I was going to write about how this process has been exhausting, frustrating, and disappointing. How hard it is to be away from my firstborn when she calls crying everyday and wants her Mommy. How it seems that Gia just won’t eat food at all in the hospital, even though she eats some at home. How, even when I am alone with her, she has absolutely no interest in eating (a step backwards from where we were in Missoula). How I’m already so tired of spending so much time at the hospital and we have just begun.
But after a few days staying at the Ronald McDonald House, my perspective has once again changed.
I’ve met some moms here and through our brief conversations I am reminded that we are just plain lucky. Lucky to be here with a relatively healthy child who just happens to be globally delayed and has a gtube. Big Whoop.
This afternoon I spoke with a very pregnant mom who is expecting to stay here 18 months for her first child (I didn’t ask why, but it sure doesn’t seem like a little thing).
One single mom has a 3 year old who is undergoing chemotherapy. They have been here over half of his life.
There is another mom here whose small baby’s intestines are not working. He needs major corrective surgery.
Tonight at dinner I talked to a mom who was asked by the doctors today to think about pulling life support for her first child, a 7-month-old little girl. She showed me a photo of an innocent, adorable girl with beautiful eyes, a heartwarming smile and a head full of hair. Her baby was a preemie with some heart conditions. After a recent second corrective heart surgery, she seemed to be recovering fine. Then last night at 3am, the doctors called to tell her things were going downhill fast.
There are 22 rooms in Building C of the Ronald McDonald house where we are staying. Each room occupied by a mom with her own story to tell.
Gia’s problems are just not on this level. I would love it if she learned to eat, so we could remove the gtube, but we can also learn to live with it too. So please, if you can spare some extra energy, send some positive vibes to these little kids and their families. Being a parent of a sick child, making long-term life and death decisions on a regular basis, is the norm here. And it just can’t be easy.