As you may have guessed, I’ve been on hiatus from blogging because some other things have come up in life that have taken precedence. Back in early December, our baby boy came down with a urinary tract infection at less than 5 months of age. Subsequent tests showed that he had a congenital condition called hydronephrosis due to a ureterocele, a blockage causing urine to build up in his right kidney. We’ve been in and out of the pediatrician’s office, clinics, and children’s hospitals off and on for the past few months. We should find out at the end of this week whether or not he will need surgery.
Needless to say, it’s been a rough past few months. The emotional ups and downs I’ve experienced the have been astounding: happiness when we learn his condition is not the worst possible scenario or when we’ve finally been able to see one of the best pediatric urologists in the area (who has an incredible waitlist, though I’m simultaneously thankful that we live in an area where there are leading experts in children’s health); sadness when we think about the possibility of his having undergo surgery at such a young age. The hardest part has been watching our infant undergo tests — ultrasounds, which are easy, and other ones like a VCUG or a Mag-3 scan, which haven’t been. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so helpless.
There are the unexpected changes too, like suddenly not being able to watch some TV shows (such as Grey’s Anatomy, for example) that have story lines involving sick kids. Or reading the expectant mothers’ email list at work and smiling wryly at threads debating the merits of various strollers. I can remember when figuring out the best equipment to buy was the concern of the week. Now I know how luxurious and lucky it is to have only those concerns, and even more so how lucky we are that our son has a treatable condition.
Quite amazing, really, how quickly my priorities in life have changed upon becoming a mom and how emotionally invested I’ve become in my child’s well-being. In large part, that’s why it’s taken me this long to write a reasonable post on everything that’s happened.
What I do know is where my charitable contributions will be going this year. So many people have kids who are undergoing much worse illnesses and conditions. I don’t know how to say this without sounding trite, but I cannot fathom how parents can handle such situations, and yet they do.
The one thing I’ve learned to do better because of this experience is to enjoy the time I have with everyone important in my life, knowing that health is not something that can be taken for granted. Though the experience is not one I’d voluntarily choose to go through again, I do feel like I’ve become better, humbler, and more grateful.
I will get back to writing relevant posts soon. There’s no lack of material being a working mom (with a husband as a stay-at-home dad), and we’re still working on all the other financial preparations for him that I wrote about in an earlier post. As with most parents, my most valuable commodity these days is just time.