Yesterday was one of those days. Fiona was refusing naps from the get-go. She would either lay there wide awake, or would sleep for 10-15 minutes and then refuse to fall asleep again. This equaled an exhausted baby, and just perpetuated the no-nap cycle. There may or may not have been tears on both of our parts, and I may have (not so secretly) been counting down the minutes until my husband was due home.
I was frustrated and tired, but had promised an acquaintance from high school that I would volunteer for a gala that her non-profit workplace holds in April. I really didn't know too much about the organization, nor had I had time to really research it, seeing as how my baby has been keeping me on my toes. I may have gotten lost on the way to the meeting, and contemplated just turning around, and throwing in the towel for the day. But sometimes you get a push from God, and he reminds you of how lucky you really are.
Turns out, the organization that the gala benefits is for a pediatric nursing home. It is a place where babies and children that require 24/7 medical care can stay, so that they can live somewhere that offers a bit more of a "home" environment than a hospital room.
During the volunteer meeting, they showed the gala video from the year before. It highlighted a trip that the children (that were physically able to) took to Disney World, and all of the work that was required to take 8 kids with severe disabilities (many were on ventilators) to Florida. It was absolutely unbelievable what was needed just to get the children to and through the airport. One child had never been outside of the facility complex, and he spent 20 minutes enthralled with a fire hydrant in front of Southwest Airlines, just because he had never seen one before. And to see the children react when they got to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse (did you know Mickey can even do the theme song in sign language?!?)...well, lets just say it had us all in tears.
After the meeting, I was invited to take a tour of the facility. The organization is just fantastic, and what they provide for these children is absolutely amazing. But to walk through those hallways and see the rooms with the tiny little beds and cradles was absolutely heart-wrenching. Each of the rooms even has two closets. One for the child's clothes and another that acts as a nursing station, so that the parents don't have to see some of the scary medical equipment. There are even "emergency" rooms that are set aside for children with disabilities that are taken into state custody, or for children that require end of life care.
While all of these things are great to have, it was a truly humbling experience that reminded me of just how good I have it. Because even though I may have hard days with a cranky baby, I have the privilege of getting to hold my baby. I get to feed my baby. I get to put my baby to sleep at the end of the day. I can kiss and cuddle her when I want to. I can read her books, and tell her tales. I can pick her up in the morning and tell her I love her over and over again. So no matter how hard I think some of the days are, I will always, always remember how blessed I am.