Baby Ben is one month old today.
Thinking about the past month makes me cry. What a month. This past month has changed my life for better and worse.
I'm not sure I'll ever be the same.
My aunt sent me two videos- one of Ben in the NICU, he's fussing a little and wrapped in tubes, the other video is me just breathing at one of my sickest times.
Both videos make me cry.
As I hold Ben, I whisper to him that I am his mother. I tell him over and over "Sweet boy, I am your mother." I will him to remember me and know me from the time he spent in my womb.
He is used to one month of being cared for by many different care takers. I feel guilty for not being there for him during his first weeks when he needed his mother most.
I hope, amidst loving siblings and grandparents and nurses and visitors, that he knows his mother. I hope that he'll want me, and that in time he will come to trust that if he cries mother will answer. I hope I am we'll enough to answer his cries and become a constant in his life. How I love that little bugger.
I can see the toll that caring for me, my home, and my children is taking on Todd and Grandmas. It hurts me to feel their exhaustion. I am so sick of being needy.
This has been one month-- I'm just ready to wake up back in my normal life. My hard will heal with minimal long-term difficulties. My soul aches for people like Stephanie Nielson who have more long-term consequences. The longer it goes, the more you just wish it away.
Today I have so much to be grateful for and I am grateful. Very grateful. And yet learning to live my everyday life is hard. Being patient with recovery is hard. Constantly needing help from others is humbling and at times humiliating.
I remember in the hospital my mother saying, "I'm so proud of you Jen, you don't even care that your bum is always showing." I cried when she said that. I did care, I just didn't have a choice. That night I made them put me into scrub bottoms- even though they hardly fit around all my tubes. The next day Todd went to buy me maxi skirts. It is hard being ill...
We went to a pharmacy in town that sells fancier compression socks. I'll need to wear them for the next 3 months. The woman who helped us with sizes just looked at me with compassion. I read the part on the box that says, wear these socks if you have just given birth, have just had a surgery, or if you have blood clots. I seemed to fit all three categories. As I was pushing my baby out, on top of my walker, the woman held my hand and said "May God bless you with a speedy recovery." Sweet lady.
It is funny to me how much of a mess I am. In public people really stare at me like I am a sad, sad case. Little kids ask their moms why I can't walk. One mother showed her young child my newborn baby. The little girl looked at me and said, "Now I can see why having a baby is awfully painful."
Tomorrow we will bless our little man, it will be my first day back at church.
I'm nervous that I will look as sick as I still feel.
Sometimes I think I'm doing great- I hardly feel painful at all. Then, I let my pain meds run out and I feel like I got hit by a bus. Nothing like true pain to remind me that I really am still healing.
I had a suitcase on the floor and decided to kneel down to find my clothes. Kneeling was not a good idea. I was in such excruciating pain I could hardly stand back up. As I clung to my walker, I just cried for everything I still can't do and I still felt warmed by all that I can do.
I guess what I'm trying to say is-- I'm SO SO grateful for this past month and also a tiny bit sad that we had to live through it.
I'm grateful for my today-- and yet it is still very hard.
I love these days of newborn baby-- I've already lost too many days of enjoying my baby because I was sick. I don't want to lose one more day of his life. I don't want my recovery to overshadow his sweet milestones.
I feel like a little girl being cared for by her mommy and I'm ready to be a capable, independent mother of 8.
One month down... And many more to come!! As Ben grows, I will continue to heal. And soon he will be cute and smiley and pudgy, and I will cook dinner and be able to lift Eve down from her high chair.
Time brings healing... One moment, one day, one month, one year at a time.
We are going to get through this!!
Life is good!
Little Ben and I are celebrating the miracle of life today.
I almost died-- and I lived one month past surgery!
Little Ben might never have made it past pregnancy- depending who his mother was and what choices she would have made. He might not have lived-- but he did. He has lived one glorious month and has many months ahead of him.
Months ago, we chose life.
And today we celebrate the painful reality and beautiful possibility of this first month.
Yes-- LIFE is soo good!