E. turned one! For which I am incredibly relieved and grateful.
On her actual birthday she was vomiting profusely. Doesn’t make for the best photo ops. Luckily we had a birthday celebration a few days before, on Shabbat, with my parents. The theme was eat Greek take out and decorate the hell out of the house. Basically, we scraped it together, and it was messy, lovely fun. This party was definitely not featured on Pinterest. A. covered the floor with pink shredded streamers and Olive, who was miraculously NOT ejecting any bodily fluids anywhere, sat around in her best onesie and made little elated baby noises the whole time. We sang songs and ate chocolate cupcakes and said prayers together. All of my favorite things. It was such a good break from what our lives have been over the past few weeks.
Most of the days have gone like this: wake up, run the feeding tube for an hour, watch E. cry as she throws up everything in her stomach, change our clothes, call the doctor, repeat. With some hospital visits thrown in there too to try to get our girl stabilized. It’s been a low, scary time. No one can figure out quite what is causing the vomiting. At first the docs thought it was the stomach flu. But now, since it’s been going on for over a week, they think it’s a motility issue (basically, the stomach moving too slowly) because of all of the surgery. We’ve been staying up late for a dream feed and then setting our alarm for 2:30AM to feed her again while she is asleep, just trying to get a few more ounces in, because she’s gotten so tiny and weak. It’s been terrifying.
I went to synagogue last night and prayed. I prayed not just for E. but all of the babies that need healing. All of the babies around the world. So many babies who need hope and help. It felt great to pray and it felt great to get out of the house. As it generally does.
The other thing that has been feeling great is our family walks. Especially when no one is crying, and right now we are on a pretty solid winning streak with that. We have one of those fairly low quality yet very convenient strollers where a kid can stand on the back and then another can sit in the front. A. is very into it. He calls it our double decker. We go in the morning if we really have our act together (this is rarely) and we go in the evening after dinner. He looked up at me yesterday as we were strolling down the sidewalk under the shade of some silver maples and exclaimed, “Mom, I love Mother Nature. Do you?” And I looked at him, with those bright blue eyes. Those bright blue eyes that I have known so well for almost every day of his life. “Of course. I love Mother Nature, too. And I’m so glad that we are all here together. You, me, daddy and E.”
We don’t get out that much right now, with the tube and the throwing up and everything. But sometimes, when we do, it’s the best medicine. The leaves and sky and sun and lightness. That’s the kind of healing we all need.