Feed on

… Count your blessings and quit your whining.

Not as catchy as “If You’re Happy and You Know It”, but more apt. You see, last week was long and hard for my little family–or so it seemed at the time–as we were beset by many little annoyances that were compounded by their happening all at once. To wit:

  1. Simon has been in the throws of an obvious growth spurt, which makes him slightly crankier during the day and much hungrier at night. He’s been waking every 2-3 hours, putting us back on the late and unlamented newborn schedule.
  2. I had a horrible allergy attack last week, could take very little for it, and slept poorly as a result.
  3. We had no real childcare as my mom had some shoulder pain and Evie was on vacation.
  4. The weather was too bad to get out of the house. Freezing cold, snow, rain, hail–we had it ALL.
  5. Simon is moving into an attachment phase with me. He wants me to hold him much of the time, and sometimes Daddy just won’t do. While this is flattering, it can be exhuasting when I am already tired and don’t feel well.
  6. And the coup de grace, we’re installing can lights in our living room. So not only is there horrible dust everywhere that makes my allergies worse, but there is also horrible noise that scares Simon and makes him howl uncontrollably.

I have to admit, I was feeling rather sorry for myself by the weekend. This parenting business is hard! Poor, tired overworked me. Doesn’t your heart bleed for me? No? Yeah–me neither.

This morning I checked my personal email account and noticed something horrible. I had about 10 notices that my friend Jen’s journal for her son Sam had been updated. Jen, as you recall, is the mom to Sam, who had several heart surgeries a week after he was born last December. They update Sam’s condition through a website administered by CaringBridge, and lately their posts had slowed to a fortnighly trickle that basically told everyone that Sam was mellow, eating well, and doing just fine.

In fact, a week and a half ago, Jen sent me a note and a baby announcement. “Exellent,” I thought, “If she’s got time to write, everything must have settled down. Sam must be OK.”

Except now they had updated their journal ten times. Ten. The only possible explanation is that bad things have happened. And so, with a lump in my throat, I logged on to her journal, and got myself caught up.

It seems that while I was having a one-week, one-woman pity party because I have managed to finagle part-time work, have availed myself of free and loving childcare, can afford to pay for home improvements, and have a healthy son who is moving into his next developmental phase, Jen and Dave were back in the hospital with Sam.

The short version goes something like this: heart rate soars, he’s admitted to the hospital, he crashes and ends up on a ventilator, he has another surgery (angioplasty again), he doesn’t handle his meds well, he pulls out his own ventilator, he turns blue, he’s revived, he’s in the ICU and critical and may go off the ventilator again today. May as in “might”. He’s still on a feeding tube. He may have to have more surgery on his aorta later on.

Poor little fellow. And poor Jen and Dave. My heart aches for them, and I’m feeling more than a little survivor guilt. I’ve said it before, but I’m going to truly recommit myself to counting my blessings when I’m inclined to mope. So bring on the vacationing grandmothers, the home-improvement dust, the seasonal allergies, and the hungry, needy baby. I’m ready.

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