"And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
I could hardly blog this post until today but it needs to be written. In the midst of precious moments, some don't feel sweet at all. Sunday, was one of those days. The day of discharge arrived too quickly. Never have I despaired leaving the hospital as I did this time.
I wasn't prepared and after the first tear, they wouldn't stop. It was the snorting, uncontrollable kind...the type we all cried as children. Others were sympathetic but it didn't matter. I was leaving him.
Paul decided to take home my bags after he parked me in the NICU. It was a good choice. I sat in the NICU staring at all of Jude's monitors. I enjoyed him resting. I sat quietly, in the dark and listened, closing my eyes, waiting to feel better. His nurse slipped around the corner, giving me the space I needed. When she returned, she shared her story. It was similar to mine...the lengthy stay, surgery, and sadness. She completely identified with me and encouraged me to grieve.
Paul returned an hour later to carry me "home," empty handed. The sobbing never stopped. Hours later he called a dear friend who shared her wisdom with him. Around 11pm, we were on our way back to the NICU. Not too many words but a settling mama. This all lasted for a couple of days while deep sorrow was evident in everyone.
I met another mama in the mother's milk lounge and we both expressed our feelings to one another. She is my new treasured NICU friend that has her own story of struggle. She helped me to laugh a little and to get over the hump.
I'm grateful for a husband who isn't afraid to call a friend. I felt cared for and have a renewed strength from all of those who took the time to pray us through. As the tears fall at his bedside now, Paul reminds me that Jude is still here, and encourages me to take captive my thoughts.
There are other challenges including a low milk supply, daily abdominal blood thinner injections, swollen feet and legs, high blood pressure, worthlessness, lack of rest, and guilt feelings for our other children.
The most difficult yet, however, is seeing Jude cry. Because of the tubes down his throat, there is no sound. Only a red face, clinched fists, angry legs and secured arms that want to fight but can't. The sinking feeling in my gut is heavy...too heavy to bear.
We need the Lord's strength and know He is able.
Last night when we made our final visit for the day, we found Jude less stressed, and relaxing well for the first time in days. I lowered one side of his bed. Leaning over, I barely reached his head with my face. I stayed in that position for quite some time, letting the tears flow while smelling his newborn noggin. I couldn't get enough...it was the first time I had that "mama moment" so far. ~Jen