Asking For Help

I’ve always prided myself on being a very independent person. I would do my own thing, by myself, alone. Most of the time, it really didn’t even occur to me to ask someone else to join me. But sometimes I did want to prove that I could do it by myself, that I didn’t depend on anyone. Now, this sometimes proved ridiculous, like when I was carrying at least ten bags into work one day full of things for an office party. Some guys returning from lunch at the same time, offered to help, take a few bags, or at least open the door for me. I said, “What? Do I look helpless or something?” How insensitive and prideful of me to refuse help and to actually be a little insulted!

Oh how times have changed. As a new mom I wanted to do as much as I did before I had a newborn, even more! I wanted to prove to myself that I could keep up with everything, that I could still keep everything under control. But its funny how life is sometimes. Now, as much as I still doubt that maybe I could somehow do it all myself, I could just get even less sleep, I could never sit down to rest, I know that now I really need help. Now is the time that I need to ask for help. My mother is leaving on Saturday morning and for the first time in my life, I’m really not sure how I am going to keep up with everything that needs to be done after she leaves. It’s scary. Its a loss of control. Its a vulnerability.

People have offered help. It has been so wonderful to read and hear the offers. It feels warm. It feels so supportive. In the beginning of all of this, I had no idea what to tell them, how they could help. Now the dust is settling and things are becoming clearer. I need help and I would love it if people would help me. I’ll admit that it still makes me a little uncomfortable asking for help, and my mind keeps questioning myself. Do you really need help? Can’t you just get up earlier and go to bed later and still get it all done? Do you even deserve help? But I am going to ignore those questions of my mind. Yes, I need help. I need your help. Please help me.

Here is how I need help – I need help cleaning, not necessarily my house, but bottles and syringes and vomity baby clothes and sheets. I need someone to help pick things up and organize some of the chaos that builds from each day. I need someone to help me with meals and shopping. I need someone to help me get some things organized. I need someone to fill my water bottle because I desperately need to stay hydrated and I often don’t have time to get water. I need someone to hold Hana while I sit and pump, because its hard to hold a baby and use a breast pump at the same time. A few friends who are also neighbors set up a help website, where you can sign up to help.

Again, it feels awkward for me to publicize my need for help, but I really would be very, very appreciative. At least until I get used to this new routine. In the hospital, especially in the ICU, the nurses and doctors kept telling me to go and get some sleep because Hana was going to need me even more when she started to get better. I thought, how can I possibly sleep now? But they were right. It feels like a marathon. And, as someone recently described, now sleep is really more a series of naps. You never really get to lay down to sleep. The day is gone before you know it. It is mid-afternoon and I am still in my pajamas. It is 8:30 at night and I finally have to think about making dinner (in between giving evening meds, 9pm feeding, and breast pumping again). It’s harder than having a newborn because I feel there is a lot less room to let things slide. You can’t be too late giving medication. You have to pump milk for the baby to drink. You have to run the feeding pump by a certain time so that you get enough calories in her in a 24 hour period.

Hana was very fussy today. Very fussy. She really didn’t want to be put down at all, she wanted to be held constantly. She also had her six-month “well-baby” visit with the pediatrician, which seems so strange to have considering all that’s gone on recently. But we do need to take care of other things besides her heart. For example, she has a hemangioma on her eyelid (you may have noticed that one of her eyelids looks “swollen” in some of the pictures) that needs to be checked again. But, I’m not sure exactly why she is so fussy. It could be the top tooth that just poked through today, it could be that she seems to have terrible gas or it could be the iron supplement is bothering her stomach, or something else. Whatever it is, I hope it clears soon so that she can have some relief! I love that sweet baby.



5 thoughts on “Asking For Help

  1. Praying from PA…. and so grateful for all of your friends and neighbors and yoga buddies and Coworkers and everyone out there who are physically there to help. It is so good for you and Paul and Hana that you are able to ask for help. I desperately want to be there to help you. Love you all 💙💙💙

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As your Father one of the great blessings in my life is seeing you as a Mom. You pour all your love into Hana and you’re delighted with all the joy and love you receive from her.

    Based on the love and support I saw from family, friends and strangers, in your family’s hour of need, I would prepare yourself for a lot of receiving, a lot of love. As the help pours in there will be an extraordinary opportunity to experience Gratitude. Gratitude opens the heart for all the blessings you receive. Gratitude will fill you with love from others. Enjoy it, let it knock off the rough edges in your life and bring you joy even during the toughest times.

    Kathleen you will always be independent but Gratitude will insure you are never alone.

    Love, Dad (filled with Gratitude)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What lovely words from your father.
    I know how hard it is for your to ask for help. I know if there was any other way you would not have written the words in this post… just isn’t in your nature. So the fact that you did, says how much the help is needed and appreciated. You have given heart felt appreciation so many times in your posts.
    I think that basically people want to give. But so often we block receiving for a variety of reasons. It’s wonderful you are open to receive the gifts that are being offered now.
    With love…….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I agree with Barbara!! What better words of wisdom could possibly be offered from you Dad. And Paul… I know that if your Dad was still with us, he too would have encouraging and wise words to say too. And I know that first hand.
    You two have done an incredible job with very difficult circumstances. I am sure that the help you need will come in droves. I just wish we were ALL close by to lend a hand.
    With my love.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. To Hana’s Grandpop, Erin, Barbara and Gary…I too echo your gratitude for those near to our loved ones! I want so much to be there to help! I am not able to be there. So I appreciate, thank and am so grateful
    for those who will so graciously give help. Please, please contact them to set up whatever days, hours, and shoulders to bear what they need! My prayers go to you too! Know that you are making a difference that will come back to you when you need lifted!
    Kathleen and Paul, I am so happy your community is available and rallied around you! Perhaps the social service contact from the hospital can put you in touch with a home health nurse or a CNA (certified nursing assistant) let someone contact them and check with the insurance as it may be covered, on your behalf. One may be in your help site already! I love you and wish I could be there! You are in my thoughts and prayers everyday!

    Liked by 1 person

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