As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible and to trust God with the impossible.
Ruth Bell Graham

In 2 days, we will hand Ellie over for her first major surgery.  She is going to have her dislocated hip fixed.
She will then spend 11-12 weeks in a body cast (spica.)
Her head and arms and upper chest/neck will be free.
I am a wreck about the surgery - I always worry about anesthesia at the first surgery for one of my babies.
I have a great deal of anxiety about not being able to nurse her within four hours prior to surgery (& surely that will be confusing to her when I wake her up early for surgery but can't feed her) & especially about how we will manage feedings after the surgery when she is immobilized.
I know it is possible - but difficult.  
I dread the sleepless nights ahead and long days as we manage her cast care routine (diaper changes are supposed to take 25 minutes and need to be done every 3 hours in the night & 2 hours in the day.)
I dread a blowout into the spica that I can't clean and that requires an extra trip to Dallas and potentially a new cast.
I dread not being able to help her get comfortable.
I dread not being able to hold her just right.
I feel as though I am betraying her - she has no idea what she is about to go through.
I feel as though I am facing a mountain of impossibles.  
Thankfully, we serve the God of impossibles.
The God who makes a boy without feet walk.
The God who makes a baby girl who isn't predicted to survive, thrive.
There are lots of impossibles in our future.

For now, I have been focusing on the possibles I still have for a few days:

I've been reading to my babes lots.
And the other night, after baths, I caught my eldest reading a Bible story to his baby sister.
(By the way, he told me today that he kind of wished he had a baby brother also and that he "doesn't want Ellie to get teeth because then she will be a big girl.")

For now, it is possible to bathe her.
And so I have.
Even though that means extra taping for me (& her.)
I've also spent many a evening in the tub with her - because for now it is possible to feel her tummy and her legs and for her to feel warm water against her skin.
For now, it is possible for her to smell delicious - like Noodle & Boo shampoo.
When she is in spica, bathing will be impossible for nearly 3 months.
For now, it is possible and so we bathe.

For now, it is possible for her to get lots of Vitamin D & lay in the warm sun.
We have spent many afternoons watching her big brother play while she basks in sunlight.
I can only imagine her tan lines in a few months after coming out of spica.
(we've been doing some naked time outside too (well, not we but rather, she.)  It's gone really well except that I was peed on today.  You're welcome for that bit of information.  I have the cutest picture of her little bottom in the grass of our yard but can't post it since this is the internet... trust me, it's a cute bottom.

For now, it is possible for her to sit in her bumbo.  It is possible to change her position.
Soon, I will change her position often to prevent blood clots but her body will always be fixed.  
For now, it is possible to give zerberts on her bare tummy.
And so we zerbert her - 
we zerbert her lots and lots and lots.
She laughs.  We laugh too.
For now, it is possible for me to dress her up in most anything.  I am not restricted in my clothes options based on a body cast.

For now, it is possible for me to touch her soft baby skin...

For now, she can comfortably sleep and play on her tummy

For always, I think her big brother will be her hero.
He's certainly one of mine.
For now, I am finding a little bit of time for arts & crafts.
Soon, I worry I will have no free time outside of cast care.
 Right now, it's not possible for me to carry Ellie in this baby carrier... I have to use a baby bjorn active when traveling...
but soon, that won't be possible so I will switch to an ergo
 This is Ellie's cast care box - naturally it's pink & has her name on it
 Here are some of the items it contains:
a beetle chair - I've read it's the best way to help her sit,
tylenol for pain 
organic lavender oil to help mask the smell of the cast
mustela rinseless shampoo
gas relief drops - I've read that gas is very painful in spica as the baby can't move their body to work the gas out of their system
folic acid - Ellie's hematologist wants her on this while she is in spica
I also have been collecting lots of little diapers that she has outgrown but that I have read are good for diaper care - I'll post more on that later.
In our car we are also taking a nap nanny & a bean bag chair - Ellie will be unable to sleep in her crib & I've read that a bean bag chair is the best for sleeping.
Right now, this is possible.
As a mommy, I want to do.  I want to fix.
I can't fix or do anything about her surgery.
So I am doing what I can for now.
I can't take away her upcoming pain or discomfort.
But I can do everything in my power to make it more tolerable.
I am doing what is possible.

I feel very out of control with what is to come.  
I suppose assembling cast care boxes and researching best methods for spica care is helping me to feel some semblance of control.

For now, it is possible to bathe and dress and travel and hold and rock.
And so I do.
I spend lots of time just rocking with her body curled next to mine.  I feed her in my bed in the early hours of the day and we doze together and it's just such a lovely, peaceful way to start the day.  I rub her back and her legs and her little bottom.
Because I can.  
I have spent the last few weeks doing what is possible.
I am trusting God with what is impossible for me to control.
Thanks for covering our daughter and our family in your prayers this week.

3 thoughts:

Anonymous said...

I am hoping and praying that she is able to quickly "adjust" to her new cast. As always, I am sending my very best. I have tears in my eyes right now, looking at her pictures b/c she is SO beautiful! And really, you do know , you are a wonderful mom...

Love, your friends from Pittsburgh PA!

kelly w said...

we use gripe water to sooth gassy tummies at my house. its an herbal remedy of ginger and fennel that was suggested by my somewhat hippy lactation consultant! its good stuff and seems to help MUCH more than mylicon. praying for you!!!

(ejw's friend)

tory said...

This was a absolutly beautiful post. You could feel your every joy and heartache as you wrote every word. I will be saying prayers for your precious baby girl and for the family and I know God will be with all of you every step of the way! Prayers from Montana~~~~Love, Tory

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