Sunday, April 14, 2013

An uncomfortable post

We are home!  Home is wonderful!  The girls are happy to be with each other and I hope I never again take for granted the pleasure of sleeping in the same house with my husband and children.

Home has its own new set of challenges.  We are beginning to work out both the ups and the downs of having nurses in our home.  An extra set of hands is absolutely necessary sometimes, but when I don't need help, they are still there.  Some are warm and friendly and lovely, and their presence is comforting even when not necessary.  Some are focused on the job.  That sounds good, and it probably is, but it means that when nothing is going on they are looking for problems.  That is a very stressful energy, even when they bite back their criticisms of my care.  Some are just there.  They will do exactly what I tell them, and nothing more or less.  I hope they warm up as time goes on.  One has simply not done the job and she is not welcome back.

Then there is coverage.  Apparently, if our insurance had simply denied us, we would have 24 hour nursing for a few weeks and then 16 hours.  As is, we had a complicated calendar.  First, 16 hours for three days, then 12 hours for three days, then eight hours for a a few weeks.  Then our primary insurance runs out and secondary insurance picks up- with sixteen hours.

So, on May sixth we might have a nursing schedule in place, but not before.  On May eighth, baby #3 is due.  Baby #3 might be named.  I am still teetering.

A few weeks ago, I saw a note in a prayer group.  A mother I did not know was having a very difficult time.  She was very ill and needed help doing daily chores and caring for her kids.  I was sympathetic, of course, hers was a very sympathetic story.  But there was another emotion, and when I identified it, I was startled.  I was jealous!  I was not jealous of her plight.  I am not quite that crazy.  I was jealous of her ability to identify her needs, figure out what she could do, and ask for help with the rest.  She asked for specific things.

People are always asking me what I need.  To be perfectly honest, that is a very stressful question for me.  I know I need help, but what do I ask for and who do I ask?  I have promised at least a dozen people that if I need help, I will ask.  So, I am going to ask.

The problem keeping me awake at night is what will happen when I go into labor.  Who will I call?  Will I have to bring my kids with me to the hospital because no one is comfortable with Sarah's needs?  What if I go into labor when I am alone?  Josh only works three days a week, but on those days, he is gone from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m..

My hope is that I can line up a few people that can come and be with my girls if I go into labor.  It would not be for hours and hours, it would be until my parents could get here.  The difficulty is that they would have to be comfortable with Sarah's needs.  I can train anyone who is willing to learn- it is not hard, but I understand that it is intimidating.  The idea is not that it will take a lot of people, but that most people are busy and so I want half a dozen people I can call, because at any given time almost everyone will be busy.

Otherwise, needs are clear.

I cannot go very far, which means Lily is cooped up in the house more than she should be on these beautiful days when Josh is working.  A few play dates or babysitting hours, even just an hour at the park, could make pretty dramatic progress toward sanity in this house.

I am in the process of re-organizing my whole house.  Fortunately, my Aunts and mother cleaned my house while I was in the hospital.  Unfortunately, living out of suitcases and bags in four different places for almost three months and then coming home with tons of new and big equipment means that the house feels turned upside-down.  Since the mess was brought into a clean house, I think I can get to the bottom of it.  But I could definitely use help, especially if you should happen to be one of those mysterious organizing types who would enjoy the task.  Organization matters for more than the sanity of the residents.  Since we have multiple nurses coming in and out, I have to make sure that everyone can find what they need.

And we are (or should be and will once we get the most immediate task of childcare under control) looking for a bigger car.  I am still not sure what to do about this.  If you or someone you know has a reliable vehicle that is biggish (thinking minivan size?) and are looking to sell, please get in touch.  Sarah has a lot of equipment, and we will have three car seats.

Food is currently under control, thanks to the blessing of a good Church community.  We moved to the area a few years ago, and were still new to the area when we found out that I was pregnant with Sarah.  It has been a whirlwind, and between getting to doctor's appointments and hospital stays and making sure Lily was in good and consistent hands, we simply have not been home very much.  We have spent more time in DC (hospital) and MD (parents) than at home in VA.  So, the truth is, we do not know our Church community at all.  Nonetheless, when they became aware of our need, they filled it.  I am not sure how to feel.  Grateful, of course.  These are near strangers filling a need, but I don't want them to be strangers.  Asked three months ago what our biggest  physical need was I would have answered without hesitation: a local faith community.  When things settle a little bit, we are looking forward to going to some of the social events hosted by the Church and getting involved in the various ministries.  In the meantime, we are encouraged and delighted to note that the community is here.  And we are eating well, which is I can absolutely say would not be happening without help.

A number of you have expressed regret that all you can offer is prayer.  Please, please do not apologize for the single most valuable gift we have received.  Wherever my faith does fall short, I do not have even a smidgen of doubt that God has sustained us through prayer.  God has protected Sarah and Lily.  God has shown Josh and me a path forward, even if it is only one day at a time.  God has given us inexplicable peace through objectively difficult times.  He is listening to your prayers.
"The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful." James 5:16


  1. Beth, you have our continued prayers. Love, all the Ortizes

  2. Our too. Love from all the Sullivans