|Mutton Bird Island Nature Reserve - Coffs Harbour NSW|
The first days, weeks and years of Faith's life were spent commuting to and from the city hospital. They were horrible trips filled with pain and angst. We were never really home long enough to enjoy our own beds or be involved with friends activities. It was a lonely place. Night's were long and it was hard to distinguish the days. It was a challenge and when we came home we stayed at home, because it was easiest. It was easiest not to plan a holiday because not once did a plan we make ever happen with Faith being sick. Hindsight is beautiful. As I look back I see so much more wrong with Faith I didn't see it because I didn't know. Faith being our first baby how were we to know what was beyond the realms of 'normal'.
Hospital admissions became less and we survived. We slowly grieved what was lost, walking, talking following the natural progression of development. We started embracing each moment and hours of Faith's wellness. Days were split into hours as it was the only way we managed. We started going for little outings and then little drives. We ventured further from home. We saw the world differently. We had longed to be free for so long and these mini adventures gave us not only hope that we could manage out with oxygen and a NG tube but we appreciated the beauty around us more. The clouds seemed deeper, the world looked fresher and inviting. Faith loved exploring, watching the water dash over the edge of waterfall or the raindrops hitting the car like squashed cling wrap. We started feeling less stuck in medical land.
Fast forward, four and half years on and we still love our mini adventures. Faith loves touching the water, splashing in the water, being part of everything, no longer willing to sit on the sideline she wants to be part of the action. Her stroller has traveled up steep hills, been carried up steep steps, strolled along beaches with only her wheel marks to say we were here. We have pushed the stroller into a walk in pool and sat by the water and marveled at the beauty of where we live.
It has all taken courage, courage to not just accept 'I can'ts' but to try and try. Never give up. We have failed so many times but was it failure? Or perhaps it was good that we tried. Slowly the attempts at being part of life again became more successes. There was less tears and more laughter. There was adapting to change and finding joy in a different style of fun. At last we embraced the difference and found new ways to be a family and we found peace.