A hundred years ago, babies died all the time.
An overturned pot from the stove, a respiratory infection, a stomach virus. There were a hundred ways to lose a baby, and it happened all the time.
I've been thinking about this today, as little Emmy is the sickest she has been. Feverish, miserable, with sores covering her bottom so badly that she hasn't worn a diaper in days, and a cough that causes every parent in the room to stop mid-sentence until she catches her breath. My little girl is sick.
But she's okay. And even as I've changed sheets and rocked her over and over the past few days, in my gut I knew it was just a bad week, and that she is going to be okay. Her life was never in danger; she just doesn't feel well. It's had me thinking a lot about the mothers who lived a hundred years ago, and how they must have worried when their babies were sick.
I am so very fortunate that all of my children are in good health. In fact, most of my friends' children are in good health, too. But so much of that is because of our time and place. Premature babies grow into strong, healthy children. Little boys (or girls, we just know boys) with asthma take their medicine dutifully before climbing onto their bikes. Whooping cough, blood transfusions, ear surgeries, nebulizers. They are all strong now, and healthy. And little Emmy, sick as she is right now, will be chirping around here again soon.
Tonight I am thankful that my little girl will be well again soon. And that she wasn't born a hundred years ago.