There are so many things that have hit my five senses in the passed few weeks, it’s easy to start to feel a bit numb, and just adjust. We are going on the sixteenth day of Skyler’s hospitalization, and while so much of it is a blur, there are several things that I’ve learned or realized, or been reminded of. These are things that I never want to forget. So I’m writing a reminder to myself. In no particular order:
1) The smell of my baby’s skin. Whether freshly bathed or sweaty, I love her smell. In the PICU, we had to wear those masks while in her room, and all you could ever smell was the material of the mask. I cheated a few times, because how can a mother be blocked from nuzzling her baby and breathing in that sweet, musky scent of her skin? But now in the regular room where we don’t have to “dress up,” I just can’t keep my nose out of her face.
2) All the images of Ronnie with Skyler. It’s just magical. He is her everything when they are together.
3) The sound of Skyler’s cry. For a few days after surgery, she was silent. Her lungs weren’t capable of helping her produce a voice. You could see her crying, but couldn’t hear it. The first weak noises didn’t even sound like her. Once she had her voice back, the sound of her cry was like music. It was a sign of health and life.
4) No matter how bad it seems, there is always a worse situation. There is no other place like a children’s hospital to really drive this one home. Life’s ups and downs are so relative!
5) There is always joy to be found. Sometimes it takes awhile and can be difficult to find, but it’s there. Remember Catherine, the 5-year-old with the bullet in her head. Her mom and dad told me that one night in the waiting room as we discussed the many stages of the “PICU experience.” Even their daughter, still in a coma, could laugh and smile in her deep sleep. That joy for her became joy to her parents.
6) Friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers will rise up with jaw-dropping encouragement, support, and prayers when we’re having a rough time. We have been absolutely humbled and fascinated by how so many people, both close and far, have responded to this time in our life. We never want to forget this, and we hope that we can “pay it forward” as they say, someday down the line when someone we know finds themselves in a tough predicament. I would love it if the secretary angel above could send me a count of all the people that have been praying for Skyler in the past few weeks. What a number that would be!
7) The feeling of rocking Skyler on my chest. We were unable to hold her for a few days after surgery, and even now, I feel really awkward handling her. But once I can get comfortable with her on my chest, all I can say is “ahhhh.This is the way life should be.”