Over the past few months as we've shared Charlie's story with friends, family and acquaintances - we have encountered any number of comments. Some are as simple as, "We'll pray for you," or "I'm so sorry." Many relay stories of friends/family who have "been there and done that" and assure us everything will "work itself out."
One of my favorites is, "Let me know how we can help." I normally joke back that they shouldn't make idle offers because we are making a list of people who volunteer services. But honestly, I'm not really joking....we've got your name and number if you've said that to Matt or me in the past 4 months.
The comment that boggles me the most is when people say, "I don't know how you do it." Really?!?!? What choice do we have? We have two other boys at home and one on the way that is going to need lots of extra attention. It's not exactly fruitful for anyone involved for Matt or I to curl up in the fetal position and give up. Matt has to continue working to earn money for our family and maintain our health insurance. Last time I checked my 3 and 4 year old are not self-sufficient and can't adequately cook, clean, and transport themselves around town. So we go on...
(For the record - I think all these comments are well-intentioned)
Some days are better than others. Yesterday, I was in a funk. Emotionally charged. Drained from having 'kept going' for too long without a break. (Matt was out of town for nearly two weeks straight). So I cried. I said out loud that I was scared. I'm overwhelmed at the idea of balancing two toddlers in preschool and gymnastics while tending to an extremely fragile baby in the hospital. More so, I'm trying to figure out what we'll do with this fragile baby when we come home - and no longer have some of the highest paid babysitters (doctors and surgeons) checking on him all day.
But the point is - We're Doing It. All of it. The good, the bad, the muddled mess in between. We're blessed that we have a great support system. We have friends who are willing to babysit. Family who has trekked along to doctor appointments to serve as extra sets of ears. Office mates who have sent special onesies that will accommodate all the cords, wires and pumps that will be hooked to Charlie in his early months. Those friends and family are doing it. This is going to be the epitome of 'It Takes A Village.' We're learning to embrace that!
I Don't Know How You Do It - If we don't, where would that leave our children, our family, our marriage?