A year ago, I had books on my nightstand about happiness, birthing, and babies. I was waiting for Quincy to join us and complete our family, and I was happy. Today, my nightstand has a big basket full of medical equipment. An oxygen saturation monitor, a stethoscope, inhaler medication, spacers, and nasal aspirators sit where once there were books. And I am tired.
When Quincy got RSV at two months old, I had no idea how large of impact that would have on her life. Asthma took hold of her lungs after that, and I’ve struggled to breathe right along with her. She was okay for a while after she got out of the hospital, but she always sounded raspy and got out of breath easily. She worried me to no end. I would stay awake watching her struggle to breathe, doing anything I could think of to help her. She had two more stays in the hospital since her first with RSV and gained her asthma diagnosis at six months old. It’s a non-stop battle to keep her breathing “normal.”
As illness after illness came through our household those first six months of her life, I survived. I took care of everyone and worried about everyone and tried to be strong, even when I, too, was very sick. Well, I tried so hard to be strong and keep it all together that I broke. September broke me. I was gearing up for our first move with three kids. We move ourselves, which means it’s up to me to pack most of our belongings. I was also preparing to travel across the country solo with the kids to celebrate my sister getting married and my sister-in-law having her third sweet baby, a boy named Koleson. As I packed our suitcases the day before the trip, I got a call that I will never forget. Sweet baby Koleson was gone just days before his due date. The hurt that swept through the family was and is so unimaginable. It has changed my heart to witness loss so great. I went home to Oregon with all three kids for a wedding and a funeral, and I returned home unable to process it all and unable to breathe. I was depressed and overwhelmed. My chest hurt, my heart sometimes raced or skipped a beat, and it scared me. (more…)