July 06, 2013

One Month

It is hard for me to believe that it has been one month since my surgery.
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."  

One month.
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!


An Ordinary Mom said...

Beautifully written!

You and your sweet family are still in our daily prayers! You have come so far from a month ago! Your life and the life of sweet Ben truly are miracles!

Chad Beeton said...

Jen you are a wonderful mom - to all eight.

You are beautiful. When I see you I am amazed at how well you look.

Many, many people are going to be so happy to see you at church.

Love You LOTS!

[and again this is Chris - not Chad :) ]

Jennie Plastow said...

Love you my sweet friend! I ache for you to be "back to normal". You are such a strong and amazing woman. You are in our thoughts and prayers daily. Hang in there! You can do it.

Sandra Butcher said...

Never doubt that Ben knows you. You are a part of him. Your smells, sounds, rhythms, voice, heartbeat and love are forever a part of his soul. He knows you. And he also has the gift of learning earlier than most that a) he can be independent, and b) that there is a network of people who also love and look after him. As understandable and natural as it may be, try not to project your insecurity onto him about this, or he will feel it. For sure what he knows is that in your arms he is home. That bonding can happen even after 16 months (as in adoption) and most certainly in less than a month. Take it easy kiddo, and be gentle on yourself (and stop bending down until the docs say the floor is one again your territory too!). Love you.

kristine barr said...

You are looking better even though you wish is would happen instantly. Love Sandra's comment. Take it to heart.

Marie said...

Sandra said it all... and beautifully! ❤
One day at a time, Jen. Keep that smile and sense of humor! 😎
God is good!

Sara Wright said...

On a side note, your profile still says mother of 7.You're a mother of 8 now ;)

Sara Wright said...

On a side note, your profile still says mother of 7.You're a mother of 8 now ;)

Cheryl said...

I had a high risk pregnancy and some serious concerns for months after (not nearly as life threatening as yours, but still some concerns) and I remember just wanting to be "normal". I felt the guilt too of so many caring for my baby. Hugs to you and your amazing husband and mother and for your sweet baby who will certainly know you as his Mama. My baby is 3 now and he and I have a very special bond. There is somehting about a Mom who is willing to sacrifice everything for them that creates an unbreakable bond!

CTR Mama said...

You are awesome. I love your choice to move forward through the hard while "counting your blessings." Thank you for sharing the real experience. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog a few weeks ago as I was healing from complications of placenta percreta. Unfortunately, I was 18 weeks pregnant with my second child when I began to have massive internal bleeding and needed a hysterectomy to save my life.

It seems horrible to say, but I am a little envious of you - not what you have gone through it is so unbelievably difficult, but that you have your precious baby.

I don't say this out of spite or to make you feel worse. Just sharing my story which seems to be uncommon as most women do seem to make it to birth and get their babies. I also know some women don't make it at all.

I wish you all the best in your recovery. Your baby is so loved and he will have no problem knowing who his mommy is.

jenifer said...

Oh sweet friend- my heart goes out to you during this time of healing. I know you have a sweet angel baby near you. I'm sorry for your loss and I promise to be extra grateful for every moment with my little guy.

Thank you for your comment. Keep in touch. I think sharing percretta creates a bit of a sisterly bond. Wish I could share my baby to help fill your empty arms!!

jenifer said...

I know...
That was a good point about adoption.
It really surprised me how much guilt I felt about not being there for Ben those first few weeks. It was good for me to recognize those feelings and write them down. I think I'm over it now, but really those emotions surprised me.
Love you.

Evaly said...

I have to say that this post made me cry. It is hard to read about your trials. I'm sorry you have to go through them. I also have to say that you gave baby Ben the greatest gift ever and someday he will be so grateful, even if he doesn't seem to know you yet. You will always be special to him!

Thanks for your comment on my blog. That was a sweet surprise. I feel like we are friends too :)

Mrs. Mathewson said...

I just wanted to thank you for posting all about your experience. I've just gone through a very simliar thing, my doctor were not as prepared as yours. I'm now also on the long road to recovery. A mother of 7. It's such a big change being capable and care for your family to then being the one that needs caring for. I missed the first week of my babies life. It's nice for me reading through your experience and knowing I'm not alone in this long road to recovery.
Christina Mathewson

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