Thursday, February 19, 2009
There is nothing harder in the world than when our children are sick. We as mothers can feel so helpless, unable to do anything when the illness seems to be taking over their little bodies. The past 72 hours have been spent back and forth from the hospital. Our littlest one spiked a high fever and went flat. A day in emergency showed why. Pneumonia. How that happened, I have no idea. One day it's a runny nose, then a cough, then a fever so high she can hardly breathe.
As I sat with her all day yesterday in the hospital, cradling her hot, limp, body I felt so grateful for so many things. One, that I live in a country where I don't have to worry if I can afford the chest x-ray or not and we had an amazing doctor.
Two: for my sling. This is I think one of the best slings on the market. It may not be fancy, it may look plain, but at 19 months, this sling provided the most amazing cocoon for her. She snuggled up into it and I brought it around her and she slept in my arms. It was her safe haven, not even a hospital blanket would give her. It also gave me a way to hold her for hours without my arms falling off.
Three: she is still breastfeeding. So many people may say that babies at her age no longer need the nutrition of breast milk, that it is all for comfort. It's true that they comfort themselves at the breast, a wonderful thing. But the immune supportive nutrients that are carried in breast milk are one of the most powerful medicines there are. In fact, in Vancouver at Children's Hospital, they use banked mothers milk to treat children of any age for many different illnesses, it is that powerful.
And Four: Some how, deep within me I found the strength to be there for my little one without falling to pieces. My husband was in Vancouver, fortuatly my son was in childcare for that one day a week and I was on my own. Well, actually I don't really think I was on my own. There were angels or something there with us, something that helped me to keep it together, even when she was screaming in terror from having to be held down to have her blood drawn. I fell to peices after she went to bed that night.
Mothers are amazing people. We are creative, resourceful, capable and have such a capacity to love. We are given this awesome resposibilty to be guardians and yet are never alone, even when it may look like it. Moments like this really ask us to go deep within ourselves and draw upon our courage and strength, something that we all have.