Two weeks later I took him in for his follow up with our doctor, who couldn't hear or feel the click, but wanted me to get an ultrasound done at Children's Hospital when George was six weeks old. Normally this would send me into a worst case scenario thought cycle, but with three kids under three, I am usually too distracted to go there.
So six weeks rolled around and we got our appointment. I set my alarm and dragged myself out of bed super early to take him in before the other boys even woke up. For most people it wasn't that early, but I still managed to feel sorry for myself.
We walked into the hospital and stopped at the front desk to get my photo badge.
"This is a temporary badge," the lady at the desk said. "But if you need to come regularly for treatment or blood draws, we'll get you a monthly badge."
"Okay, thanks," I said, silently beginning to worry that something could actually be wrong with my little peanut.
We made our way to radiology and waited for our turn. While we were waiting, I saw too many beautiful babies that were definitely regulars. It got me thinking about all of the parents who have been through those doors, who walk those halls, who hold little hands and say silent prayers, and worry and lose sleep, and would do anything they could to make things better for their kids. It made me thankful for my children's health, it put some things in perspective (like the fact that a little sleep depravation is really nothing at all), and it filled me with compassion.
George's name was called, he slept through the whole exam, and his hips are normal.
I called Nick on the way home to tell him how it felt to be there. I spent a lot of time there as a kid myself, and I actually remember it fondly. But as I tried to put myself in the shoes of the parents who have to get those monthly badges, my thoughts and feelings changed. I wanted to do something for them. But what? The first and simplest step is to pray. Nick suggested a novena*, and I think that's where we'll start. Praying for peace and endurance and hope for all of those children and their parents. And continuing to be thankful for what we have today.
*A novena is a nine-day period of private or public prayer to obtain special graces, to implore special favors, or to make special petitions. (Novena is derived from the Latin "novem", meaning nine.) As the definition suggests, the novena has always had more of a sense of urgency and neediness.