Thursday, October 31, 2013

Yes Please. And Thank You

 I have learned a lot about accepting help from other people since Johnny has been born.  First there was the adjustment of having a baby.  Then having a baby with major medical issues. So many people reached out to us during those first weeks offering support in the form of prayers, food, company, and help around our house.  I didn't cook one meal until Johnny was two months old.   Little by little I have adjusted to having a little one around, but I'm not nearly the multi-tasker I used to be. The first meal I made after Johnny was born (a salad)  felt like a major accomplishment. And our bathroom only gets cleaned about once a month now. (And now you're not going to want to come over any more.)

Then there's being a home-owner and all the work that goes along with that.  Let's just say that with a little one who wakes up (almost) every time I put him down and a husband who works full time while going back to school there are a lot of things around here that get left un-done. Our neighbor mowed our lawn all summer, and is currently cleaning out our garden for the winter and making compost for us.  Taking care of our house is something I love to do and pride myself in. Not being able to keep up with all the things I'd like to do was very humbling.  I told Alex that we could have a beautiful yard, or a baby, but not both.....we've got a baby!

Then I broke my foot last month.   I am so grateful, because that could have been way worse than it was. I was only on crutches for five days before being able to put weight on my foot again. But for those five days life came to a stand still.  Having a baby and a broken foot meant sitting on the floor all day with diapers, water and the laptop within reach while my friends and family did my grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning for me.

Round two in the hospital brought on another wave of offers for meals and help with errands and other things. You'd think that by now I would have no problem saying "yes please!" But my initial reaction is still one of independence. I'll be fine. I don't need help. I'll figure something out.  Accepting help from other people is humbling, it's admitting deficiencies and lack of control.  And who wants to seem like they don't have things under control?  But if I am honest with myself I quickly come to the conclusion that I do need help. I am human. I can't do life by myself and I'm not supposed to.  I'm glad I don't need people to cook and clean for me all the time. But for the times that life has overwhelmed us, I'm glad we have great friends who have offered themselves up.  And  I am blessed with a marriage and friendships that fulfill the needs of everyday life; love, rest, intimacy, community, support.

So, if you are one of the many people who have brought us meals, visited us in the hospital, washed my dishes, cleaned my toilets, done my laundry, made trips to the grocery store, left treats on our porch, brought me a latte, and kept me company, THANK YOU!!! You have made life sweet when it otherwise would have been very bitter, and Alex and I have mentioned you in our prayers many times over.


We are home from the hospital! Johnny's catheter came out this morning and as soon as he was producing wet diapers we were free to go! The game plan from here on out is thus: for the next three weeks we will leave Johnny's bottom alone to heal.  Then we will have an appointment with his surgeon to learn how to dilate his rectum with special rods.  We will be dilating it for 3-4 weeks, gradually increasing the size of the rods, and when our surgeon deems the dilation to be going well we can schedule the third and final surgery. Two down, one to go.

Here are some pics from our last two days in the hospital.

Johnny was reunited with his dear Mr. Ducky who usually hangs from his car seat.

Tuesday evening Johnny was super grumpy but wouldn't go to sleep.  When Alex got to the hospital after work he sat with Johnny on his lap and he fell asleep within 5 minutes.  Sometimes I think Johnny needs both of us around before he will go to bed.

A visit from Grandma and Grandpa Shepperd

Johnny got a new toy from the ostomy nurse

He's a stoma buddy and we call him Stoma Stan

Johnny likes Stoma Stan.

Hopefully now that Johnny can pull Stoma Stan's bag he will stop pulling his own

We were able to use a stroller to go cruising around the hospital floor.

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