Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Green-Eyed Monster Momma

I am an awful person.

A terrible horrible awful person.

Today, I saw a family I cared for at work quite a bit when I was pregnant with Jonathan. They were a beautiful, fun couple with a son whose due date had been the same as Jonathan. Unfortunately for them, their son was born at 23 weeks gestation. He had been terribly sick, with significant respiratory issues. He went home with a tracheotomy, a ventilator, and home care nursing 24 hours a day. Their road had been nothing short of a nightmare, I am sure.

I remember during the last stages of my pregnancy I took care of them often. They were always so lovely and encouraging. This family was even still on our unit when I came back to work. And I remember feeling slightly guilty that I had this 'perfect baby' and they had all the trials and frustrations while fighting for their son's life.

Today they came to visit. Their son is beautiful and perfect, a miracle of modern medicine. Nut brown curly hair, a quick smile, big brown eyes. He ran around our lobby area as his parents talked to us about him. He has some remaining medical issues, but overall is progressing very well and by all appearances is developing on schedule.

And when his mom said "oh yes, we figure he says about 80 words", my heart went still. I excused myself from the group and left. I am an awful person for the jealousy and anger and sadness I felt hearing their joy. If any family deserves a good outcome it is them. And I wouldn't wish our struggles on anyone. Nor would I even suggest that what they went through was easier, or better, or preferable.

But I still suck. I am still jealous of his 80 words, his engagement and flirting, his ease with the world. And I am sad that I have become this person... this green-eyed monster momma.


cokalea said...

i am so on the same level as you. I am a SAHM so I don't get to see what a "normal" 2 year old sounds like often. Well when my friend brought her 2yo nephew over i was hart broken. my son was nowhere near near him. he could say anything and everything. I was mad, sad and jealous. I have known him now for about 3 months and it still hurts to see them side by side but it is getting easier as time passes.

rnmissy said...

you want to start a club? 12 step group?
I kinda like that term, green-eyed monster momma......Suits me well many many days....

brokengirl01 said...

i think it is perfectly normal and ok for you to feel the way you feel...of course my telling you that doesn't help you feel any differently i'm sure.

when parker burned himself, he was with a friend, they were both horsing around but my son was the one who was in the burn unit fighting for his life, the other boy was untouched..i remember for a brief period wondering "why my son? why couldn't it have been the other boy and mine be the one ok?" i felt HORRIBLE for thinking that, even momentarily but it happens..

i think you will find more people understand than you would imagine..

mucho hugs

Anonymous said...

I can relate to you all, esp. SAHMs. My son has said like, 33 words, but doesn't say them all, ALL the time. He's said some once and that's it. They are putting him in speech therapy. I am so sick of people saying, "That child should be talking". Screw you! He will talk when he is ready. He just needs some help.


Rob Rummel-Hudson said...

First of all, thanks for all your kind words in your other entries. I've been getting caught up with your story this morning.

Secondly (and relevantly), Schuyler is nine years old. She is coming up on the six year anniversary of her diagnosis. That's plenty of time for me to get past my jealousy issues with other people's neurotypical kids, and with parents who complain that their kids talk all the time, etc.

But no, I am not one bit over those issues. I've stopped worrying about what my reaction says about me as a person, because for better or for worse, it's who I am. The thing I've learned in talking to other parents, however? It's a near-universal reaction.

kate said...

I really agree with Rob. Don't worry about your reactions. I really appreciate your honesty--to be able to admit that you (and all of us) have these emotions is so important! Thank you for that!


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