June 03, 2013

Day 34- hug someone!

There are great gifts that come from opening yourself up to a village when trials come your way.

Having a large, active family naturally forces me to be known in the communities that we live in. 
Being very honest on this blog has opened me up to the love and awareness of many around the world.  
Having many extended family members who care, has kept me pulled close to my roots and my core.  
Having lived in many places around the states has left adopted family members who still feel close.  

Being bonded in the physical trials of child birth, Accreta, big families, preemies, or even the ache and joy of motherhood or womanhood or humanity, has introduced sisters into my life that I am ever grateful for.  

Just having time to sit and visit with family members, nurses, hospital staff, Facebook and blog friends, fellow patients, my own children, other moms in similar situations, etc., has expanded my soul and blessed my life.  

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the sense of community that I feel.

Thank you!! 
Thank you for walking this path with me.  I feel the love and hope you have for me and my family.  
I am better because of you.  I feel your stories-- we all have a story.  
Your stories give me perspective and strength. 

I know that goodness and healing spreads one heartfelt interaction at a time.  
Thank you for helping to heal me and my family.  
I hope you can feel my love, honest admiration and heartfelt gratitude.

Three days till surgery is like counting down to the middle.  
I have been reminded so many times in life that finish lines are fake.  
Days in the hospItal don't equal days on bed rest or days to heal.  
My surgery is followed by the dates of so many bed rest friends I have met with their own dates looming ahead.  
Perhaps the day of my delivery is the day of your diagnosis.  
My delivery could be the beginning of the end of hard-- or the beginning of a new hard I never knew.  
Such is the cycle of life.  
It is a good cycle.

My Accreta friend's baby came home the day I entered the hospital... And her journey was not over.  
We are all walking this path together with times to climb and stretch and times to glide and enjoy the wind at our back.  Life-- this great experience of mortality-- is beautiful and good.  

I would never presume to say that I'm done with my climb.  
Haven't we all laughed a time or two at the saying "God never gives you anything you can't handle?"
Um, He never gives us anything He can't handle.  
And, when you are at the bottom of your next mountain looking up that may or may not be comforting.

Today I am grateful for the little things.  Today I want to be better.
I have learned so much from each of YOU these past few months.
I am changed because of you.

Let's all take time to learn each others stories.
Share your trials with others.  
Let them see you and take time to see them back.

Feeling lonely is a result of closing yourself off- feeling loved comes when you open your heart to others.  
Love them more and you will feel loved by them more.

We need families, extended families, communities, church families, virtual families.  
As my family broadens my family is blessed.

Martin Luther, the inspired Reformer, once wrote:
The kingdom of God is like a besieged city surrounded on all sides by death. Each man (and woman) has his place on the wall to defend, and no one can stand where another stands, but nothing prevents us from calling encouragement to one another.

How have you shouted encouragement to me???

By reading and knowing my story.
By praying, fasting, putting my family on the temple prayer roll.  

Commenting, texting calling, messaging, emailing...

By flying across the country to take over the laundry, car pools, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, bathing, loving and mothering duties of my home.

Sending the most thoughtful gifts, books, DVDs, CDs, baby clothes and blankets, care packages, robes, games and treats for my children.  

Your thoughtfulness astounds and inspires me.
Honestly- it isn't like I have millions of people filling my mailboxes.  But a few, kind people make a difference.

I had friends rub my feet with lotion, visit me, bring food and treats and kind cards.

I had many drive my kids around, bring meals to my family, take my kids into their homes and love them as their own.  

You have cleaned for me.  You've  watched over my husband.  You have told me your stories, shared your children with me and you listen humorously when I'm cranky.

Sweet new friends here at the hospital have shared movies, spices from Yugoslavia, advice, encouragement, humor, a beautiful calendar, years and years of medical training and experience, cots, blankets, TIME, etc.

You listen and know us... There is power in faith, hope and charity.  Thank you for sharing your power!

Today, I don't mean to brag.  I mean to say THANK YOU!!  I am extremely humbled and unworthy of all the goodness that has come my way. 

Thank you for helping me up this hill and let's always do this for each other. Many people, doing good, are so powerful!!  We all need each other.  Little things do make a difference.

