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.