Lessons From Will: What I Learned In Two Weeks

Will is now two weeks old today! It was so surreal and amazing to me that just two weeks ago Ben and I were expecting the worst, we were even expecting that if Will did survive we would only be able to be with him for a short period of time but not only is he alive, but he is thriving! He is seriously is the strongest little person I have ever met. Here are some lessons that I’ve learned from Mr. Will!

I don’t think it’s a secret that life throws curve balls at us, and sometimes we want to just lay in bed asking God, or the universe; “Why Me?” We’ve all been there. I usually grab myself some ice cream or cheesecake and watch some netflix in bed. One little thing happens to me and I just want to give up! I’m done. But as I have watched Will day after day continue to fight for his life, I become humbled and thankful for my life, my body, and my family. I remember the day William was born, I was recovering in the maternal unit, where women had just come from having their own babies. These women had their babies in their rooms with them, they were able to breastfeed, spend the night with their baby, hold their baby whenever they wanted. I wasn’t able to even get out of bed to see Will until the day after my c-section because he was across the bridge at Primary Children’s Hospital. But I was so happy. I didn’t care that I was the only women in that unit with my baby at the Primary Children’s NICU, I didn’t care that I couldn’t breastfeed, and I didn’t care that I wasn’t able to hold William whenever I wanted because he was alive, and I was all that mattered. I think in that moment I understood what true gratitude meant. Because it’s not about looking around at others and saying; “well, at least I have it better than them.” But looking at yourself and saying; “Life is great, I got it pretty good.”

From the day Ben and I found out about Will’s brain deformity, he has proven doctors wrong. He has been given every tool to not be able to move, eat, crawl, cry, or even be alive, but he has tried his hardest to overcome the obstacles in his way. There is a quote that says; “It’s not about how many times to get knocked down, but how many times you get back up.” I look at Will and think about that every time I see him. He continues every day to surprise doctors, nurses, family, and even his own parents at what he can do because with his brain abnormalities, he shouldn’t be this strong, this interactive, or this capable of so many things. I see him every day defy the odds, and see how resilient he is. When life takes a turn, and knocks us down sometimes we use the excuse of our adversity to not do the things that can actually help us to overcome and succeed. Sometimes we get knocked down, and we stay down because, well, who can blame you? But if we want to change ourselves, become stronger, or change the situation that we are in, we need to continue no matter how much we continue to get knocked down.

Trusting In the Lord
I have a big problem with this, because I like to plan things. I am a big planner, and I can’t not know what is going to happen or it stresses me out. During this trial, it was hard to find a balance between having faith, but not getting our hopes up too high and expecting Will to survive. I remember praying to God asking him to please tell me what was going to happen, and instead I got a feeling that everything was going to be okay. This made me so mad! But, I guess the whole point of faith is to trust that everything is going to go the way it is supposed to. Ben and I have had to constantly rely on trusting the Lord every hour and every second that Will has been in the NICU. When Will had his surgery, Ben and I had big decisions to make concerning what his doctors would do concerning his head. Many prayers were said, many sleepless nights of worry that we would make the wrong decision. The day of his surgery we felt good about the choices that were made, and we prepared for the worst case scenario. Literally minutes before surgery doctors had already told us that certain procedures that we chose to do were not needed because of how well he has been doing. This to me was a testimony of trusting in the Lord, until the very end. Things may not make sense in the moment, you may ask and plead for something to happen but all that is given to you is a feeling that everything is going to be alright. Sometimes, we won’t know until the next life how everything is going to work out. But we must trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, he is the only way to true happiness, peace, and comfort. Because of him, everything will be made right in the end.

Don’t Compare Your Situation to Other’s
During my pregnancy I had a hard time not comparing my situation to my friend’s situations. I was the only person among my friends that had a serious medical problem with my baby, and everyone else around me was having a grand time with their pregnancies and healthy babies. It was easy for me to become depressed, upset, jealous, sad, and bitter about my situation. It wasn’t until I got out of Rexburg and around other families that had babies in the NICU. When Will survived, and was doing so well I stopped caring about other’s situations. I was around many mother’s in the recovery unit who had their babies with them and all I could think about was how happy and excited I was to go down to the NICU to see my baby. Ben and I have made many friends from other parents who have babies in the NICU and we are very supportive of each other. I never compare my baby’s problem to someone else’s instead we express our excitement or our disappointment and we exchange words of encouragement to each other. I have found myself a lot happier, and more aware of Ben and Will when I stop comparing myself and focus on my life and the task that I have.

Will is a remarkable baby, and person, I am so grateful to have him as my son and to be with him through this journey in his life. I have learned so much from this experience and will continue to learn more as the days, months, and years go by. I would like to share my testimony of the eternal truth of God’s love for us. He is aware of us, he knows who we are, and he is always there for us. No matter our situation, even if we are healthy or sick, sad or happy, alone or surrounded by people the love God has for us is always there and always real. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the only way to true happiness, and the only way for us to return back to our Father in Heaven, which is our ultimate goal. Just like it is our goal to get William home, it is Heavenly Father’s goal to get us home as well.