No one gives you a practical manual when a child is born. You simply go with the flow and figure some things out as you go. I remember weeping on the drive home from the hospital after giving birth to Zion. “Million Little Miracles” by Maverick City Music was playing, and I thought about how the act of giving birth to a healthy child is by far one the biggest miracles I’ve experienced in my lifetime. I had no idea the next series of “little” miracles would take place over the next 12 months.
On August 10th, Zion and I finally made our big move cross country. I had been in LA for all of 9 days (let that sink in… NINE) when my baby girl was admitted to the hospital with periorbital cellulitis. Essentially, this was a result of blocked tear ducts that she’d had from birth. Blocked tear ducts in and of themselves are not usually a big deal as they typically resolve on their own by the time most kids are 1. As a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, I had seen a number of blocked tear ducts prior to this… but none of them leading to such an infection.
On the phone with the Urgent Care provider that she’d seen just a day prior, I was told, “We advise you to take her in to the emergency room as soon as you can.” I had barely unpacked our belongings from Atlanta, less to talk of identifying the closest child-friendly ER. After a whirlwind of going back and forth, we headed to an ER in Santa Monica and Zion was admitted. Due to COVID guidelines, neither my husband or my mom could stay overnight with us.
During our 2.5-day stay in the hospital, I kept wondering where I went wrong. I’m in healthcare for god sake lol. Did I miss something? Was I not vigilant enough? Y’all.. I had on acrylic nails at the time and had even started to wonder if I had accidently poked Zion in the eye 😂 Of course, I knew I hadn’t, but I needed answers, and mom-guilt wasn’t just going to let me sit back and not blame myself.
On the outside, I was cool, calm, and collected. Providing updates to my husband and all the family members. On the inside, I was weak. In every sense of the word. The combination of sleep-deprivation from having a 2-month old, the fatigue of moving to a new state/city, and simply still adjusting to a post-partum new me was more than I could have asked for.
Since being in LA, we’ve gone through 1 hospital admission, 2 eye infections, 2 surgeries to fix said blocked ducts, plenty of appointments with the ophthalmologist, and countless prayers. The first year of motherhood has taught me, even more so, how to intercede for the life of another. Because there is no exact-manual for this parenthood thing, taking everything to God in prayer cannot be the #2 option. As with every “-hood” we will ever find ourselves in (wife/husbandhood, adulthood, you name it), He must be the primary source of seeking wisdom and guidance for daily living.
I recently received an Instagram message that said "you make mommy life look effortless." I can tell you it's only been God's grace. I was gifted with such a resilient baby who, despite everything that taken place in the last year, has been a joy to parent and love. Shoutout to our praying family and friends that held us down during that crazy period. I’m happy to report that Zion’s eyes are perfect and by faith, they will continue to be. Cheers to Year 1 - a journey I wouldn't trade for the world.