to see things more clearly.