I’ve been rather busy in this month of February. My daughter, Nola Grace, who was due to be born May 11th, 2012, came by emergency c-section on February 6, 2012. She’s still only 29 weeks old now, stable, but critical, and living her tiny life in an isolette in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Swedish Hospital in downtown Seattle. I know she looks rather rough to most people–tiny and skinny–but I think she’s just about the prettiest thing I ever saw
I could not describe how tired I have been or how surreal this whole situation has seemed. And what occurs to me that it has all served as a reminder of how little control we actually have in this world, how plans can change in an instant, how quickly priorities can shift, and even how, yes, you can love someone at first sight.
Nola’s birth also brought the following into clear definition:
1. Life moves on for others even when you are stuck in a surreal loop.
2. People you never thought of turn up to help you.
3. People you expected to help you may rabidly disappoint you, even when they are related to you.
4. Somehow you get by, even when you are desperate for funds–I hope, usually.
5. It really doesn’t matter how clean your house is.
6. There are so many times you can wash your hands up to the elbow before your nails and skin start to dry out and flake off.
Okay, that last one wasn’t as profound, but true all the same. I’m a massage therapist, for heaven’s sake, and I haven’t washed my hands so many times a day in my whole life
My work–in this case, my work as a massage therapist–has always taken a top spot in my life and consciousness. If someone had told me I could go almost a month without thinking of work/massage, I would have laughed, but that is exactly what has happened. I’ve spent my days pumping milk for my daughter’s immune system and going back and forth from home to the hospital, looking forward to the few times a day we get to touch her. For the first time in my life, other work has to wait. For a few months at least, and maybe a little longer. We chose the name Nola because we liked the sound; we added Grace because it was the grace of God that saved her life.
My best to all of you massage therapists out there, fighting the good fight. I’m on the bench right now, doing something else of great importance. But I hope to rejoin you soon.