There’s so much to say yet I’ve had such a hard time finding the words. I’ve also had a hard time finding the time to come up with the words. I’m also wondering if the baby ate some of my brain cells.
So much of our journey has been focused on the finish line. People would say, “take it one day at a time”. Yet my mind was always more buzzing through daily junk so we could get to the good stuff.
For me, the good stuff was getting to our baby. I just felt like if we just get Joe well enough to be there for the labor. If we just get home. If we just get to hold our little girl, then I thought all of the bad stuff would go away. It wouldn’t hurt so bad. That life would get easy.
Well, somewhere in there someone forgot to tell me how hard a newborn is! EASY? Haha.. I laugh in my own face!
Taking care of this tiny creature is hard on any new parents, then add in a dash of cancer, a recovering daddy and we are in for a series of strange events.
I sometimes feel like my house is the set of a comedic sitcom with a very dark undertone.
(ENTER STAGE LEFT)
Cancer patient talking to highly hormonal new mom over the sounds of wailing newborn.
The first week with the baby was a disaster. I’ll say it. Since I ended up with the c-section, I was on a lot of pain medications and— so was Joe. We were two doped up, exhausted parents trying to take care of this little creature. Thank God for my mom and dad who stayed with us the first three weeks and helped us carry things up and down the stairs and kept us just sane enough that Joe and I didn’t kill eachother.
There have been moments I didn’t prepare myself for. I guess there’s no way I could have known.
The day we went went into labor we had also spent the afternoon at Joe’s oncologist’s office. We talked about the “what’s next” and we both realized once again, cancer is never over. It was a rough day on Joe and he was tired when we realized my water had broke. I was so focused on myself and the baby and making this happen, I had to block Joe out. I couldn’t worry about how he felt or if he could do this. We didn’t really have a choice.
It was in the triage room, the nurse came in after an hour of poking to see if I was truly in labor. She said with a smile, “Well, we are going to have a baby!”
A sense of calm, fear and excitement flushed over me so you can imagine my surprise when I turned to Joe and he had tears streaming down his face. These weren’t happy tears. These were, ‘I’m having a mental breakdown’ tears.
To be honest with you, in the moment I was pissed at him. “This is my time,” I wanted to scream at him. “This is about me.”
He rambled through his tears about how he wasn’t ready. He felt like God was just waiving this baby in front of his face and he’ll hold her and then be gone before she remembers him. He kept saying, “I don’t even feel like this baby is mine!”
This was a moment of comedic genius as I tried to hush him before the nurse heard outside and wondered what kind of love triangle was happening behind the closed door.
I’ve only really realized now, that while I was focused on the finish line of the baby. Joe had not let himself even imagine it. He had spent the months that should have been spent “nesting”. He was in the hospital.
We have had a lot of funny moments throughout all of this. At the time they were happening I may not have seen the humor but now we belly laugh as we remember the days after the baby was born.
The first night with the baby, I was so weak and sore from surgery I couldn’t lift the baby out of her bed to feed her overnight. I’d yell to Joe who was passed out on the pull out couch, exhausted and medicated as well. “Get me the baby!” I was yelling. He sprung up and with the most serious look on his face started to talk to me about the adoption laws in China– only minutes later realizing he was sleep talking and not even sure where he was.
These were the moments where I thought, if cancer didn’t kill you— I will.
Now that could be my best seller.
It’s funny to talk about these moments, so frustrating and so funny. Now that Mira is 6 weeks old it all feels like centuries ago. We are making great progress and Joe is getting stronger every day. He’s really good with the baby and being a dad comes naturally to him.
We’ve had so much worry and stress, I sometimes forget to just be still. Maybe it’s the fact that Joe let me sleep in this morning and those 6 consecutive hours of sleep have cleared my mind. Or maybe it’s walking into my living room to see sweet Mira sound asleep on her daddy’s chest that reminded me to just—- be still.
Be here. Be still. Don’t rush to the finish line on this. Be still.