My daughter was discharged from the intensive care unit over a week ago and we have all been enjoying being a family of four at home since. My birthday was over the weekend, and the best gifts I got was simply having a quiet day with my wife and two daughters. After the whirlwind of three weeks in the ICU, quiet was absolutely wonderful.
I’ve also gone back to work, finally stepping onto the new role of nurse educator. It’s been great, and I’m finding that it gives me precisely what I wanted out of the next step in my career, a chance to grow in new areas of competency. I have a wonderful team of coworkers both in the unit I work at and in the new department I’ve joined, which makes the transition period as easy as can be.
As temperatures begin to become more tolerable in central Florida (cool would be an overstatement, but certainly less hot), I find myself adjusting to our return to normalcy, or at least what is now our new normal. There’s dealing with nighttime baby feedings and the general lack of sleep that comes along with having a newborn around, but also learning to be a parent of two, especially learning how to pay attention to the baby without making my toddler feel ignored. There’s the new job, which comes with a new schedule with shorter hours each day, but an extra day at work. There’s helping out my wife, who’s out on maternity leave with both girls at home, as much as I can while I’m at the house, and finding ways to be helpful even if I’m at work. The new normal is good, it’s just new and we’re getting used to it.
When I think of all the ways things could’ve gone over the past few weeks, I am thankful for every single moment of missed sleep in the middle of the night I get to spend feeding my baby daughter, and really for everything that constitutes my life. As my wife sometimes asks me, Are you living your best life ever? Yes, yes I am. There are some challenges in the horizon, yes, and more adjustments to be made as we spend another year in Orlando, and eventually have to deal with the financial side of the medical care baby received, but that’s okay. The new normal is something I deal with day by day, one step at a time, always thankful for what I do have.