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Challenge: Gratitude & Giving

Delayed gratitude

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I can’t pee in peace

...and that’s totally fine by me.

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I spent the better part of 14 months running to the bathroom while my medically fragile baby lay in our living room ICU. I would hold it for hours, waiting until she fell asleep so I could slip away for a brief moment of what I considered self-care. The limitless emergencies overwhelmed me as stories of dead trached babies haunted my mind. I’d be damned if we’d become another horror story.

While scrolling through Instagram, I often encountered pictures with captions of women venting about motherhood — dirty dishes piling up, constant noise radiating from playrooms, little bodies sitting on bathroom floors. These posts stung with incredible force as I longed for those problems to be my problems. For so long, my silent house, minus the humming of life-sustaining machines, felt like a prison while others were living my fantasy.

This morning, as I sat down to pee (2 cups of coffee before 9 a.m., thanks tracheostomy night shift), 10 little fingers creeped around the cracked bathroom door. A soft “mama” squeaked from the hallway. I opened the door to find my baby, now a rambunctious and growing toddler, asking to be held.

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I will NEVER say no. I will always relish every moment, the pitter patter of little feet in the kitchen, the giggles and screams in the living room that was once her hospital. While the uncertainty of her health still weighs heavy on my heart, I will never take for granted the opportunity to pee with a tiny, curious audience.

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