My friend from my old hometown had her baby last Monday. Her beautiful son was born early in the morning weighing 7 lbs and 15 oz and measuring 21 inches. My friend came home on Wednesday. Her little boy is still in the hospital. Nothing severe. He had a little jaundice and a little trouble eating that was a result of her Gestational Diabetes. She is understandably upset and says it is harder to be at home without him suffering sleep deprivation from worry than having him home and suffering sleep deprivation when he awakes hungry and wet in the middle of the night. Two days before her delivery, her mother had a heart attack and is still in the hospital. She has been dividing her time between visiting both of them in the hospital.
I feel truly bad for her, she seems to be having a difficult time right now. Having had what was labeled a high risk pregnancy I spent months worrying (unnecessarily) about premature labor and phantom twin syndrome, long stays in the NICU, underdeveloped organs, bed rest, birth defects and the list goes on. Fortunately being pregnant was far easier for me than getting pregnant. I never had to go on bed rest, though my doctor warned me that at 18-20 weeks I might have to. I never developed Gestational Diabetes though I became slightly anemic near the end of my pregnancy but that was easily controlled by a once daily Iron supplement. I never got hypertension or morning sickness. I got huge but I delivered two good sized babies. The worse thing that happened to me was also the best thing that could have happened. I made it to 38 weeks and 6 days and begged for an induction that resulted in a 20 hour labor and delivery of two healthy, never even saw the NICU, babies.
I wonder pointlessly, why things are so hard for some and so easy for others. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for this. I have PCOS and have battled infertility for years, but in the end I had a healthy easy going pregnancy but I was still enraged when the doctor scheduled five weeks between my visits. My delivery was difficult and didn’t follow any sensible person’s birth plan but my children came straight to my room and got to stay with us and came home with us four days later. I could consider myself unlucky or extremely fortunate. It just depends on which view I want to take.
I have this silly plaque that used to belong to my parents, it says ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ It’s the cheapest little thing you have ever seen but the phrase has always stuck out in my mind and I often think about this saying. When times are difficult I tend to think in extremes but when I look back I tend to feel a little foolish, because things aren’t usually as bad as I have perceived them to be and I often come out of an experience having learned something, however small and trivial. And I often feel stronger. Not stronger in the physical sense but in the fact that I feel that now that I am stronger and more capable of handling more and more challenges; and life always seems to be sending us more and more challenges.
I hope that my friend’s son comes home soon and that she can come out of the experience feeling stronger about herself. I can only imagine the strength one would need when going through such a difficult time.