Seasons of Change...Collecting Moments "as" They Fall
Reflecting on My Sister's News
Today as I sit here, I have a heavy heart because of some unknowns and trying not to worry about my sister and family. Amazing how one day everything is okay and then your life can change instantly with one word. I have no words that will make it okay and can't even imagine what it is like for my sister, I'm just glad they are not going through it alone. My family went on our Mountain vacation this past week and one thing is for certain, that God doesn't leave us during the trial, He's there beside us. He loves us so much and even though we may not understand, He is there through each and every emotion, thought and prayer.
Isn't that the point? Not to go through tough times alone, but it seems often times we don't want to put our burden onto others, we want to carry it on our own and sometimes I wonder if a lot of it has to do with a sense of control over the situation. I'm not sure? Everyone definitely handles tough times differently and how they process it. If you want to learn more about my sister's story, they are sharing it on their blog here: Geddie's Footsteps
Maybe the Point isn't always understanding..but staying by someone's side even if you don't
Sometimes the hardest thing is wanting to try and understand why this is happening and you hear these questions from loved ones firsthand with good intentions. We want to make sense of the chaos. Sometimes we have to accept we may never understand. Step back, take a deep breath or however you calm yourself during an anxious time...and realizing the bigger picture...that you yourself are needed to be 'present' for your loved one during a hard time that you will never understand the way they are feeling firsthand. One, because you are not the one going through this firsthand and two, you are never going to process and see the world the exactly the same way as someone else.
Finding a New Normal
The funny thing...thinking back to our family's time when our daughter was a preemie. When our family was a family where Ricky or I went to the hospital every day to see our daughter, we had to find a new normal. It was a really difficult time and felt very lonely. Many helped us through the physical needs but mentally is a different story, at least for me. We wouldn't have gotten through this time without our village of those who helped us, some I wonder if they realized just how much they helped our family during this time. I hope they know just how special they are.
It's hard to open up sometimes as a lot depends on the relationship and trust you have with someone and the willingness to want to share. I think for me during that time, I felt that if I shared how I was feeling, I would break down and I wouldn't have had enough strength to make it through each day for my family.
I am a very quiet person as well, guess I've found a way to share through writing. I tend to process things internally for a long time and journaling and try to make sense of things on my own and through prayer and scripture and support from my husband. I also needed to see my kids every day and their smiles. I think I needed to feel like I could hold it all together until I felt I could see a light at the end of the tunnel...hope this is making sense as you read. I'm also a very serious person, most people can't tell when I'm trying to make a joke, that's how serious of a person I usually am.
Blessings from Hard Times
Care for Others Going Through This Grew inside Me
I want us to further progress in finding ways for families not to have babies born too soon, but at the same time, I can't help but share some things I learned about myself that I don't think I would have learned any other way other than through a difficult time. I hope this encourages someone who may be going through a hard time. It may not come now while going through it, and that's okay, as it doesn't for most. It seemed...for me at least, to come in through broken places I didn't know were broken long after the hard time had finished as I processed this time in our family's life and slowly turned into something that grew in me to want to help others who are now going through a NICU stay. I know your story isn't the same as mine, but I hope this helps in some small way in letting you know you're not alone.
Life is Precious
My preemie daughter reminded me that life is precious and to fight for it. I remember reading to her a lot at her bedside, which was probably a lot for myself as well...I felt so small. Even though these days were so hard...they became so precious and every day seemed meaningful. The things most important naturally happened each day. You tend to not take the people in your life for granted...you make the most of the time you have together.
Everyone is Important
Dr. Seuss's "Horton Hears a Who". The famous quote of "A person's a person no matter how small"--Dr. Seuss
My World became deeper connected to What Others Are Going Through
I changed from our family's life in the hospital. My eyes were opened to what the NCCC in the hospital really was. There is so much I never realized that families are going through. I had just started experiencing this life. I met some of the kindest people with the biggest hearts...many of them were nurses who knew I wanted them to love my baby as if she was their own baby when I couldn't be there. Leaving the hospital was the hardest thing to do and I had to do it every day.
Started to see People's Hearts in Ways I Don't When "Everything's Fine."
I met one family who had a daughter getting heart surgery, a mom in the waiting room worried about her daughter with third-degree burns. Through all this pain and hurt, I saw something else. I saw mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, friends, co-workers relationships becoming deeper...stronger through the hard times. We never seem to think we're that strong until we have to become strong. God cares so much about our hearts and sometimes honest broken hallelujahs are part of the journey as we grow.
I know there is so much more I could write, but just want to end with this. From a former Preemie Mom, I'm truly sorry if this is happening to you. It may be later...maybe months, years, however long it takes, but try to look at the good that is happening through it that may not have happened any other way. I learned so much about myself during this time of my life and still remember it vividly...while at the same time...it almost feels like a dream now. I'm so thankful for our family, each one of them and so thankful that this happened, even though it's so hard and can hit you in your very core.
I was someone who never found my voice until I had to during our time in the hospital. Leaving that hospital each day was the hardest thing I ever did. I hope this helps you to know at the very least, there is someone else who knows a little bit about how you may be feeling. Learning to look at it as joy is the hardest thing to do, and may not come right away and that's okay. It comes through moments where your story connects with someone else's story to help them on their journey the way I had that from someone who helped me and my family on ours.
|Sporting her billibands|
|McDonald Waiting Room|
|Breakfast out before hospital time|
|She rolled over. She's strong!|
|Daddy's Little Girl|
|Why'd you wake me up with your camera?|
|Love alone is worth the fight|
|She is tough|
|So warm and snuggly|
|Waiting Room Fun|
|Pictures from her big brother and sister!|
|Don't underestimate me|
|Outing with the Older Two|
|First Photo with all Three|
|Ronald McDonald House|
|Best Christmas Present: All of us Home Together!|
|Held for the first time from her older brother|
|Held for the first time by her big sister|
|Our baby girl is so precious!|
|Baby Shower same day we got to pick her up right after and bring her home!|
|Thanksgiving with Friends|
|When we first got to see her after she was born. Lots of unknowns.|
|Her older sister grew a lot during this time.|
Lost her 1st tooth and learned how to swing by herself.
|Playing with Daddy in the Waiting Room|
|Friends who came to visit and are like family.|
Helped watch our older two a lot, let us stay in their home,
brought us meals, invited us to Thanksgiving.
We will never be able to thank them enough.
|Waiting with Daddy.|
|Big sister's drawing for her baby sister.|