Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Outside My Window

The longest twelve weeks of my life were spent in a room with two walls made of glass. I was 4 stories in the air and looking out on the hustle and bustle of the city for nearly three months. I was also confined to a bed, 6 months pregnant and on the verge of losing my kidney function and my baby.
I don't know if the nurses felt sorry for me or if they just wanted me to have enough light with my diminished eyesight, but I was put in a room in Utah Valley Regional Medical Center with half of the room a giant window.
When I was first admitted, I was scared and willing to do about anything they asked to save my own life and that of my baby's. After 8 weeks of watching "the world" go past my window seat...literally, I was done.
I was trapped in a bed. bored out of my mind. Often alone for long hours. I was sick, swollen, allergic to my pregnancy and tearing holes in my skin at night because the rash on my legs was so bad. The food was tasteless. The bed was hard and my body was shutting down. We'd moved to Provo for just this contingency and having been hospitalized, my husband couldn't work. Every day they told us...Not today, but maybe tomorrow. Don't go anywhere. Between blood draws, high blood pressure, round the clock insulin injections, whirlpool treatments for my torn skin and melon sized hands and feet from kidney failure. I couldn't take anymore.
My husband who'd been by my side the entire time tried to comfort me, but I couldn't be soothed. The nurses who took care of me around the clock tried to tell me how important every day was to the baby's survival, but it seemed hopeless. My doctors tried to tell me it would only be a few more days, but I knew better.
Until the day I gained perspective because of those giant windows.
My husband had gone to find himself some food and I was sitting by the windows, wishing desperately to join the world passing by. I could see just enough at that time to watch people on the grounds, cars on the road and children playing on the grass outside. Despair at my plight overwhelmed me. The desire to get out of my wheelchair and just walk out the doors was so powerful I clutched the side-rails to keep myself from doing so. The last straw was a couple carrying a wrapped bundle from the hospital, putting it in a stroller and walking down the sidewalk outside my window.
I backed away from the windows and crawled back into my bed to cry. When my husband came back, I was distraught and inconsolable. As he sat beside me, trying to dry my tears and buoy me up again, a commotion broke out from the room next door.
The woman in the room beside mine was only 16 weeks along. She had more than 20 weeks to go and she was pretty miserable as well. When her cries and tears spilled from the room, along with gown clad doctors and nurses, I knew she wasn't miserable over her upcoming long stay. Her cries were of pain, grief and despair. She'd gone in to labor again and the doctors couldn't stop it.
A few hours later, a nurse slipped from her room with another tiny bundle, this one far too small and still. One little foot protruded from beneath the blanket so pale and lifeless I choked on my own breath.
She checked out of the hospital the next day. She went home to her life, her car, her world outside my window. She went home without her baby.
At times in my life when my heart is breaking because I can't have what I think are the deepest desires of my soul, I remember the difference between the worlds in and outside my window. It is not what is happening for others that makes the other side of the glass look so perfect. It is our perception of what is happening on our side.
My husband spent three months, not eating, sleeping on a lumpy mattress and going stir crazy so he didn't leave me alone. dozens of kind, caring, wonderful doctors and nurses took care of my baby when my body refused to do it. I didn't deliver my son until I was 34 weeks into my pregnancy. He was purple, not breathing, and unresponsive, but he lived. My world was never outside that window. It was inside. the blessings, fortune, and love of God kept my world spinning when it would have been so easy for me to join the outside world like my neighbor had to.
If your world seems, small, lonely and empty, maybe its because your focusing outside your window when everything you need  is on your side of the glass.

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