When I was a little girl, I used to say I wanted to be a "baby doctor" or a "nurse for babies".
It made sense, after all, I came from a family of nurses, and my dad is a doctor.
When my dad would do rounds on the weekend, I would beg to go. He would take me, and drop me off at the floor with the nursery. I'm not sure what floor it was, but it didn't matter, it was the baby floor.
He would do rounds, and I would stand at the window, watching the babies, and the nurses. Longing to be in there with the tiny little babies.
I had nineteen cabbage patch dolls, and they were each my babies. I remember going to Anaheim, and I insisted that we go to the cabbage patch hospital. I expected to see little bassinets, just like the nursery at the hospital. I didn't see that, and was secretly a bit disappointed that it was just a store.
As I grew, I started to get lazy. And I realized that to be a doctor or nurse required a lot of school. This didn't appeal to me, so I changed my thinking, sure I would be a teacher.
Well, as we all know, that didn't happen either. I got married at the ripe age of eighteen, and only went to a small amount of college.
I figured I had to help bring in some money, so I went to cosmetology school. Pretty funny, huh? What else could have such short schooling that would produce a career?
While I was in school, I found myself pregnant, with Matthew. The school insisted I have a waiver signed by my doctor, saying I could be around all the chemicals. My doctor refused to sign it. Stating that we don't know what affects all those chemicals could have on a baby.
I quit school, with the intention to go back and finish after Matthew was born.
That never happened. Instead, I became a stay at home mom.
Fast forward fourteen years, to today.
I have been a part of the CHD world for nearly seven years now. I have seen heartache. I have seen baby after baby pass away. On facebook, almost daily, there is an announcement of another sweet baby who has lost his or her fight with CHD.
My heart hurts for these parents. I cannot imagine the pain they endure.
And then I realize, that if I were a nurse or a doctor, I would be intimately involved with these parents. If it hurts me so badly when I don't even know the parents personally, I can't fathom how it would be to be involved in their care.
And yet, the best nurses I know have been personally affected by a sick baby, or even a baby who has passed. I just don't know how they do it. I've heard it said that they grow a thick skin. But I know it has to affect them.
I will never forget, when Natalie was in the NICU. The buzz around the unit was that they were getting a twenty-something week baby. The nurses were all preparing. At some point, Matt and I headed out for a break. We passed the neonatalogist and nurses in the hall. The isolette they were pushing, was empty. The looks on their faces was somber. Now, we never did ask, because we wouldn't have been told anyway, but we assume the baby didn't make it.
How do you deal with that day after day?
Today, I've been teary-eyed thinking of all those babies. I would be a basket case if I were dealing with their care.
God had a better plan for me. Even though I had the plan for as long as I can remember. He knew it wasn't something I could handle. I am so thankful for that.