22 December 2009

How Far We've Come

2009 is coming to an end and I'm feeling rather retrospective.

Around this time 10 years ago, in 1999, Ian and I became an item. We traveled far and wide - trekking in the Himalayas, diving in the Great Barrier Reef, driving through the mountains of New Zealand, diving some more (cos I couldn't get enough of shipwrecks and manta rays)...before finally settling down 5 years ago.

We got our own little pad. Our own little car. Worked hard on weekdays and played hard on weekends -rockclimbing, swimming, hiking.

And when it seemed like going places had somewhat lost its thrill, we decided to have a baby.

That one decision was to turn our easy, almost too easy, existence into disarray.

We were chosen to be parents of a child with special needs. A child who wasn't expected to live past her first birthday.

We were thrown into the deep end - thrust into a world filled with medical terms, equipment and procedures - Patent Ductus Arteriosus, duplex kidney (what the...), glaucoma, apnea, scoliosis, tube insertion, CPAP, oxygen concentrators...just to name a few.

Our marriage was put to the test. While I dealt with the blues, Ian put up with a wife gone bonkers.

This time last year, I was like a wound-up toy, working my butt off in the office, stressed out and struggling to cope with what needed to be done back home. Ian single-handedly took care of Vera, with ad hoc help from our families. Feeding Vera through a nasal tube was a constant struggle.

So much has changed one year on.

Today, Vera is nearly 2 years old. She flashes her pearlies in response to people and play, and charms the pants off those who love her. Feeding is much easier now with the button in her tummy. We've got help with the housework, cooking and Vera's care. I've stopped work, and am 6 months pregnant with a baby boy. More often these days, Ian and I go out by ourselves, just like old times. We celebrated 10 years together last month (picture above).

Who would have thought we'd go through so much and come through?

One thing I've learnt: Tough times puncture your life for a reason - to make you realise just how much there is to be thankful for.