Before this experience, I loved many but often felt unsure of what I could have done to really help someone. I have a tendency to stick my foot way into my mouth or volunteer to help and end up not being helpful at all.  My greatest heartaches in life were times I hurt people I was intending to love.

The truth is-- we can not take away someone else's trial, but we can love and encourage them through their hard times.

I am determined to be more kind.  Why do I have a hard time even telling someone happy birthday on Facebook sometimes?

Small things do make a difference.  I believe we can change the world one small thing at a time.

Yesterday was a good day.  

Since my last steroid shots were over a month ago (yes, I've been here in the hospital a long time) and since my baby is still younger than 34 weeks, they are doing a 2nd round of steroid shots.  I feel like this is a blessing.  His little lungs (and my muscles) are going to be that much stronger!  

Nurses and doctors continue to tell me they have never seen a patient with as severe previa and Percretta as I have that hasn't bleed out or at least spotted.  I feel blessed.  I see the miracles!

You know how I've whined about having to have a new, jugular, central line?  Well, my chest line has clogged four times the past few days... They are calling iv therapy again this morning to draino me out again.  I suppose a wise anesthesiogist was right after all.  I would hate to be clogged up during surgery.  An IJ, however uncomfortable, feels like the right thing to me.  It may just save my life?!

I had lots of family visit and am laying here this morning surrounded by little girls as our sleep over commences.  There is joy in family life!

My bishop drove 3 hours round trip so that I could see Drew get set apart as the president of his young men's group in my hospital room.  Grateful they called Drew to this position even though we are moving.  What a thoughtful, kind man.  Church here in my hospital room has been a sacred, holy experience for me.  I will cherish these moments.

3 days till... Another exciting, joyful, terrifying day.  That will be followed by another day.  And all of our lives will go forward no matter how changed the days make us.

Once, as my sweet sister in law was leaving my hospital room, she said, "Well, let me give you a hug because I may never see you again".  She was referring to her flight home the next day.  But, as she left with my family, I sobbed in my room.  I sobbed with gratitude and heartache-- a good cry.

Today, I know that we should hug away!!  Every day is a day where we might never see each other again.  That is always a possibility at the same time that it is NEVER a possibility.  We may be seperated for a time- but we will be together for eternity.

Let's hug tight today and encourage one another on our individual journeys!
Life is so good!! Even when it's hard!


Suzanne Stauffer said...

I'm praying for you. I just had my 5th csection four weeks ago today! Accreta worries plagued me at the beginning and end. I had nightmares worrying that we would get in there and find bad news. But God is good and He kept us safe. So I visit this blog daily. And I pray for you. And I pray for me to that if I'm blessed again He will keep me safe - even if that means safe with accreta like He is doing with you.

jenifer said...

Congrats Suzanne on your new little one. I have many friends who have had to had repeat c-sections. I've thought of you often as I've learned more about Accreta!! Good luck friend. I will say-- I knew I had another baby boy and I would choose this again knowing the risk. But, I feel so done right now that even if I could keep my uterus I would be finished having children. You and your husband will feel peace as you decide! Oh-- love up your squishy baby!! I can't wait to meet my own, not so squishy little man.

Steph said...

Dear, sweet Jen. I think of you so often and check daily for an update. My mom asks about you every week. Thanks for sharing your journey. I so wish I was close enough to bring you soup :)

Brenda said...

Jen, as random as this is...I was college roommates with your sister in law Lanette (love her), and through her blog came across yours. You inspire me and I want to let you know you and your medical team and family are in my prayers!!

Diane said...

I loved all of your thoughts, Jen. Wow! only 3 more days. I will keep praying for you.

Eliz said...

I found your blog through googling summer chore chart. I started reading and felt connected to you in so many ways. We just had our eighth child seven weeks ago. I had a difficult pregnancy but nothing like what you are going through. Your writings have inspired me to do better and to be better and to love more. You've been in my thoughts and prayers these past couple weeks. I sit and nurse my newborn and think of you. I'm praying for you and your family. Thank you for sharing.

CTR Mama said...

You are awesome! Thanks for sharing this tender chapter in your life. I read, I remember, and I whine just a little bit less about the mountains in my own life. How wonderful to be in God's hands.

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