Back ♥ Home = happy place (physically & mentally)
Bridges = help us get there
Spoiler Alert: This story has a Happy Ending!!
Someone posted the illustration below on FB the other day and it really hit home with me.
Since having my three kids, I will admit I have never spent more time on my knees praying for their protection and well being.
Even before I had kids, I always felt the most disturbing scene in a movie was when Shirley Maclaine’s character is pleading for pain medication for her dying daughter in Terms of Endearment.
OMG, I can’t even post the actual clip here, because it literally tears my heart right out.
The Fact is, when it comes to Our Children it seems
Worry and Love
are synonymous and synergistic.
Then again, I grew-up in a Sicilian/Spanish family, so I’m not sure if that increases the intensity of this synergistic effect.
This all got me thinking about an important story in my life.
I delivered my third child, a daughter, the day before Thanksgiving. It was my third C-section and this one was very complicated and difficult. But, there were many reasons why she was my miracle baby.
I remember every moment of her First Thanksgiving dinner…
I was filled with gratitude as my precious baby girl and I snuggled together in our hospital bed. She rested peacefully in my arms feasting on mama’s milk, while I looked forward to every delicious pump of my Morphine drip.
And back home, my parents were having the full Thanksgiving dinner I had prearranged (from Wegman’s Catering) with my two young sons and husband (now, ex)… whom I will call “Hex”.
Before the family came to see us following their pumpkin pie dessert, in walked my favorite nurse to see how we were doing.
I don’t remember her name, but I will call her: Madea because… She. Was. Madea.
God, I LOVED her!! She was AWESOME, Funny and Protective.
On the day of my daughter’s delivery, Madea overheard Hex bragging about the important 10-day business trip to South Africa he’d be leaving for in less than a week, and how cool it was going to be…blah, blah, blah.
This really ticked Madea off, and she confronted him about… this not being the time to leave his wife at home with a new baby and two other kids ???
Madea… Was. Not. A. Fan. Of. Hex. and she was not shy about her disdain. Every time they ended up in the hospital room together, it was downright entertaining to see her behavior.
The day we left the hospital, I wish I had a tape recorder for the tongue-lashing she gave Hex. It didn’t phase him one bit, but I stifled my laughter so many times, I almost popped my C-section staples.
My parents were going to stay and help me take care of everything when Hex was gone. I was having a particularly painful recovery and then one night (just 2 nights before Hex was supposed to leave) we noticed the baby had a fever.
A fever at less than a week old requires a trip to the Emergency Room and I just about lost it.
Hex, my dad and I took her in, and after some preliminary tests… our fears were confirmed. Her fever was bacterial, and if she didn’t get IV antibiotics and the source of the infection quickly found… she could die. At the very least she would be admitted to the hospital for a minimum of three days.
Well, (even though this diagnosis might not have been deserving of such a response) I’m pretty sure I was channeling Shirley Maclaine’s scene in Terms of Endearment as I was on the ER hallway payphone trying to explain what was going on to my mom.
I would guess those viewing this conversation, may have thought everyone I had ever loved, had been wiped out in some horrific accident.
Even though it was 9:00 pm, my second phone call was to our priest who came right over and blessed our baby girl with holy water held in a hospital styrofoam cup.
I will never forget how grateful I was for his presence during (what I believed to be) the worst moment of my life.
I silently prayed to God (as I had been doing from the moment that thermometer showed a fever) and suddenly, I felt calm.
Sure, I was still worried to death, but I knew she was in the Palm of God’s Hand and I felt a sense of peace.
I told Hex he should probably call his boss and explain the situation. He said, since my parents were already in town to help, he felt comfortable still leaving on his trip. (over 8,000 MILES away from US!!!).
I wanted to march right up to the Maternity Ward to see if Madea was on duty and bring her down to the ER with me, because I knew this was a fight I couldn’t deal with.
Luckily, my dad who had been a tower of strength for me during this whole ordeal… suggested Hex just make the phone call to at least “inform” his boss about what was going on.
When Hex returned from making the phone call, he looked terribly disappointed.
He said his boss told him… To. Stay. In. Town. That his family needed him now, and the company would simply send someone else.
I wasn’t sure if I was glad or sad with this new revelation because, as serious tests (like a spinal tap for god-sake!!!) were being performed on our little baby, it was obvious his mind was somewhere else.
It was after midnight when we were finally moved up into a private hospital room. My dad drove back home and Hex and I accompanied our baby.
In the room there was one metal crib and two reclining chairs. Hex took one look at that chair and immediately asked a cot be brought in for him because… He. Could. Not. Sleep. In. A. Chair.
The kind (and now bewildered) nurse said, as soon as they got the baby settled… she would address his needs.
It was late. I was still very sore post-C-op, and with tubes and wires now attached to our little baby, it made nursing her quite a challenge. I’ll never forget… there was Hex, laying on his cot, with his blankets pulled up to his chin.
And while I struggled to lean into her crib, so I could feed our baby… he asked me to “turn off the lights” as they were too bright and keeping him awake.
That night I asked him to go home in the morning and please send my mother to the hospital.
For the next two nights, my mother helped me navigate every feeding… even in the middle of the night.
And late one night, while watching a Christmas Special on TV, as my mom slept in the reclining chair next to mine and my baby girl was sleeping in her metal hospital crib…
I felt the peace of God and gratitude fill my heart.
It turned out my baby girl was very young to present with Kidney Re-flux. She was on daily antibiotics for the first two years of her life and had a couple more hospital visits… but luckily outgrew the condition before she was three.
Even though this ending was a happy one… my heart tears apart for those parents who don’t get the happy ending they pray for. But that… Is. A. Topic. For. A. Whole. Other. Blog!
The Bridges I used to get through this health scare with my daughter were:
Know who to ask for support
Please share the Bridges you used to get you through similar situations…
PS… Hex left for South Africa on day three.