Love Hurts

Today Eliza got her 2 month well baby check up. She’s growing well, eating well and seems to be developing at the standard rate for her age which is all great news. Her doctor said her goodbyes and the nurse came in to administer the dreaded 2 month shots. She drank the oral one down like it was the most awesome thing she had ever tasted. The nurse looked at me apologetically before she said,”Ok, big stick!” as she stuck the first needle in. Eliza didn’t flinch. The nurse said,”Um, ok. Two more” and went in for her other thigh. “Ok baby, big stick….oh…well.”
See, most all mothers cry because their babies cry after the big sticks… I cried because Eliza didn’t.
Most days we carry on like Eliza is a run-of-the-mill baby. She wakes up, we have a dirty diaper, we have breakfast, some tummy time and activities, we laugh…Other days I cry in the shower for exactly 2 minutes. That’s how long I give myself to have my own personal pity party. It’s not a pity party for her, because she will never know a different life than the one that was so graciously given to her. It’s just mine. I get overwhelmed sometimes wondering how I am supposed to stay strong for her when I can’t be strong for me. It’s little things that happen that trigger my 2 minutes. It’s a facebook post about a friend who is selling her daughter’s dance shoes. It’s friend posting pictures of her baby girl tumbling beautifully in gymnastics. It’s a parent scurrying to grab her toddler who’s climbing onto something they aren’t supposed to be climbing on. It’s a stranger saying,”pretty soon she’ll be running all over the place…” It’s knowing none of those things will ever happen. It’s NOT knowing what is going to happen.
James said this morning that we just have to be thankful for what we are given. We’ve been given a beautiful, healthy baby girl that, despite her diagnosis, is thriving. I always tell myself that it could always be so much worse. She could be blind. She could never see birds in the blue sky or fish in the sea…never be able to see the smiles of anyone that comes in contact with her. She could be deaf. She could never know how amazing Led Zeppelin is. She could have a severely debilitating disability. She could have an incurable, life threatening disease. It could always be worse.
So today was an ‘I hate Spina Bifida’ day. But tomorrow won’t be. Neither will the next day.
Tomorrow always brings such hope. Today we are just thankful for the things we DO have and the things we CAN do…like look at mommy and smile.

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