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Right now.

Right now, we’re sitting in our shared hospital room, both absorbed in our phones as we listen to our roommate’s family prepare to be discharged today. He was born only four days before Juniper and today he goes home.

Right now I’m still trying to absorb everything that’s happening to me, to my new daughter, to my husband, to us. I’m still trying not to feel the urge to cry every time I think about the fact that she needs another surgery in seven weeks. And that there’s a chance her bowel obstructions will be so bad that she’ll need even a third procedure and we’ll be here for many months more.

Right now I’m trying to find my way back to thankfulness and positivity, as Andreas and I vowed to do a few days ago. But it’s hard. To not feel sorry for us and envious of others. To not wish more than anything for my daughter not to have a non-functioning g-tube coming out of her stomach that caused her to throw up everywhere yesterday while Andreas and I tried to take a rare break from the hospital at home. And caused her to get her NG tube threaded back through her nose into her stomach.

To not wish she didn’t need the central line going straight into the center of her tiny chest, keeping her alive on liquid nutrition instead of the breastmilk I struggle to pump 8 times per day. It’s hard to ignore the urge to feed her, to hold her without the tubes and wires, to take her out of this place and let it be breeze and sunshine that furrow her brow, not the flicker of florescent light over her face or the annoyance of yet another group of vital signs being taken.

Right now I watch my husband watch over his daughter, paying meticulous attention to every aspect of her care, making mental notes for tomorrow’s rounds, protecting and loving her so fiercely that even I, who knows his heart better than any other, have been taken aback.

I watch my parents do their best to support and protect me as I’m hurdled against my will down this terrifying path.

I watch my daughter take it all in stride and patience. Her chubby cheeks, her perfect lips, her bright gray eyes observing all in calm wonder.

That’s what’s happening right now.


  1. Oh Shelley, I am so sorry you guys are going through this. All three of you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Deirdre says:

    My heart aches to know you’re feeling this way. But Shell, you have every right to. We all just want our babies to be happy & healthy. And when they aren’t, it consumes us whole. Juni is truly blessed in many ways – but it doesn’t make it any easier on any of you. I know it’s hard to see know – but it WILL get easier. It will take time. The hospital can be such a lonely place. I would love to come for a visit – if you are up for it.
    Love you.

  3. kel kelly says:

    oh shelley, my heart is breaking for you. nobody can possibly know what you, andreas and your family are going though. juniper has already touched many hearts in her short time here. i have a feeling her purpose is to teach everyone that they can get through even the most difficult of times and come through stronger in the end. you have every right to feel every emotion that washes over you. know that you three are in our constant thoughts. we are here if you need anything — no matter how big or small. hugs.

  4. Suki Fuller says:

    I remember when you guys got engaged in 2008. With the love that you guys have for each other…this you will get through and Juniper will also because she was born from that love. Own that anger (it is okay to have it) and now turn it into positive power.

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