When you have a baby and the time comes for you introduce them to your family and friends, you're confronted with a few basis questions: Is it a boy or girl? What's their name? How much did they weigh? Are they healthy? Those are easy questions to answer most of the time....for most people. We aren't like most people. The birth of our daughter came with some very unpleasant news: she would need heart surgery. I would be out in public and someone would say, "Oh, how sweet - so perfect & healthy!" I would just nod my head, pretending that my child's health was perfect....not wanting to explain this and that.
The morning after we got the bad news, we stared at Savannah, tucked between us in bed and sleeping soundly. We were lost in our own thoughts. I broke the silence and asked Rob what was going through his head. "Honestly, I'm just annoyed," he admitted. I understood exactly what he meant. I asked him how he wanted to handle it. He didn't know and neither did I. The truth was that we wanted to lie there forever and pretend that nothing was going on. We both knew that reality would set in the moment we pulled ourselves out of bed and we would have to move forward.
Rob was annoyed that we had to tell everyone about Savannah's condition. There would be questions and we would need to provide answers. Her health needed to remain optimal for heart surgery. That meant we had to keep everyone in the family healthy....not an easy task with six people under one roof! Hibernation, here we come! We would also need help - again - with the boys while I shuttled Savannah to and from doctor appointments. I was worried about exposure to germs. I was worried about meals when I wouldn't be home to cook. I was worried about getting people to stay with the boys when surgery time came. It was daunting. It was miserable. Help was the last thing we wanted to ask for. We always seemed to need help and we just wanted to be able to help others for once!
People worry about you when you go through something of this magnitude. While we were certainly concerned about Savannah's health, it didn't consume us. Our relationship with the Lord is strong. That may seem odd to some people, but she was in the Lord's hands and that brought us a peace I will never be able to explain. We had relinquished control to the Lord years before through our experiences with Dylan and Jeremy. We knew the drill. We were used to hospitals, doctors and medical terminology. We were just frustrated that we had to request help and tell everyone - AGAIN!
Should we call everyone? Send them all email? What was the best route? Facebook is the "new thing" - maybe it could just be our status update? We joked. We had too....laughter is what got us through those intense moments. I called my sister the same evening we had found out about Savannah's condition. She gets it. She's the one can I go to when I need a level head in the midst of chaos. I can joke with her about my children's crazy health issues without either of us getting too emotional. I was doing that enough on my own. She asked me, "So, how are you going to tell people...do you really want to call everyone?" We just didn't have the energy to repeat the details to each set of parents, siblings, and close friends. An email seemed like the best option. We could spell it all out and people could process it in their own way. We would call our folks, but be able to refer them to the email, which would have more details.
There was a knock at our bedroom door. It was Jeremy. He climbed into bed with us, gazing at his new little sister. I don't recall all that was said, but I remember Jeremy getting restless after cuddling for a bit and I found myself looking at Rob. He returned my gaze and said, "Well, let's do this!" as he climbed out of bed. We shuttered at the thought of the long day ahead and the roller coaster ride we were about to embark on, but we were in it together. Even though we hated asking for help, the Lord had blessed us with amazing family and friends. This was the deck of cards the Lord had chosen to deal us, so we pushed our pride aside and dove in.