Wednesday, December 5, 2012

don't wish it away

This is mostly me writing a letter to myself. A pep talk. A reminder.

I came across the cutest picture of Jack the other day that I had forgotten about.

How cute was he here!? His little blue striped sweater. His piercing blue eyes. His curly hair. Love everything about it.

I can tell I am happy in this picture because we are out and about, not under RSV isolation. This was Jack's first summer out in public. We are at church. Just the simple things. The things you take for granted unless they are taken away from you. But I know under this happy smile is an anxious spirit. Worry that only a mother of a medically fragile baby could understand.

When I think back on the first year or two of Jack's life, I have a hard time not remembering the struggle, the anxiety, the depression. Sure, we were filled with indescribable relief about the very fact that Jack was alive. But it was not easy. We were grieving our old dreams that were sure to not come true and replacing them with new ones. The new dreams for our son. But do we even dare to dream?

The if only's...

The what will it look like?...

The please, God, please...

Now (with a couple years under my belt and in a much healthier place emotionally) when I see this picture, I wish I could tell myself this - Don't wish away the precious, beautiful days, where oftentimes it's hard to see past the struggle. 

I remember spending so much time when Jack was little wishing, hoping, praying, worrying, and willing him to be healthy, to meet milestones, to skip certain diagnosis's. I was so afraid. My baby wouldn't eat. He could have a shunt malfunction. He could die from RSV. He may never walk or talk.

Here's the kicker - I wish I could have just relaxed. Cherished the moments, the struggle, all of it. The days go so quickly (even when is seems each second is dragging by). The seconds are perfect for cuddling.

I remember thinking things like "just wait until Jack can sit up on his own". Yes, life was easier once certain things were accomplished, but my worry, my stress, my anxiety did nothing but just add those negative emotions to my already volatile state.

Don't wish the seconds away, mama. Yes, you can wish the pain away, but that won't make time go any faster.

Even today, when I plead with God - please, just let me hear Jack's precious little voice say "mama". When I plead with God that Jack would just take a drink. When I worry about how he will learn in school. All those things and more. Don't wish these days away, even if they are filled with struggle. Jack will get to where he needs to be. I can still dream things for my boy. But I can't get back a single second.
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amy said...

Just said those words today...I konw better because of the big kids - Ryan was the chance for me to STOP and just "be" with him. The worrying doesn't change our situation - only our ability to find joy.

Anonymous said...

By far your BEST post.

Bethany said...

Beautiful thoughts... and so easy to forget. Thank you for reminding me.

Tatum said...

Really beautiful and a great reminder, Jessi.

Anonymous said...

Needed this today. Single mom of 28 weeker twins. Going through it all alone, I did this....."wait til they can hold their own bottle" etc. At 22 months i still have anxiety in an elevator or the pediatricians office. Now I am having a hard time with my sister having a perfectly normal birth at this very moment. She is 7cm and I have no idea what that's like. I have no idea what its like to not worry and to go through a natural normal birth. I have been worrying since I was told twins. Thank you for reminding me that I need to knock it off.

Nicole said...

What I needed to read today. Just about a month out from my son's 97 day NICU and struggling a bit.

So thank you for posting this.


Anonymous said...

Beautifully written! Will try and take your advice!!! Our little man woke up with a cough this morning! Can't help but wonder if I'm supposed to pick up from Daycare or just let him be. He's 18 months old, 14 corrected. We never stop worrying!