“How are you?”
The standard formal greeting feels like a weighted question these days.
If I answered honestly, I would say: I’m restless. Sometimes I’m anxious-to the point I kind of start to have a panic attack, but usually talk myself down before it hits. My mind races constantly. I’m tired. And underneath every emotion is a hint of sadness, because the truth is I am sad. I dread the next chapter and nothing in this chapter will let me forget that it’s well on its way. I’m not having a crisis of faith. I’m not “sick”. I have a really hard delivery ahead. And I am not looking forward to the process.
However, I usually just respond cheerfully with “I’m good. All things considered.”
Someone will usually state “Well we are praying for you all” to which I acknowledge and appreciate and the conversation turns.
And really-all things considered-I guess I am doing pretty good.
I don’t have any sort of medical update to share and probably won’t for another week or so. I am supposed to have appointments with both the Maternal Fetal Specialist in Nashville as well as the Gynecological Oncologist this week. I will also have an ultrasound, iron infusion, and expect to receive results back from several tests I had ran last week. I was hoping that I could kind of forget about this whole thing until I was admitted the first week of January, but that’s not looking very likely at this point.
I have had a few days where I experienced light contractions and back pain, so I’ve been kind of forced to take it easy, but all in all I don’t feel bad. I’m just really tired. I’m hoping the extra iron helps with that.
I talked to an RN this week at one of my appointments that worked for many years on the antepartum floor where I will be hospitalized. She gave me a lot of insight as to what the experience would be like–and though it is definitely comforting to have the information-parts also made me cringe.
No visitors outside of Jon (including my boys). No leaving my room. Almost guaranteed that I will have a central line the day of the procedure. Possibility in a longer stay in the hospital after the procedure than I was expecting. Transfusion lines. Bruising. Swelling. Blood drawn and typed every 3 days. Ultrasounds. Constant monitoring for early delivery. Just a lot of “what you can expect” knowledge that was both extremely helpful and also overwhelming.
I loved her personality, and I am glad she will be my infusion nurse throughout. Again, like everyone I have encountered so far in this process, she was very very kind and spoke very highly of my doctors, surgeons and teams.
Like I have mentioned many times before, I am thankful-so, so thankful-I am in such good hands.
Despite the underlying sadness that keeps lingering around, there have been many, many people reach out and make my heart full. I read every comment and message and appreciate them more than I could ever convey. My aunt and cousins surprised me with a “self-care”basket, Mrs. Nell from our church has sent cards and surprised us with delicious homemade treats as well as the most precious blanket for Baby Banks. My mother-in-law has helped care for the boys in every way and has brought us dinner over and over again. My mama has also cared for the boys, cleaned my house, and talked me off of the ledge more times than I can count. And that’s just a fraction of the sweet gestures sent our way. I can’t even count the number of people praying on my behalf. They say it takes a village-and mine is pretty dang wonderful.
But with the good comes the bad and in total transparency – in case another sweet mama goes through this journey some day and stumbles on this post-there have been less than well meaning comments and interactions as well (Much like when I experienced a miscarriage several years ago and is the ultimate reason I started this blog). People have made stupid, hurtful comments. I’ve been offered “well intended” advice. People that I thought would surely reach out during such a difficult time, haven’t. And people I hoped would always mean the world to me, have clearly displayed their feelings are not in fact the same. Jon reminds me often not to jump to conclusions because some people simply don’t know what to say-and I know he’s right. But the fact remains that whether they do or not, the lack of interaction hurts.
I’ve talked to my counselor a lot about this, along with one of my closest friends, Kaitlin, and I have pretty well worked through it as far as specific people and relationships are concerned, but I felt it was important to state that “big deals” like this, do reveal in a sense. They reveal so much good. They reveal so much perspective. But they also reveal which areas and relationships to let go of (not in a mean sense, in a boundary setting sense)…..and which ones just need a little grace. Some people truly don’t know what to say. Some people don’t have the capacity (truly) to be supportive. Some are going through a “big deal” of their own. And that’s not something for me to take on or try to fix. It’s simply something I am called to extend grace to, because grace was first extended to me. So as hurtful as some of these comments and interactions, or lack thereof, have been, ultimately it’s been a revealing and cathartic process too that I feel like I’ve dealt a lot better with this go around than I did with my miscarriage. Thank God for counselors.
I feel like this has been a “rambling” sort of post, but I had these things bouncing in my head and needed to write them down. I guess since I am the one that authors this blog, I have that liberty huh?
Please continue to pray for us. Pray for Jon specifically. I feel like he gets left out a lot. I try to leave him out of my posts out of concern and respect for his heart, but he’s holding down the fort and holding my hand through every bit of this. He’s been wonderful and will do an amazing job through it all, I know, but still. It’s all a lot for him too.
Also, if you would, pray for Jack and Wade and for my aching mama heart as once I am admitted we will be separated for a long time. I know that my family and Jon will obviously take the best care of them, but…I’ve never been separated from them for that long (8+ weeks) and it hurts in a way I can’t describe.
Also pray for the many appointments and upcoming tests this week. Even if the results aren’t good, that the doctors are wise and well equipped to handle the prognosis, and that ultimately despite the odds, I’ll beat em.
Thank you for your continued love and support.
Joyce Stallings says
Oh, Bethany, I read every post you write and my heart aches for you, especially about having to leave your boys. I know that will be do hard and I will continue to pray for you and your sweet family