When I give Jonathan his nightly breathing treatments, I take a little time for myself to peruse Facebook, check email and whatever else I can do with one hand (while the other tries to keep his mask in front of his face).
Today was a particularly challenging day with Jonathan because he wasn't happy anywhere except in Mommy or Daddy's arms. This makes it hard to get anything done, and it is very stressful to hear your baby cry all day while you wonder, "What does this baby need?!" He's crying right now!
But I realized tonight that there are some families that would give anything to hear their baby cry.
While browsing the Facebook homepage I came across the name of I person who is from the same town as me, and who Jeff and I also unexpectedly met in the NICU in Orlando.
He and his wife just had a baby, born full-term, and unexpectedly rushed to Orlando from the small hospital where she was born. Their baby was terminally injured during her birth and after 6 days of being on life support, they were told she was brain dead and they family made the heart-breaking decision to take her off life support, where she passed peacefully back to her Father.
I couldn't help but look at this man's profile, not sure of what I was looking for, but then I saw an album which had the title of his beautiful daughter's name. I scrolled through the album, which began with pictures of a baby in the NICU and had people's comments like, "Oh, she looks just like you!" and "How cute!" Those comments broke my heart because I knew what happened in the end. But I kept scrolling through. I came across a picture of the mother, holding her baby, with her other 2 kids gathered around her. The mother's face was turned away from her baby in agony, eyes shut. I covered my face and began to sob. I couldn't help myself. Here I was getting frustrated at my son's inconsolable crying, and this woman may feel as if she'd give anything to hear her baby girl's cries.
I am thankful that I saw these pictures, as tragic as they were, because they've made my babies cries music to my ears again. In the hospital, in those 8 long weeks that Jonathan was on a ventilator, we always said it would be music to our ears to hear his voice. And now we hear it every day. Some times as playful babbling, other times as loud screeching and crying. Either way I am thankful for it, and very sorry that I ever took it for granted.