Strength [strengkth, strength]
- noun 1. the quality or state of being strong 2. intensity 3. force in numbers 4. strong or valuable quality
I am not strong because I lost a baby, nor am I strong because I grieved. I am not strong because I put one foot in front of the other to survive each day. It was pure choice to either live or die. Strength in my mind had no play in that. It was simply what I had to do- live. Go through the motions, grieve and find that "new normal"
Over the past 2.5 years I have heard over and over again how strong I am. I'm convinced it's what people say when they see your survival. I don't feel that strength that others seem to see when they look at me. I'm just an ordinary girl who had some pretty shitty things happen to. I burrowed into my new normal, picked up the broken pieces and nestled into my new home of my so called life.
Until last night, I'd fight you to say your wrong if you called me strong. I survived.
But last night I did something. Something that I was unsure if I'd ever be able to do since the day those dreams were broken.
Dreams that got put on the side burner since the night we watched Nolan code in front of our very eyes. The images of compressions being done on Nolan in his issolette, the entire NICU staff surrounding his bed, the ocillator being brought into the room in attempts at a last chance effort. But I'll never forget that moment. The moment it was all over and the crowd slowly left the side of the issolette while Chris and I held our lifeless baby in our arms in pure shock.
The smell, the atmosphere, the moment has been etched in my head to this day. His spot in a room full of babies, right next to a door in the back corner.
But last night I took the first step in following my broken dream of becoming a NICU therapist.
Last night I was strong.
Last night I shadowed a dear friend on her shift in the NICU. I wanted to feel it out, see if I was ready: my heart was saying yes.
It wasn't my first visit back to the NICU but it was my first back into the corner Nolan was. But I surprised myself, instead of anxiety- I felt strength. Yes strength. Actually I walked past that spot many of times through the night.
And at one point, I found myself sitting and looking at his corner, right through that very door they brought us in when we were rushed up to the NICU. I didn't find myself mad or upset, instead I felt pure strength.
I may have been on the journey to be a NICU therapist long before Nolan was ever an inkling on our mind, but at that very moment I knew that my dream and goal were once again possible.
Not only that, I had hands on care with some of the babies. I saw equipment, heard the same noises and oddly enough felt like I belonged. As I did 2.5 years ago when my plan to become a NICU therapist was put on hold.
I had an amazing night. I proved to myself that I am strong. I did things last night that at one time in my grief journey I thought would be near impossible.
I can do this.
Walking out of the hospital this morning I felt on top of the world. It was what I needed.
So I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry when I got in my car. Ok the water works poured out.
But funny thing was it wasn't sad tears, it was thankful tears that I was able to do it. I'm going to follow my heart. I know I my heart is ready and I am going to be a NICU therapist, finally.