Fear, Gratitude, and Parenthood
Do you ever have those moments where you see how things could have gone? How life could have diverged at a certain point in a way that might have changed everything?
Especially since becoming a parent, I feel this so keenly. With half my heart walking around on her own, I feel so much more vulnerable to heartbreak.
Serena was sick for the entirety of March, and in the hospital for 10 days. She has completely recovered now except for a little extra clinginess and a refusal to sleep in her own room, but I am still feeling punched in the gut by the whole experience. Mainly I am now feeling so incredibly lucky that we live down the street from a world-class hospital, that she was able to get such good care, and that we have good health insurance to cover most of the expenses. How to reconcile all the what-ifs, and how to not worry about every little fever going forward — that I haven’t figured out.
I read somewhere that the struggle of being a parent is making sure the joy outweighs the worry. And there is so. much. joy. But the possibility of so much worry too. I don’t want that joy to be eclipsed by anything else.
So, a few things I am grateful for this spring:
for antibiotics, sterile ORs, skilled surgeons, and MRI machines.
for my feisty girl, who has such curiosity and boundless energy, and such a kind, sweet soul.
for all the doctors who gave her such great care while also taking the extra time to talk to her, give her stickers, and let her warm up to them before they examined her yet again.
for all the nurses who supported us, played peek-a-boo, brought extra cheerios, and made us all smile.
for my husband who spent each night with our babe sleeping in the crook of his arm, taking care of all the tubes and wires.
for the family who visited, bearing books, snuggles, extra clothes, and coffee.
for the dad in the elevator whose child had been at the hospital for months and who still took the time to share his tips with me — thank you for your generosity of spirit, and I am thinking of you.
for the ability to be at home with our healthy baby, looking forward to spring.
for the chance to make the joy far outweigh the worry.
Anyone else have a similar experience, or advice to share? I would love to hear…