It has been exactly 107 days since my last blog post. During that window of time, I’ve had a baby, adjusted jobs, grown more in love with my husband and family, and learned more about trauma, love, and trust in God than I ever cared to learn. All because of Jane.
On Jan 11, 2014, at 12:09pm, Jane Margaret Harris came into our lives at a whopping 5.13lbs on her due date. Even now I hold this squirmy, now 4 month old 10lber in my arms. And I’m pretty sure she just blew out her diaper. Selah.
For 2 days we enjoyed our fresh little tinker bell at home, sat in the sunshine and enjoyed visits from family. What happened after that is nothing short of traumatic. It’s taken me 4 months to process and will probably take much longer, which is why I’m sure this is only Pt 1 of a very long series.
On Jan 14th, Jane was taken to her newborn well check. Jane was gradually becoming fragile, lethargic, and cold. The precious staff at Kaiser tried to remain calm but swiftly took Jane out of my arms and rushed ahead of us into the ER one building over. Have you ever seen medical professionals in scrubs run, not walk, an infant on a cart down the halls of the hospital? Me neither, until this day.
I was wheeled over to the ER (remember I was only 3 days postpartum after a natural birth..I digress) by an RN while my husband ran ahead. The kind lady who we still often see at check ups held my hand and all she could repeat was “Just pray”. My friends, it is a bad day when that is all your medical professional can muster.
Long story made shorter, Jane was brought to a stable condition in the ER. We were told her blood sugar had been below readable levels and due to this intense state of hypoglycemia, she had experienced seizures. We would spend the next 28 days at the Pediatric ICU in a city 45 min away trying to figure out why this had happened.
During those 28 days I learned lots of hard lessons. One of them being, you can grieve when no one has died.
My baby, was stable. Alive even!! Yet during our time in the hospital, I grieved. From the bottom of my soul I would cry as we fell asleep, and as we woke up, as soon as I realized it was not all a bad dream I would cry again. My source of grief you may ask? After weeks of mourning I discovered it: Pinterest.
Yes, Pinterest! The site that causes habits similar to those of cocaine addicts. The site made up of “health” “party ideas” “dream wedding” and “future baby bump” boards. The pastime we all know and love. Pinterest.
I mourned the things I had pinned and seen on Pinterest. The time I should have spent at home with my baby in her first days of life. I began to mourn the sweet pictures of bath time and newborn clothes I should have been putting on Instagram. The stroller rides and park visits we should have been taking (Mind you it was January and rainy but just go with me here). I mourned the baby wearing I should have been doing with my long brunette locks (and of course I should be doing this at the beach or in the mountains as Pinterest so accurately displays.) In short, I mourned my newborn baby Pinterest board.
But, as my baby slept in an incubator, with her only clothes for 1 month being a reused hospital blanket , and after 3 days of not being able to hold her due to a breathing tube and finally holding her but only within a 3 ft radius as she was tied up to heart monitors and oxygen readers, and as she ate her food not from me but a dingy feeding tube through her nose, I realized that while my life looked completely opposite of what I’ve seen on Pinterest, my life was FULL in every non superficial sense and right there in that hospital room I had everything I needed.
I had my strong, beautiful daughter who so clearly loved her mommy and daddy. I had my steadfast, faithful, amazing husband. I had family and friends like pillars and oaks in our world every day. I had Jesus Himself wrapping His arms around us every day and night. I did not have cute clothes, social status, or anything worth posting on Pinterest but I had everything I needed, and I stopped mourning 🙂
On her 16 wk birthday I would like to thank Jane for that lesson. That life is so much more than Instagram filters and trendy clothes and Pinterest boards. It’s messy, chaotic, unexpected and worth fighting for.
And just when I think I’ve arrived, just when I think I’ve finally got that life that someone somewhere would love to pin to their own “future baby” board, she spits up, or pees on me, or keeps me up for 5 hrs at night just to remind me that Ill never arrive, that we are human, that she is very much alive and healthy, and that alone is worth pinning 🙂