I never thought I would be “that” mom…
The mom who is paranoid about germs, viruses, and sickness.
The mom who frets, worries, and stresses over every runny nose, sign of fever, or unusual cough.
The mom who sends her child to bed at night with mittens taped to his pj’s so that he can’t pull out the oxygen tubes that now adorn his precious face.
The mom who voluntarily hooks her child up to monitors in the hospital when he falls asleep, and, seeing that his oxygen levels are dropping, calls the nurse to turn on the blow-by oxygen.
I thought we were the lucky ones. Jake was born six weeks premature, but never needed oxygen. He never had any severe medical complications. He never required hospitalization. He has been fairly healthy up until this point, all things considered.
But this year, it seems we have a new kind of normal. The kind of normal that makes me “that” mom. Don’t get me wrong, by no means have I ever had issues with “that” mom; I just always considered myself blessed that I got to avoid the category altogether. I always looked at those moms with empathy and compassion, but also with a secret sense of glee that their designation did not apply to me.
This season, however, has changed that. 5 trips to the ER, 2 hospitalizations (pneumonia and croup), and countless sleepless nights, steroid treatments, and medical appointments have confirmed for me that nothing lasts forever. Is it discouraging? Absolutely. Is it disheartening? You bet. Does it give me a sense of hopelessness? For sure.
I know intellectually that it is just a season. That as Jake grows, his body will be better equipped to fight these viruses that attack. That as his airways expand, the need for steroids and oxygen will diminish. That this, too, shall pass.
But for now, we have a new kind of normal.
*Despite all of the sickness, however, look at how much joy and happiness Jake continues to exude. You can’t help but smile when you see him smile:) He is an example to me everyday of joy in the midst of less-than-perfect circumstances!*