Our holidays were less than ideal this year.
This is my son - he is almost 2. This picture was taken Christmas Day at the Children’s Hospital near our home.
After a severe reaction to 2 respiratory viruses, we spent 5 days in the ICU and 8 in a regular ward.
But, scary times like these do the oddest thing - they remind you of all of the amazing things you have going for you.
Both my husband and I felt deeply grateful - for the amazing hospital in our backyard, for our family willing to stretch and change traditions so we could be together over the holidays, for the health of our other 2 children, for jobs we love, friends who rallied, and our public healthcare system.
I never imagined being with my child in a hospital so long… so it never occurred to me that I would be also deeply grateful for the fact that my child was an excellent sleeper.
We know that immune systems function way better when we sleep well.
And sleep well he did.
Amidst the bells, the alarms, the coughing fits, the nurses checks, the change in schedule, the discomforts… he was able to sleep. If he was woken by something, he was able to easily get back to sleep after we soothed him a little. But, it was never OUR job to get him to sleep - he could do that all on his own.
He maintained his 12 hours at night, and increased naps considerably so that he could fight off his viruses.
He didn’t have his regular routines, or crib, or his dark room with perfect routines… And yet, because he COULD sleep, and because he NEEDED to sleep, he just did.
The nurses were impressed with his ability to catch his zzz’s, and noted that this wasn’t the case with many families.
His sleep time provided my husband and I time to work, to unwind, to process our own feelings, and, to sleep and nap ourselves.
Honestly, I think it’s what helped us to keep our sanity during a pretty challenging time.
As we move into 2020, we are hoping to move this scary time into our distant memories. But, we want to hold onto our new-found gratitude for all the little things we forgot to focus on… with great sleep being at the top of our list!