I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately; watching families come and go from the hospital, observing mums and dads out with their babes. Being in a children’s hospital I see a higher than usual amount of kids with disabilities, or with special gear, and I watch these families as a unit and I wonder what steps they’ve already taken to find themselves where they are now. And then I see couples just out and about on the street, a perfectly healthy child in tow, and I wonder what steps they’ve already taken to get where they are now. Maybe that healthy child with them wasn’t always so healthy. Or maybe the parents spent years of their lives and thousands of their dollars trying just to conceive that child? How do I know what they’ve experienced in their quest for that happy, laughing child?
Now that Don and I have finally been given the all-clear to take Nyana out and about in her stroller, I’ve started wondering what people see when they see us three out for a stroll around the grounds. Do they see just the oxygen tank in the basket of her stroller, and the saturation monitor sitting on the footrest? Do they just see Nyana’s beautiful blue eyes and two adoring parents? Does anyone wonder what road we’ve walked, when they see us?
They don’t know anything about the month that I spent on bedrest in the hospital, or about the day at exactly 25 weeks when I was wheeled down to labour & delivery for monitoring because they thought my waters had broken, and Don and I put on our brave faces anyways.
This whole NICU adventure has been an eye opener in so many different ways. I like to think that after 208 days, I’ve learned a thing or two about myself and about the world. I hope that I’m not as quick to judge as I may have been this time last year, and I like to think I’ve done a good job at learning to pick my battles and learning to not sweat the petty things. I know we’ve come a long ways from where we started, but if you didn’t know where we’ve been and didn’t know anything about us, you wouldn’t see the sick Nyana with the crappy cystic lungs and the mum who’s come close to her breaking point more times than can be counted. No, all you’d see when you saw us is this:
And I’m more than OK with that.