Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The support of family

In the weeks following the first one at home, I experienced unconditional love and support from my family. I could write a book enumerating all the wonderful things family did for me but I will high light a few.

Gram and Gramp have two homes, one summer and one winter. I went to stay with my mom and then aunt (who flew in from MN for the week) while gram and gramp stayed at their summer place and came to visit.

The plan was for me to rest for a week, have my aunt and family take care of me and Isabel.

While that happened, none of us really knew what we were getting ourselves into. During that week, we trekked to and from Exeter hospital for appointments 3 times that week and each day I had at least 3 appointments in different places. It was logistically tough and Isabel had no schedule and feeding her was tough when I was laying on the table having a wound vac change. She ended up getting more formula that I wanted. But what could I do? In the scheme of things she didn't get more than one feeding of all formula a day. So really it was me more worrying about my milk.

I was so thankful to my grandparents, mom and aunt for taking care of all my needs. Helping get Isabel, dressed, changed, fed sometimes and soothed whenever possible. They all carted me to Dr. appointments, helped with my VNA visits and meals. They all provided a sense of normalcy in a very abnormal situation. They all loved little Isabel so much. My sisters even came up from MA to Maine just to stay over night and help me get rest. They brought Isabel adorable little outfits and cupcakes for me :)

By the end of alittle over a week, I still needed alot of help and J was back to work so I went to stay with my sister and brother in law. At first I was nervous because I am not the neatest person in the world (thats no secret) and now I am going to stay with my very tidy sister and bringing a baby!

Jess and Scott were amazing! They just welcomed me in with open arms. They unpacked all my stuff, set me up in their spare room and took care of me and Isabel. They took over my care too and carted me to my appointments in NH. They are a good team thats for sure! I cherish the time I got to spend with them and having a chance to get to know Scott alot better. It helped that Scott was around alot and able to help so much with Isabel. He could soothe her, change her diaper and feed her in the middle of the night. Good training for the least I think! Jess and Scott if they ever have kids will be trained and amazing parents!!

Jolene, like Jess also took off a day a week to help me get to my appoitments. I really loved the time we got to spend together, just us sisters. She is calm and very good with Isabel. We had little adventures just the two of us. We had lunch in the cafeteria and it seemed that it was she that was there for big milestones like when my wound vac was taken off and my pic line removed :)

Coming home was such a bittersweet time because on one hand I was so ready to come home and be with J and our little family. In so many ways our little family didn't even get a chance to just be. We had so many complicating circumstances that we barely even got to talk on a regular basis so much was going on.

On the other hand, I was physically alot closer to most of my family by living at my sisters. Even some of my friends came to visit while I was there. I enjoyed the emotional support I got from my sisters. They were really there for me to listen to my worries, hold my hand through my own pain and calmed Isabel when she was crying. This experience though it was unexpected, difficult, challenging, painful for me and emotionally draining, there were bright spots:
  • I got to spend valuable time with my grandparents, time that though it was tough for me, was terrific for them to get to bond with Isabel in a special way
  • My relationships with my sisters grew even stronger
  • My sisters are now experts at infant baby care, even if there were a few brown legs along the way :)
  • My aunt was so loving and kind with her time and support, it was such a bonding time for us
  • I got to spend more time with fabulous cousin MaryAnn who provided such love and support in so many tangible ways
  • My mom was there from the beginning and helped carry me through the hardest time of my life

Being bounced around for the first 7 weeks of being a new mom was challenging, add a c-section infection and not being able to take care of myself and you have a difficult situation. I am just so thankful for my family. They stepped up for me in every way possible.

How can I ever thank them enough? I am not sure I ever will be able to show my gratitude to the depth I feel it. I am thankful that despite what happened, our daughter is bringing family together. I can see how each person has so much love her, it makes my heart swell with joy. She is a special little miracle.

I will never know why I had to have a c-section, why it got infected and all the rest but it doesn't help to look back and ask why. I believe God allows things like this to happen for a reason. Not because He wants to see his followers suffer but these situations draw us nearer to Him. I have learned humbleness, to trust in God for everything each day and to accept the help of others. Having to be totally dependent on others was so hard for me. I am a doer and like to do for others. Having everyone do for me was new.

As the weeks go by and the events start to fade my emotions dull surrounding the events and I can focus on my little sweet baby girl. She is the reason I live, its all for her. She has changed my life and only in good ways.


Jolene said...

Aw, sis, this was beautiful. I had tears, I had smiles, I beamed with pride, and I got goosebumps at the power of love for a child. This was so well written. I am so proud of you! I can't wait to see you tomorrow! love you!

Jessica said...

Agree with Jo - this was so touching to read and made me so proud that we are the family that we are, and that we are the three-strong sisters that we are too. I love you so much and would do it all over again in a second. XO!