We were married August 27, 2011. We are having a little girl and her name is Louisa Jean Riley. This blog has grown now to OUR journey. We will walk through the diagnosis of Louisa having a Atrioventrical Canal Defect and Down Syndrome. Mike and I will both write to serve as a ministry tool, as well as, keeping people up-to-date on Louisa's progress and delivery.
Monday, January 02, 2017
The Day I Cried in Walmart
Last week was a tough week. After leaving UK Children's hospital I came down with strep throat. YEP. Add it to the list of yuck from last week. Mike and my mom took care of Louisa throughout the night(s). I had to wear a mask and run to the doctor before the holiday weekend. I started an antibiotic but still had a 103 degree fever. Saturday I woke up feeling better but then fear set in. My mom was going to have to leave and go back to Iowa. She graciously took an additional week off of work to help us, and let me just reiterate WE NEEDED her. I started to feel sick to my stomach just thinking about not having her help. On Saturday Louisa seemed the same. Very upset. She was pooping so much her bottom was getting very raw, and she was not sleeping. I was still sick, my mom was leaving, and my husband would be gone for minimum 7 hours to meet my brother half way to drop my mom off on Sunday. Saturday night my mom and I prayed over Louisa and we read scripture. On my knees I begged God to give me strength, wisdom, and patience. The Lord is the only one that can heal her. Trying to live in that truth I still couldn't eat because I was sick to my stomach.
Sunday morning my mom got up early with Louisa so that Mike and I could sleep in. The morning felt too fast and I wasn't ready to say good-bye. I held Louisa and looked at my mom, tears filling my eyes and thanked her for being such a huge help. She and Mike left to meet Blake in Mt. Vernon, IL and Louisa took a nice hour long nap. I whispered soft prayers all afternoon and felt a little lighter and a little stronger. I will say I could hardly talk to anyone on Sunday without just bursting into tears. My brother and my dad tried calling me but majority of the conversation was me crying. I was scared.
Prior to Louisa's heart surgery I had been told by SEVERAL people that the surgery was life-changing. Almost all of them said, "It felt like we brought home a different baby." No one really told me about the recovery process and what to expect because the short recovery was so worth the "new" baby they all experienced after the heart repair. In my moments of fear I wasn't seeing the joy everyone had told me about and I was getting more and more discouraged. My baby wasn't sleeping through the night anymore and she was in severe pain. She wasn't smiling or laughing but she was screaming a lot louder than she had before surgery. Again, I was scared.
My Aunt had told me about a Similac formula that she had just tried on her grandson and thought it might work for Louisa. I called Walmart, made sure it was in stock, and got Louisa in the car and went. Walmart is literally 1 minute away from my house so I said to myself even if she did scream the entire time, it was only 1 minute. However, Louisa didn't scream. She was perfectly content back in her car seat. We walked around Walmart for a bit and I picked up a couple things. It was a Christmas (week late) miracle. I walked up to the check out line and the sweet cashier looked at Louisa and looked at me.
She then said, "Is she sick?"
.... my eyes welled with tears. I croaked out, "She is, she had open heart surgery a week and a half ago and things have been really hard." Tears spilled over my eyes and down my face. The cashier's hands covered her mouth and it seemed like she lost her breath. Her eyes grew softer and tears started to form in them. She said, "I am so so sorry. I am so sorry for what she has been through. I am so sorry for what you have been through. I will be praying for you both." I couldn't stop from crying believe me I tried. I wanted to fall to my knees and weep. I wanted to cry loud tears. For the first time I was actually processing what Louisa, Mike and I, and our family had just experienced. That poor cashier did not have a clue what she was actually asking me. Sometimes God uses people to give us the grace we need. Sometimes He uses people you never would expect to help us cope. Sometimes God uses complete strangers to touch our hearts and challenge our perspective. That is the beauty of how God works. I am so weak and so broken. I am so glad He is in control and I am not.