Yesterday in the early morning my husband, Emily and I made our way through the snow and rush hour traffic to the local Children's Hospital to have Emily's tonsils and adenoids removed. To many this is a very routine surgery and the kids get to go home the same day or may stay overnight for monitoring in a regular hospital room. But for Emily this surgery resulted in a required overnight stay in the PICU due to her medical complexities. I was fine with this since I always want to make sure that Emily is safe and that she does not have an adverse reaction to anything that she may have been given during surgery. However, this particular hospital stay really hit me emotionally for many reasons.
The first is that Emily spent roughly a month in the NICU at this same hospital, so every time I walked down the hallways to the cafeteria or even just to venture out of the PICU I was overcome with the emotions of helplessness that I felt when Emily was in the NICU. Secondly, the ICU is never a pleasant play to stay as there are always situations where someone's life is barely holding on and the level of intensity can be felt the minute you walk through the doors. The final reason it was so emotional for me is there were at least three babies that very much reminded me of Emily when she was in the PICU holding on for dear life. As I watched these babies and their parents come to visit with such looks of helplessness, confusion, hurt, and joy on their faces I was immediately taken back to Emily's very challenging first three months of life in the hospital.
I wanted so badly to go over and talk to the new parents and tell them congratulations on their baby boy or girl. I wanted to let them know that even though they might not feel it now, they will someday look back on this hospital stay and be in awe that their child is such a fighter and how far they have come. I wanted so bad to tell them that their child is such an amazing gift to both them and the world and that he/she will changes the lives of the many people that they come across. I wanted to tell them that I "get it". But when you are the parent in that challenging situation the last thing that you want to hear other than "congratulations" and "all will be fine" is what I wanted to tell each one of them. So silently I said this poem to each one of the families I witnessed......
On the day your child was born they gifted the world,
A smile, a laugh, their courage could be felt.
Tiny hands and feet with a smell so sweet,
Their challenges in life will end with their defeat.
Though they may not walk, talk or feed them self,
It really won't matter for their love will always be felt.
A child whose life begins with a bang,
Will only bring joy, love and change.
Although the change may be hard at times,
You will realize the change is necessary sometimes.
Your friends may not "get it" and may even fade,
But the friendships you'll soon meet you'll never want to trade.
Life is a journey some hard and some fast,
But make sure you look forward and not at the past.
Your child is a gift that you have the pleasure to know,
And life is a journey that gives us gifts to help us grow.
So keep you head up and never look back,
For life is a journey so jump over those cracks.
Congratulations on your bundle of joy,
And know the world has been gifted by your girl or boy!
Every sunrise brings forth a new day and new life. Every sunset brings closure and hope for a new beginning.