Better or bitter. Is it really that simple?
Peter’s first nurse was with us again. She is the first person to introduce me to my son and to the NICU. She shared with me her story of loss.. her journey of hurt and devastation. We all have one. They are all different but grief, the ups and downs, are all part of what makes us human. It shapes our character of who we are. She taught me the words of advice that helped her to survive her challenge.
She said, “You can choose to have your struggle make you better or bitter. “. It’s a conscious choice. What is dealt to you is out of your control, but your response to it is yours. It can make you a better person or rip you apart and turn you bitter. It is you and you alone that is responsible for that decision.
As long as you are breathing and living you will experience these ups and downs. It’s the natural path of our life. You then must choose what to do with it. Use it to raise you higher and make you stronger or have it bring you down to a dark place.
Life gives you these moments to help you grown into who you are destined to be… but you must welcome it. You must set your sail up high to the winds of grace and allow the transformation to take place. You may be bitter and angry now.. you may have every right to be.. something might have been taken from you too soon or you suffered hurt from a loved one. But how long do you want to carry that? .. how long do you want to hold on to it? Even a rose bush is covered in sharp thorns. The roses cannot exist without them. We can only truly enjoy the rose when we see the thorns.
I have seen my share of thorns. My pregnancy was filled with fear and worry and now for over a month I visit my sons in a hospital. My thorn may not be as sharp as others, but they still hurt. There were many times when I felt bitter… but I work hard to let that go and not define me. Everyday I make that choice as I set off on my hour ride to see my sons .. on the nights I cry myself to sleep missing them so much my heart feels physical pain.. I choose to see the roses as well.. and those roses will forever be more vibrant and brighter than they ever were.
I choose to be better. For my sons.. my daughters for myself. I choose to see beauty in our every milestone.. no matter how small. Things that otherwise go unnoticed are now small miracles. Peter had his first bottle today and did so well. When I first started feeding him .. his breathing slowed down. I watched on the monitor as his oxygen saturation went from 100% to 70%. His beautiful nurse remained so calm and coached me through it. I’m better for this moment.
I am better because I have more faith than ever. Faith in my intuition and in miracles. I always knew my boys would be here and now they are. Despite doctors telling me over and over again that they wouldn’t make it or even worse that we should terminate them.. I refused to listen. Instead I listened to my heart. It made me trust myself as a mother. It made me better.
I am better because I have seen such beauty in people. Doctors caring for us as though we are family. Friends and strangers offering endless compassion, encouragement and hope.
I am better because they are here. Peter weighs 4 lbs 3.2 oz and Maurice is 2.7 oz. Maurice is on high flow and Peter on nasal cannula. Peter is in an open crib maintaining his body temperature and drinking a bottle!! Maurice had a normal blood test today after his transfusion and doing well with little high flow respiratory support. He did loose 15 grams yesterday and today we are condensing his feeds to 30 min. They say some of the fat from the feeding can get stuck in the tubing. Hopefully these little changes will help.
We have come so far. Maurice and Peter needed surgery while still in the womb and were delivered months too soon. They came into this world in heart and kidney failure and we did not know if they would survive. But here we are … Peter in my arms today while I feed him a bottle .. glancing up to see my Maurice bright eyed and awake. I will continue to choose better .. it’s not that simple yet but I’m making the choice … everyday .. for us.