In his first year of life (and even the months leading up to his birth), we were in and out of the hospital for Kimball a lot. That was tough in and of itself. But we also had a struggling toddler and it was just short of a nightmare. I’ll never forget our saintly, elderly neighbor I’ll call Susan, who volunteered to care for Wendy while we soldiered through those months of hospital visits.
When Kimball was a few months old, and after a longgggg day of helping him battle another cold, he vomited. It was clear he wasn’t getting the air he needed (thanks to his teeny tiny nasal airway). In a panic, Juston threw together a hospital bag while I called Susan; Wendy was in bed, and the last thing I wanted in that moment was to drag her out of her safe bed and through a hellish night at the hospital with baby brother.
As Susan pulled up in her car, we jumped into ours, only to hear the engine sputter and struggle to turn over. It was one of those almost-laughable moments of terror and exasperation. We sheepishly explained to the couple coming into our home to save the day, that we also needed a way to get to the hospital. They graciously gave us the keys to their car, and we sped off towards the hospital where Kimball was admitted.
The memory of this helplessness, fear, and humiliation isn’t a particularly pleasant one. But it does illustrate the need for saintly friends and supportive family. I truly don’t know how I would have survived those horrible moments without this woman.
Although others may never fully understand the extra work (physically and emotionally) that goes into being the parent of a child with medical complexities, most people get that it’s tough. And a lot of those people want to be helpful!
In this response to this month’s question, parents shine a light on things that have been most meaningful and helpful to them in their journeys.
**A big thank you to all who contributed! Head here to answer the current question of the month.