There is no other way to explain Reese McClain’s successful surgery and road to recovery but thru the power of God! It’s truly amazing and we cannot thank everyone for their words of encouragement and being a prayer warrior for us–truly a blessing!
Kyle mentioned in the previous post about how we were told what to expect after surgery but I wanted to touch on it from a mother’s perspective. Many that know me well… know I’m a planner… So, I googled images of 1 year olds that had open heart surgery trying to prepare/wrap my head around how I was going to see Reese. NOTHING prepares you to see YOUR child with so many wires, monitors, tubes and ventilator hooked to them. The room was so bright and shared by another baby with just a small rolling curtain separating Reese and other baby. Beeps were going off constantly and I had one of those moments were it feels like everything has just stopped… and you lose your breath. The nurses told me that I could talk to her and touch her… I didn’t know what to say because I knew if I said anything that I would start crying (I was trying to be strong and not cry)… so I reached for her hand… Then Reese started to try and open her eyes and got really upset because of the ventilator and held her breath…. she turned purple and I had to sit down–crying. I couldn’t take my baby girl being so upset because she knew her momma was there but was scared. It’s THE HARDEST thing I’ve ever done. As I’m sitting beside Reese’s bed.. I’m just asking God “please give me enough strength to stand by my baby girl, ask the nurse questions and let Reese know everything is going to be ok”….
I went home that night and Kyle stayed behind to be with Reese I told a dear friend, “I’m not strong enough for my own daughter” because they were going to remove the ventilator but she had to be fully awake (would be upset) for 15 minutes or longer–I simply could NOT handle her being so upset… I thought I would pass out! Her response, “But Jesus is! Good news, sister. you don’t have to be strong enough”! That is sooooo true! I am not strong enough without God… I could not find joy each day without his hope, I could not love on others when my heart is broken without his grace, I could not hope for my daughters future without his promises! So it was only for a minute that I worried if people would think I was a horrible mother for not staying her first night in ICU because I wasn’t strong enough. God works in amazing ways… but he was with her… her daddy of course was there and Reese was being cared for by the best doctors/nurses!
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. Psalm 55:22
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
If you are in a situation where you are taking care of someone else… or helping someone daily–I encourage you to recognize your limits. Limits are NOT a bad thing… and I had to learn the hard way. The very first time Reese was in the hospital I didn’t leave her side and it took a toll on me mentally and physically but more mentally. I love my daughter to the moon and back and would do anything for her and I’m blessed to have so many wonderful people to help me out! Therefore, I now accept that help when I wouldn’t before because before I thought I could do it all on my own and I CANNOT! It’s ok… to say I need some “me” time. When we first start discovering Reese had medical issues–I just forgot about myself in everyway–horrible idea. I am now proud to say I’m back to working out, which I enjoy so much! I walked everyday I was pregnant–it’s either time with friends or when I’m by myself God and I have long talks! I joined Weight Watchers to get back to that healthy lifestyle eating so I can offer that to Reese as well. I think many people often think it’s selfish to leave a little time for mom or dad but it’s healthy. God tells us our bodies are temples for him–treat them as that… and being healthy physically and mentally is obeying his word.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 1 Corinthians 6:19
I did pull an all night shift the 2nd night and Reese got to be moved to a regular room and out of the ICU. It was a pretty good night… we had to do X-Ray and blood work at 3:00am… and she slept thru all respiratory therapy. I just hated to see her in pain–broke my heart. She is such a little fighter and is doing an amazing job! The cardiologist team says that she did perfect–A+ (everyone knows momma likes A+’s) and the pulmonology team said that there were no signs of pneumonia. We were a little concerned that she could get pneumonia because were were not able to do our normal “vest” therapy and suctioning. All checked out well and respiratory therapy is in full swing!
As a mother you don’t want anything to be wrong with your baby… or any type of forever (mark) scar. I really put too much energy and thought into Reese’s scar because I didn’t want her to be different, have a reminder of her heart defect, etc.. but guess what… once again, God taught me a lesson.
So, God created man in his own image, in the image God Genesis 1:27
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
I have always dressed a little more conservative so Reese wearing one-piece bathing suits will be just fine! She is just adorable in a pink one-piece–Love!
And so my baby sleeps–letting her body recovery and making her heart whole and healthy!
There has been so much beauty during this difficult time. So many people pulling together to pray for Reese McClain–a true God thing… the continued growing into a woman of God. I am so far from perfect but I am so full of God’s peace and grace–my feet are set to dancing!
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; It’s about learning to dance in the rain!
So, go dance my friends!
“Let them praise his name with a dance” Psalm 149:3