I wanted to write a blog post for the many different parents who have a child, or had a child, with sever health problems. Parents who lost their child to health problems, or a parent who is currently taking care of a child who requires a lot of care.
When William was born, my experience was anything but normal. I was away from my baby the whole time I recovered at the hospital. Instead of staying in my room and resting I pushed myself to visit the NICU and see how my baby was doing. I didn’t bring William home until two and a half months after he was born. I don’t ask for parenting advice on Facebook because William is so out of the norm. Spending many days and many late nights at Primary Children’s Hospital has taught me how many people are dealing with many of the same problems as I am. It has taught me that whatever situation you are given, you can still choose to be happy and embrace positivity.
I read a friend’s blog post one day and it really made an impact on me. This couple has struggled with infertility for a long time now, and she expresses her feelings often about how she doesn’t understand why someone else can be blessed with children and she can’t. I know for a fact that we all do this. I have met many parents at Primary’s and almost all of them have mentioned to some degree of how they look at other’s are are sad that they aren’t able to do things with their child like normal people are able to. It is a completely normal thing to think this, and it is very common. I constantly write about this because I have trouble with it, I wish William could lay on his back, didn’t have to go to so many doctors appointments, didn’t have so many diagnoses or bad news. Maybe you look at your situation and think; “I wish my child could eat without a tube.” or; “I wish my child hit the normal developmental milestones like other children,” “I wish my child didn’t have to be pushed in a wheel chair.” “I wish my child could see or hear me.” “I wish my child was with me right now,” “I wish i had more than just a couple hours or days with them.”
These feelings are normal and we should embrace them. We should say to ourselves; “This is hard! This sucks! I wish things were different!” You look at others and don’t understand why you were the person who lost a child, or had a child with some rare disability. William is fed every 3 hours, and at night I wake up, walk downstairs heat up some milk, mix some formula in it, and then hook him up to the pump. Sometimes he cries a lot because he is so hungry, and I always think to myself how I wish I was able to breast feed so it didn’t take so long to get William’s milk ready. I wish i could just stop his crying immediately. But I can’t. I don’t have certain experiences with Will that I wish I did.
We look at our lives and wish things could be different. Maybe it is a child that has passed away, maybe it is a child that has been in the hospital for months. Maybe you aren’t able to have children at all. Maybe your the love of your life decided to walk out on you. Maybe you have yet to find the love of your life. Whatever your trail or burden may be people are always looking to others and wishing for something different.
So, for the parents who wish better for their children I want to express the love that an almighty Father in Heaven has for you and your child. As William spent many weeks in the PCH NICU I never went a day without feeling the love and presence of the Spirit at every single child’s bedside. When I think of that love, I know I’m not alone.
“I have a great appreciation for those loving parents who stoically bear and overcome their anguish and heartbreak for a child who was born with or who has developed a serious mental or physical infirmity. This anguish often continues every day, without relief, during the lifetime of the parent or the child. Not infrequently, parents are required to give superhuman nurturing care that never ceases, day or night. Many a mother’s arms and heart have ached years on end, giving comfort and relieving the suffering of her special child.” -James E. Faust