The Longest Year

Today, we finished working on the final details of Charlie’s first birthday party. She will turn one year old in the middle of next week. Many people have remarked how rapidly this year has passed. On the contrary, I feel like it has creeped by.

I have a hard time remembering what it was like before I knew what NEC, CPAP, A’s & B’s, PICC lines, TPN, ROP, transpyloric, ng tube, billi lights, isolette, IFSP, Neocate, epo, synagis, Early Intervention, Physiatrists, torticolis, and feeding therapists were. I sometimes forget that most moms don’t know how to put in an NG tube in their baby, how to convert kg to pounds (or mL to oz) in their heads, which 24 hour pharmacies compound, or have nudged their baby to get it to breathe again. My life before all this seems so long ago.

My steep learning curve was not limited to medicine.

In this year, I grasped what pragmatism actually is. There was an ideal way that I had planned to do everything. However, circumstances arose that made my plans impractical if not impossible. I had to go with the best approach that I could for our given situation. It is not perfect but it works for us.

I learned that bad things sometimes happen for no rhyme or reason. Bad things can happen to anyone. Prior to this, I was under the delusion that horror stories and tragedies only happened to other people. I have figured out that I am not immune.

This year has taught to me the difference between one’s curiosity and one being nosey.

I have discovered that I do not ever want to hear the phrase “If you need anything…” ever again. I do not want to hear another trite phrase. Due to this past year, I understand how to be a better friend.

I understand that wants, wishes, needs, and desires do not have to be logical or even make sense to anyone other than the owner. They are just as valid and important.

After this year, I trust my instincts. I have never regretted the times I have used their guidance. However, I have frequently experienced remorse for ignoring them.

I have seen what heroes really are.

After watching one slowly unfold, I have learned to believe in miracles.

The aforementioned are the lessons that I can recall tonight. I am sure there are more. Some people take a life time to acquire this information. I think that because I have in a year, it makes Charlie’s first year feel like my longest year. No matter how tumultuous it was or lengthy it felt, I know that I am fortunate.

Now, on to the celebration.


About Rebecca Wood

In May 2012, my pregnancy ended three and a half months early due to severe early onset preeclampsia. This is my collection of thoughts and media. It is an attempt to document and discuss our experience of navigating the post NICU world. View all posts by Rebecca Wood

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