I've shed many tears since Paige was born. Through the NICU period, her first few birthdays, milestones, through the feeding issues, after doctor appointments, through procedures, watching her in various stage performances (ballet, piano, gymnastics, plays, etc) and on and on.
Her early birthdays were hard. It wouldn't take much and I would be a ball of tears. Equally as difficult were the years of procedures and doc visits. As soon as she would be safely tucked in bed I would fall apart, thinking how unfair it was that she had been through so much, especially when there was no end in sight.
As the years go by the tears of sadness or tears surrounding the remembrance of struggles come less and less, to the point that they are virtually non existent now. Every once in a while those tears come out of nowhere and catch my off guard.
That is exactly what happened on Friday. I took Paige (and my MIL's hubby) to a health and fitness expo. Paige loves any and all things medical so I thought it would be a great experience for her and a wonderful homeschool opportunity as well. What I was not prepared for was the fierce emotions that would literally take my breath away and leave me scrambling to hide my tears from Paige. What caused this reaction? I managed to snap one picture before I had to stop and try to regain some composure.
Right before I took this picture I turned to my MIL's hubby and said, "Wow, doesn't that bring back memories?" as we were looking at the monitor (on the left in the pic). I swear I was transported back into the NICU. I felt sick. I felt the tears coming so I opened my eyes real wide, hoping to dry them out quickly. I kept telling myself to breathe but it wasn't working. The background noise started to sound muffled and my lips were tingling. Then it hit me; I was in the beginning of a panic attack. Geesh! 10 1/2 after the NICU and it came back that easily. Even as I am typing this post, the tears are there.
I was able to regain composure in enough time to actually listen to Paige asking such wonderful questions to the doctor that was operating the Simm baby. When she asked, "Is the blue light coming out of the baby's mouth supposed to signify lack of oxygen?", I almost lost it all over again. But, then the doctor praised her for her question and she turned to me with this bright, proud smile and I proudly smiled back, giving the thumbs up.
The best part was that Paige never realized what had happened to me.