July 28, 2008
The average mother (is there really such a thing?) puts in a 92-hour work week, performing at least 10 jobs. If mothers were paid what they are worth on the open market they'd earn about $140,000 a year, according to Salary.com, a Washington D.C. based firm specializing in compensation determination. Even mothers who work full-time jobs outside the home put in $85,939 of work as mothers. Bottom-line? There's lots of room for no-salary career advancement!
I feel so blessed to have just landed a part-time job working at a non-profit agency who trains and matches "family mentors" with other families of preemies. It is something very close to my heart and the hours are flexible, which is something I really need right now with my son. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to work in an area that I am so passionate about and be able to feel productive and professional, and like I am at least bringing in a minuscule amount of money again.
I so wish I had known just ONE Mother of a preemie back when I gave birth to my son. I felt so alone and confused and unable to even articulate my emotions and fear. I remember thinking that my chapped and bleeding hands might never recover from the hours and hours of "scrubbing in" at the NICU and being insanely "germ phobic" for months and months ~ after watching my son fight a hospital-induced staph infection, himself weighing less than two pounds and so vulnerable. I should have bought stock in Lysol and hand sanitizer with how many bottles I went through his first two years of life!
If I could have done just ONE thing differently, I would have held him more in the hospital. I was SO scared of hurting him, with the dozens of tubes and wires he had attached to him, that I chose many days just to leave him laying in the incubator, rather than risk his harm. What I know NOW is that holding my son would have been the BEST medicine for him. He so needed my warmth and closeness at that vulnerable time. Not a stressed out, fearful mother who was obsessed with germs! But truly, unless you have been through such an experience, it is IMPOSSIBLE to fully grasp the trauma and emotional roller-coaster of having a micro-preemie. And it certainly doesn't end the day you leave the hospital ~ it is just the beginning.
I thank God for my son! I thank God for recovery! I thank God for restoration!
In fact, exactly a year later, on my son's 1st Birthday we were able to put an offer on a new house, and happened to close on the house on February 14th, 2006 ~ exactly one year to the day of the day my son had to go back on the "vent" to assist his breathing (due to a staph infection he contracted in the NICU on the day he turned one month old). He was the first baby at this particular hospital who was given Zyvox, a relatively new antibiotic for highly resistant infections. That alone was enough to send me into a panic. But who would have known that exactly ONE YEAR LATER God would remind us of His promises through being able to close on a new house just as my son was turning a year old! It still amazes me just thinking about it.
"I will restore the years the enemy has taken"...God is so FOR US and not against us. It isn't Him that brings trouble and hurt to our lives ~ it is HIM who brings healing and restoration, if we can only trust and believe in His goodness and love for us. He gets blamed for so much that He truly isn't the author of in life.
Thank you, Father God, for all that you have done and are doing for us every day.