Nothing is the same…
I’m not really sure where to start. So much has happened over the past 6 months. I guess I’ll just do a quick recap.
Our son, Xander James Evanchick, was born on February 24, 2011. Early in the morning on February 25, we discovered that he had a very serious birth defect. There was a hole in his diaphragm allowing his intestines to spill into his chest. This pushed his heart and lungs over to the side and constricted his breathing. He was immediately intubated and transferred to the Children’s Hospital for emergency surgery. We later learned that the survival rate for this kind of complication is less than 50%. God was with us and with Xander. He made a full recovery in record time. He astounded the doctors and nurses with his progress. Of course, we knew the true story. God was revealing his power through our tiny baby. (You can read more of my thoughts about that time here: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150122186007356 and here: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150123699677356).
I had all the normal fears you’d expect in this type of situation. I feared that Xander would not survive the surgery, I worried about each step of his recovery – but I had some additional fears that I didn’t expect. I feared that he wouldn’t know I was his mommy because it was the nurses caring for him instead of me. I also worried that I had done something during my pregnancy to cause his condition, even though I tried my best to do everything right. I’m still struggling with that particular thought.
Less than 3 weeks after his surgery, we were able to bring Xander home. This was a far cry from the estimate of 2+ months that we were given at the time of his surgery. We have some minor ongoing things to deal with (for example, we can’t lay him flat until he’s at least 6 months old) but he is a strong, happy little man and we are so blessed to be his parents.
During the 8 weeks of my maternity leave, my feelings about returning to work shocked me. I’ve been devoted to youth ministry for over 5 years. It is a huge part of who I am and during the end of my pregnancy, when I was unable to work, I couldn’t wait to get back to it. Then I laid eyes on my little boy. As the weeks went on, I started to dread the end of my maternity leave. I began to pray that the Lord would show me what I was supposed to do. The last week of my maternity leave, circumstances with our ministry organization led Tim to resign from his position. He found a new job almost immediately. The income from this new job is enough to support our family. That was the confirmation I was looking for. A few days later, I resigned from my position. I will be working for 2 more weeks and after that, my full time job will be at home – raising Xander. I will still do some youth ministry but it will be minimal and will be on a volunteer basis.
As excited as I am about this new opportunity, it comes with a huge shift in my identity. I’m sure I’ll stumble through what that looks like over the next few months.
I have made a commitment (to myself) that I will start blogging at least once a week. It will be less about youth ministry and more about my new role as a Mom. You can expect lots of pictures of our little one and lots of stories from my adventures as a new parent.