I sat down to write because today is significant. It marks exactly one month since being admitted to the hospital to begin this really big, really hard journey. I thought I would have words to say, something profound maybe about lessons I’ve learned or how far I’ve come…but I don’t. It’s rare that I run out of words. But I’m lost for them today.
I think that itself is important to document. Sometimes we go through things so heavy that some days there are no words. There is no scripture to share-or profound lesson. There’s no update to relay or hallelujah to raise. Some days it’s just quiet.
I spent the morning at my mom and dad’s house. I could tell my mom was uncomfortable with my quiet demeanor as it’s pretty out of the norm for me, especially at home. I am sure I came across as a moody teenager again as I laid on the couch watching reruns of “Saved By The Bell”, but the quiet felt good. There were no monitors beeping. My phone wasn’t ringing. Doctors weren’t going to stop in as soon as I dozed off for a nap. No nurse would be stopping back in to get Banks off my chest. I could just lay there, quiet, while my boys napped. And I needed that today.
Maybe I shouldn’t rely on remembering this phase of the journey. Maybe I should document how I feel, and what the doctors say, and how I spend my days. In reality, I never want to forget riding with Jon to Nashville every other day and singing along to the radio. I never want to forget how tenderly he’s cared for me or how special it is to see all of my babies or how loved I have felt. But I want to give the quiet its time too. Because in the quiet, I rest instead of write. I pause instead of prepare. I process instead of panic. I release instead of read. I heal.
I still have a long road ahead physically, though I am getting stronger each day. I tried my best to prepare for everything mentally, but you can’t really mantra your way through the aftermath of a ventilator, open abdomen, and not meeting your baby for 6 days after birth. I still have a baby in the NICU, there are lots of hormones crashing and flying and I get easily “triggered” being at the hospital so much. But, in the quiet…in that space between Facebook posts and Instagram stories…..I think it’s important to say that I am struggling…and also, that I am healing.
From the photos and the hallelujahs that people see publicly, there is a false portrayal of reality that “all is well all the time”. Sometimes I feel like it looks like I came through everything like some sort of Superwoman character unbothered by the pain or disappointments along the way. That’s not the case. And its important to me that you know that. Not for pity or attention or for private messages asking if I’m suffering from postpartum…but for the sake of humanity. It’s really important to me that the women (and men) that read my words don’t associate “having faith” as having a lack of humanity. And maybe, now that I think about it, that’s been my goal for my writing since the beginning.
I am taking care of myself-both mentally and physically-the best I know how with the support of my husband and doctors. Healing is a lot of things right now. It’s an increase in medication and a decrease in activity. It’s avoiding the stairs and relearning how to take deep breaths. It’s the kids staying with grandparents. It’s going to see Banks every other day. It’s hot showers and clean sheets and sweet tea. It’s counseling and processing and napping. It’s dinner at a friend’s house and an eyebrow wax to feel normal, followed by pain meds when you realize you aren’t quite there. It’s a slow growth, a slight change, no pomp and circumstance kind of thing. Healing…turns out….is quiet.