Today, I needed a moment.
Surprisingly, it was the first “moment” I’ve needed since AJ was born on Labour day.
Today, I needed to lock myself in the bathroom, just for an extra beat, take a breath and compose myself.
Last night was a little rough.
Around 11pm Amber texted me to tell me there was an issue with AJ’s catheter. It was past “visiting” hours, so I was stuck providing what little support I could from the hotel, via text.
Thankfully the issue wasn’t really an issue after all, but by the time we learned that, it was after 2am. It was an emotional few hours.
We expected surgical complications, but we didn’t expect a complication from something so routine as his catheter.
Today, we all slept in a bit, we took showers, we ate lunch and we went to the hospital a little later than usual, but it was needed. We are all running on empty. I have no idea how Amber and Aaron are functioning as well as they are, sometimes I feel pretty dead on my feet.
I needed a moment today, because when I saw my nephew lying on his little bed, pale, covered in wires, with his chest still open, I was overcome.
Overcome with love, he’s easy to love. He’s cute as a button to boot.
Overcome with awe. This kid is a friggin’ gladiator and he’s taking it all in his stride. Like. A. BOSS.
Overcome with relief and joy that he beat the odds and made it through surgery.
Overcome with sadness and grief that such an amazing and precious piece of our lives has to endure such trials when he’s so shiny and new.
Overcome with fear that he’s not yet out of the woods, and the constant need to remind myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint. That every challenge, obstacle and milestone he faces, and conquers should be celebrated.
Sitting in that place, in the cardiac ward of the Children’s hospital of Philadelphia, can be a difficult place to sit.
You’re surrounded by worried parents and family members. You’re surrounded by waiting. Families waiting for news of how surgery went, families waiting to go back and see their kids post-op, families waiting for their kids to get well enough to feed them, or hold them, or to take them home.
You’re surrounded by fear. Fear of loss.
You’re surrounded by quiet, many of the babies can’t cry, there isn’t much by way of laughter and even every day conversations seem hushed.
You’re surrounded by teenie tiny little people, who all have broken little hearts. Who are all on meds and machines and monitors, fighting for life with everything they got.
And then it hits you….they are fighting for life, with everything they got.
Then you’re overcome with hope.
Keep fightin’ lil guy. We’re all in your corner.
We love you <3