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Monday, November 24, 2014

Life's Reality Checks

Shalom!

It has been quite some time since my last post, but I have been a bit busy!  October and into November brought the last few weeks/days of the Boxt household being 3.  On November 4, at 11:50 PM, Danika Tzippora was born.  And, even though she came on her own time (a few days early), she was not quite ready for the "big world."  So, Batya and I had to spend the first few days of young Danika's life commuting between our home and the hospital.  Of course, the hardest part of the whole situation was trying to explain to her big sis, Carlie, why she had not come home yet.  You see, as the daughter of a rabbi, Carlie is much more aware of life than a lot of kids her own age.  Many, many times (unfortunately) over the past few years of her life, Carlie has watched as her Aba went to visit people in the hospital (or in hospice). Of course, death is inevitable...so, when I told her that her little sister was sick and had to remain in the hospital for a few days to get better, her immediate response, "She isn't going to die, is she?  I really want a little sis," definitely pulled at my heart strings.  Thank God we brought Danika home after only 6 days.  For our little family of 4, things have turned out beautifully.  And, for that, I am blessed and eternally thankful.  Yes, Danika has quite a set of lungs on her, but as we were told in the hospital, "When she cries, it means she is breathing and everything is ok!"

Throughout those 6 days in the NICU at Northside Hospital (more on them later), Batya and I were faced with test after test after test.  You see, Danika had stopped breathing 2 times while in the nursery for more than 20 seconds...and the doctors/nurses could not figure out why.  So, mostly for precautionary reasons, every possible test was run.  After all was said and done, nothing came back abnormal.  So, Batya and I are monitoring Danika closely on a Apnea monitor for at least a month.  Again, this is one of those things that we must do just to make sure.

Every time Batya and I spoke with the staff in the NICU at Northside Hospital (and really ALL of the doctors and nurses at Northside), we were truly amazed not only at their knowledge, but also with the level of care they showed to every baby present.  And, while we were thankful that Danika was progressing, we were also very aware of the other babies...and the uncertainty present.  My heart goes out to every one of those babies and their families.  When your baby is sick (and it does not matter how old they are) - there is no worse pain.  And, let me tell you, although I appeared very strong during the whole process, I was torn up inside.  I really did not know what would happen next...and I just prayed a lot that all would be ok, not just with Danika, but with all of those little ones.  I must say...there is no better of a staff than the staff in the NICU at Northside Hospital.  Thank God for every one of them!

Over the past couple of weeks, as I have been at home on paternity leave, I have had many opportunities to marvel at the beauty and perfection of little Danika.  Yes, she is loud...but you know what?  She is a Boxt...so there is no surprise there.  The strongest woman that I have ever known is her mother, after all.  I am so blessed to be sitting next to Batya Boxt on life's roller coaster.  She keeps it real...and grounded.  I could not imagine my life without Batya...and now without Carlie and Danika as well!

Sometimes, life happens - and most of the time it is a reminder to take a step back, refocus and start again. Those little breaks, those reality checks - perhaps it is what we need when it happens; on the other hand, perhaps it isn't.  It is up to you to decide...

Rabbi Boxt