On days like today, when we have so few updates to share, my initial emotional response is relief.
Relief that today may be quiet. That Olivia may sleep the day away, peacefully. Or choose to be awake, taking in and absorbing her surroundings in stride. That she may escape the pricks and prods of needles, and the stress of new trials. Just for one more day.
But my relief is often met (and challenged) by a sense of anxiety.
Keep in mind that Luke’s and my existence prior to Olivia’s birth was almost entirely centered around our sense of selves… which to date had been mostly defined by modern and perhaps superficial measures: how we had grown, how far we had come, how hard we had worked, what we were good at… what we had achieved, and why we had achieved them. Our strengths, our capabilities, our work ethic led us to our high school accomplishments, college successes, our careers.
In our professional worlds, the faster things move the better. Everything is urgent. Being “so busy” is the norm. Efficiency is a key to success. One’s goal is almost always completion… of something, anything, whatever dozen things you are currently working on at any given time.
I suppose it’s in our nature to keep going. To work harder. To figure things out and “succeed”.
So the idea that there are days here, now, in the hospital with Olivia, where we aren’t actively trying, doing, testing, changing… anything… seems in a way wrong. It feels impossible not to question. It’s this that bubbles up as anxiety, meeting and immediately challenging my sense of relief on quiet days like today.
Days when the blinds are drawn, the door is kept closed, and we hush our little girl to sleep for a day of “rest and recovery”.