Beholding walls and angels: asking for help

Make yourself familiar with the angels, and behold them frequently in spirit for without being seen, they are present with you.Saint Francis de Sales

Dear new mom,

You are a woman. This means you are going to try to do everything. You will never be able to. This is ok. You are not going to remember this when you are trying to do everything. Hitting a wall a few times will remind you. You will save much energy if you can recognize that you are going to have to let things go at times and ask for help.

I think I best learned this lesson on day two of being a mother and was sent help from my guardian angel.

Motherly endurance

The day after I gave birth to my child, I was in the hospital room alone nursing my baby to sleep. I had a c-section and needed a nurse to put my little one in the wheeling crib. I also requested someone take him so I could get some much needed rest.

The nursing assistant paused and gave me a judgmental look when I asked. I’m sure she was busy (probably didn’t even realize I had just been through surgery). I’m sure the nurses didn’t want to be bothered that day with the one baby on the floor when there were other patients who needed care.

Its not like it use to be when mothers were forced to rest and the babies had to go to the nursery, its the complete opposite. Bonding time. Mothers need to bond with their baby, is the latest, trending medical recommendation.

I folded. I felt guilty. I needed to give my child the best. I needed to give my baby bonding time that the other babies got from their exhausted mothers. This is my child. My baby. My responsibility. I’m his mother. I have to take care of him. I want to give him everything. And I wanted to bond. I really wanted to bond. I told her never mind and leave my baby.

The wall

I didn’t fall completely asleep because I was afraid I wouldn’t hear him cry. When he woke up, I hobbled out of bed, searing in pain to change him. I tried to get back in bed while holding him and couldn’t. I couldn’t do anything for him. I hit a wall. I had hit the same wall earlier, for Pete’s sake! Why twice? Oh, that’s right. Guilt. Rammed my head into that wall again out of guilt. Bonding. I needed to me a mother and bond right then and there.

I ended up on the couch across the room, baby in arm, stuck. Half sitting, more like leaning. All my other muscles were aching to hold my baby and keep us from siding to the floor. I had found the only position that would not agitate by surgical wound, though I wasn’t sure how long that would last.

And the cherry on the sundae: away from the call button.

Asking for help

“Oh, guardian angel,” I prayed. “Please send someone to help.” I relaxed my mind completely and trusted that someone would come soon. About 5 minutes later, the floor manager came through the door on her rounds. She was taking a survey of my stay at the hospital and quickly realized I was not receiving the attention a new mother should.

I told her I was hoping to get some sleep, but I was trying to keep the baby with me. She empathetically told me, “Well, of course you were! We are woman. We try to do it all.”

I agree with the supervisor. After a day of labor and major surgery, I was trying to take care of myself. Who did I think I was? I could barely move at the time. How was I going to take care of my baby if I didn’t rest?

After I was safely in bed with fresh sheets and baby safely in the nursery, the attending nurse who was suppose to take care of me entered. Slightly agitated, freshly reprimanded by her supervisor, I’m sure. With a slightly tightened lip she suggested that I please ask if I needed something.

We all need to ask at times

I fell into the same pattern we all do. Trying to do things completely on our own. Feeling guilty or too proud to admit that we can’t do something on our own. We are only required to give our very best. Asking for help when met with walls in our path.

It takes humility to ask for help. You are recognizing that you can not do everything. None of us can. You are taking care of yourself, and taking care of those who you care for by making sure you are in tip top shape.

God will send you help when you need it most. His angels are always present ready to assist, inspire, and guide at His command. He wants you to ask. He doesn’t want you to be alone. He does want you to ask so He can reveal His glory to you in your weaknesses.

{The Lord said to me} “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

Do your best. Give your all. Ask for help with everything beyond your strengths. Trust that all that needs to get done will. God will give you everything you need.

One helping hand to another,

Your Big Sister

brick walls vines