My Lesson: Stay on Your Toes – You Can’t Prepare for Everything

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“Do you want us to perform life-saving measures on the baby?”

I think I barely blinked as the question was asked.  “You mean my daughter?” I responded.  “Yes, ma’am,” she hesitated, “your daughter,” came the somber response from the doctor who stood before me.  She was flanked by two nurses, one holding a clipboard.  I looked anxiously at my husband and simultaneously, we answered, “Of course.  Yes. Yes.”

As twenty-five years olds, we were both ill-prepared for a question of such magnitude.  I was 26 weeks pregnant with a two-year old at home.  Something had caused my white blood cell count to rapidly rise, risking my life and the life of my baby, my unborn daughter.  An emergency C-section was going to be taking place within an hour and these questions had to be asked.  The clipboard was left behind for our signatures and a psychologist stopped by for a brief consult.  Were we ready?  Of course, we were not. Did we want to call our clergyman?  We had already been shooting prayers heavenward.

A Miracle, Our Miracle

Our baby, our daughter was delivered weighing in at a whopping 2.5 pounds.  She was very sick, as was I.  But my five-day hospital stay was miniscule compared to her eighty-nine days.  Her lungs blew out three times and a brain bleed incredibly, miraculously disappeared by week two.   We, the parents, were lucky we didn’t know more about what was going on but as time went on and the weeks passed, we quickly became educated as to how much more could have gone wrong and just how lucky we were as we saw little ones like our daughter not survive.

She came home…

She eventually came home weighing 4lbs 14.5 ozs.  Renee “Nee-Nee” was tiny, but more than twice the size she was at birth.  No, we were not prepared.  Could we have ever been prepared for this?  Probably not. But the wisdom and experience gained are incomparable.  And I have often looked back twenty-four years and thought, how did I ever survive it?


Anything New Can be Scary

You will never go into any new position with any new company, start any new project with any new client, work with any new team without feeling ill-prepared, a little green, a little wet behind the ears.  But each time, you will perfect technique, learn a few tricks, and become better at your craft.  And the wisdom – oh, the wisdom you will gain.  The ability to read a voice, a pause, and mannerisms becomes more keen and directing a conversation becomes child’s play and, at the same time, precisely cutting – getting right to the point, the jugular.

The Lesson

Motherhood eventually got easier, as does my job, every day.  It got easier because I stopped thinking I knew what I was up against and quit letting myself relax into it.  I have learned that staying on my toes is easier than picking myself back up a hundred times.



by Rayanne Thorn


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