Before I had Lyra I totally knew there would be days where I would have to say, “it was good enough.” I knew sometimes I would miss bedtime, my child would eat highly processed food for dinner, or they would simply skip dinner and go straight for the sweet stuff (after all, they would have half my husband’s genes). I didn’t plan on having many of those days, but I knew they would be inevitable.
Then I had Lyra, and a day that was only “good enough” became terrifying. Straying from the schedule meant missed calories or fluids that her tiny body desperately needed. Changing her sleep schedule guaranteed a falling apart child and 2-3 hours of rocking her to sleep. Having a day where she kept down most of her food simply wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t a very big step from tolerating most of her food to landing in the hospital, dangerously dehydrated, with an IV. There was no such thing as “good enough”. I felt like there was perfect, or falling apart. Nothing in the middle. It felt like one small thing would send us into the next crisis. I was a ball of nerves and constantly on high alert. It was exhausting.
In the last year, I have been slowly relearning what it means to have a day that is “good enough.” Lyra is strong enough, and stable enough, that she can miss out on 2 oz of extra water one day. She can have a few days where she is short on calories because her GI system needs a break. She can have a day where she doesn’t poop (2 days is still concerning, but that is beside the point). There is also a little more wiggle room in her feeding schedule. One of her feeds can be off by 30-40 minutes, and it isn’t going to throw her whole schedule (and GI system) into chaos. Yes, even being off by 30-40 minutes used to DRASTICALLY change how she tolerated her tube feedings.
Slowly allowing a small amount of fluctuation in our daily lives may not seem like much to outsiders, but it has been liberating for me. While I still keep a detailed spreadsheet with her daily calorie intake, I no longer agonize over every little missed (or lost) mL for that day. If her system is starting to show signs of strain (aka projectile vomit more than twice in 24 hours), I feel comfortable switching her to pedialyte and slowly building up her calories over the next 3-4 days. I am learning to say, “today was good enough,” and move on. It’s not always easy. It’s not done without trace of anxiety, but I am able to do it and be comfortable with the decision. Maybe one day I will be a little more like the parent I had pictured myself as. For know, I it’s good enough.