Thursday, September 16, 2010


"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

I'm going to be honest here.

I am very fearful lately.

I've been having some anxiety being around the babies who are hooked up to the ventilators.

I'm fearful of Joshua's surgery on Monday.

I'm terrified of coming home and managing a house and 3 small children by myself while Shane is working.

I'm worried about our finances.

I'm not afraid to admit that I could possibly have some PTSD or some other form of anxiety from all of this.

I'm also not afraid to admit that I've still been having nightmares of Joshua- the pictures of him blue and lifeless are burned into my mind and haunt my dreams

I'm terrified and I'm struggling.

Seriously struggling.

I'm lonely. Missing my 2 other children, my husband, my friends, my church, my home. 

I'm fearful that Joshua is not going to thrive once he's home.

I'm afraid that my kidney/bladder issues are going to turn into something major that is going to cause even more stress on our family. 

I'm struggling to be at peace and to just rest in Him. How do you just give your fears up to Him and leave them at His feet? How do you move past all of this and live a strong and courageous life?

I feel like I spend more time in prayer than I do out of prayer. I know that is a good thing, but I'm struggling enough that I have to be that way. If I'm not constantly talking to God, I feel like I'm going to lose it. It's those small silent prayers that get me through the day. During those quiet moments in Joshua's room, I sit silently in the presence of God. I bask in His love for me, yet I'm still fearful. My heart is full of praise and thanks for Joshua's life, yet I'm still terrified.

"Have I not COMMANDED you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

I'm trying God. I'm trying.


Kelipso said...

I can totally relate to this, and it is unfortunately normal. Last year I was having so much anxiety after my son's OHS. I had major survivor's guilt, seeing the other NICU babies, knowing that some of them would never go home. Images of your child in distress are forever burned in your brain, but it does get easier, I promise. It takes time, and I'm still dealing with my PTSD, but it has gotten better. I recall finding this article online about NICU parents suffering from PTSD and it felt so validating, and made me feel not-so crazy. ((hugs))

Kelipso said...

Here is the original blog post that I found the article on. You can read other parents accounts of their experience with NICU PTSD in the comments section. My comment (#19) was from January of this year.

kirsten michelle said...

BIG love and lots of hugs to you, Jill. The fear is understandable. There are so many unknowns, so many obstacles, so many seeming impossibilities. I keep getting told that that's what God does best -- shows up in these situations in ways we didn't expect. I know I'm counting on it for us, and I am hoping for and counting on it for all of you, too. Keep up the good fight, mama. The first round is almost over.

Paula and Family said...

We love you Jill.

Jamie Roberts said...

Hopefully your kidney problems are just a result of all the stress you've been going through. Our bodies do funny things and seem to be more weakened when we're having mental struggles. I know this won't take away the pain of missing your Caleb and Hannah, but someone told me once when I was struggling with feeling like I wasn't seeing mine often enough (even though it doesn't compare to your situation at all) that they are very young and they won't remember much, if anything. They know you love them. I know it's hurting you. But you don't have a choice! You're doing everything you are supposed to!

Hannah said...

I think is easy to remind yourself that Joshua is young and he is resilient; it is tougher to admit that you are struggling. The fears and concerns you have are real and to be expected; what can you do to get support? I know it is overwhelming to think of putting your needs high on the priority list when you are the new Mom to three, one of whom will need special care, but you need to do it-- don't wait. Just having given birth, having had little time to focus on your recovery, the prevalence of PPD at large and the nightmares/flashbacks you've been having, it sounds like you need to listen to yourself. You will be able to meet the challenges ahead, but taking care of yourself will allow you to give your kids the best care possible. I'm always happy to chat if you'd like:

Hannah, Mom to 3 (Cora, HLHS, 9 months)

MrsB said...

I read your post last night but wanted to give my response some thought before I posted. I have a daughter with HRHS who is now 8 months old. I remember being in the hospital post-Norwood with her and thinking "If I take my eyes off Jesus for a second I am going to be swept away by my fears". And so - like you - I read my Bible - I prayed and I was in CONSTANT communion with the Lord to get through those days. We are now home - post-Norwood and post-Glenn and thankfully things have settled for us. I still have to stay close to the Lord or thoughts of the uncertainty of the future will overwhelm me, but it is not the same as it was when we were in the hospital right after her Norwood. The Lord has changed me and grown me and He will change and grow you too. My husband and I also have a 3 year old little boy who I didn't see much at all for almost 2 months after our daughter was born - just a few hours here and there. The guilt of that was very difficult for me and it was difficult for my son to be away from me - but the Lord is redeeming and after we got home... after some time... he settled back down as did I.

I hope that I helped you in some small way and I will continue to pray for you and your son.

Mom to Anna Grace (HRHS)

Stefenie said...

Your feelings are totally normal Jill. It is very hard in the beginning because there are so many things that you are having to get used feedings, meds, learning about your child's cares, how to make time for your other children, bills, bills and more you have the worries of your child's health problems. It can be a little overwhelming.

I can tell you that some of it does get better with time. You eventually get "used" to a lot of things which seems crazy now that you would ever get used to such things but you do. I think it is our way of surviving the things we have to endure.

Hang in there!! Keep your faith close. It definitely helps to have the constant conversations with our heavenly father. It allows you to find some peace in all of the chaos!

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