24 October 2009

Breck's Thoughts: This is why I didn't go into nursing.

I went into journalism first.  Then, I went into education.  I'm a journalist.  I'm a teacher.  I'm not a nurse...

Yesterday, I drove down to Temple by myself in order to meet with the ostomy nurse to learn how to care for Bennett's ostomy.  Brian is back in school full time and was unable to come with me.

On the way, I turned on our new David Crowder Band CD to the "Hurricane song" and began to get lost in my thoughts.

It wasn't too long before my thoughts turned toward my anxiety over Bennett - particularly over having to care for his medical needs...specifically his ostomy.

I was driving down to learn how to take care of this and yet I didn't want to.  I was going to - because I had to.  But not because I wanted to.

"What is it about his ostomy that has me so upset?" I wondered.  "Sure, I don't want to deal with future hospitalizations, chronic illness, middle of the night breathing treatments and traveling to Fort Worth for doctors appointments.  But I can handle those things.  Those things, I can handle.  It's the ileostomy that I cannot...but why?"

"It's gross", I answered myself back.  "And it's inconvenient.  I can handle a dirty diaper...but it's so 'not-normal' for a mother to change her newborn's ostomy bag...I don't want go to the bathroom of a restaurant when eating out with friends and deal with flushing out my baby's poop bag with syringes, replacing his medical tape or cleaning his G-tube...The way I envisioned experiencing caring for my newborn did not include this.  This isn't what I wanted..."

Suddenly I thought of a picture I took recently of tiny Bennett lying vunerably on this NICU bed, his colon fully exposed for everyone to see:

And within my heart I heard Bennett's little voice say to me:

"Momma, I know you don't want to deal with changing my ileostomy bag...  But don't you know that I, even more so, don't want to have one?...

"It's not *my* fault that as soon as I was born, I was rushed into surgery, poked and prodded, torn apart and not put together again.  I didn't choose this...

"I know you don't like this...but what about me?  What about the scar that I will carry all my life?  What about the day when my friends will tease me because I won't be able to run as fast as them because my CF makes it difficult for me to breathe?  What about the hospitalizations that I'm going to have to endure for the rest of my life or about the conversation I will have with you and Daddy when I realize I may die before you?

"Momma, if *you* don't want to care for me, who will?  If you don't embrace all of me, the cute parts as well as the gross and inconvenient parts, who will?  If you find something about me repulsive, don't you realize others will too?  

"Momma, I need you.  You're the only mother I have.  If you can't be tender and loving towards all of me, no one else will.  You're my mom."

My tears overwhelmed me.  My heart grew three sizes.  Bennett is my baby.  He's mine.  He's my responsibility.  I've been given a job to love him and care for him - and that means all of him.

Sure, I'll eventually get used to the inconvenience of ileostomy bags, breathing treatments and frequent trips to the hospital.  But if I can't embrace these things as the physical ways I am loving my son, then I am, in essence, rejecting him.

The sounds coming through my car radio infiltrated my thoughts.  "Oh, how He loves us...Oh, how He loves us...How He loves us all..."

There was no coincidence that these words were the ones playing in the background of my thoughts the entire time.  I realized that all the while I was accepting what it means to love Bennett, God was reminding me how much loves me.

And in this moment, God was showing me a picture of His love.  Just as I have chosen to love *all* of Bennett, God chooses to love me - even my gross and inconvenient parts.

I finished my drive to Temple.  I cheerfully began to learn how to care for Bennett's ostomy.  I would do so with a mother's tender care...

...because I love Bennett - even his ostomy bag.


  1. Brittney, sweetheart, God knows that you have what it takes to love all of Bennett---that is why He gave Bennett to you and Brian.

    Thank you so much for being so honest with your thoughts and sharing them with everyone who reads this blog. It helps me to pray for you and your needs and Bennett's needs when you explain the large and small details of being a mother of a child with CF.

    I pray God's blessings on you, Brian, Bennett and big brother Oliver.

    Ms. Savage (Scarlett and Sarah's mom)

  2. Britt, What a beautiful and honest post and such an inspiration. You are an amazing woman and Bennett is a blessed little boy to have you and Brian and Oliver to love him- as you all are blessed to have Bennett to love all of you. Praying for all of you!

  3. Isn't amazing how God can speak to us through song?! There's something about putting words to music that can speak to us in a way that nothing else can.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts...all of them...even the yucky ones. That shows that you are human. And yes, it shows that God loves ALL of us even though we are sinful. What a blessing Bennett is. He has taught you, and many others so much in his short life already. Instead of thinking about all of the challenges that lie ahead, try to think about the many more blessings that God has in store for you, and for Bennett.

    I'm so proud of you. You are an amazing woman and I'm blessed to have you as a friend. Love you!


  4. You are awesome. The skills from journalism combined with a mom's love means you can verbalize the challenges inside our hearts in ways so many other moms can't. Thanks for being so open to share. Obviously Bennett was blessed to have such an awesome Mom.

  5. I was forwarded your post from our dear friend and therapist Lisa Lewis. I too have a child who has a colostomy (which is from the large intestine.) The stoma looked the same on my baby and it does hurt. And that's okay. My son has Down syndrome and he turns 3 in a little over a week. We have had mulitple surguries to try to get it gone, and now we have the reality that this is permanent. We have come to enjoy family B&B night (bath and bag). The most important thing now is loving ON your baby. All the rest will fall into place. I know it is hard. I think I know more now than most ostomy nurses. If you need anything email me at Please know it will get easier and lots of people are praying for you. Lauri Lyn

  6. Hi .....I wanted you to know that I am touched touched by reading your story.....also I wanted you to know that I am in Fort Worth and I would LOVE to help you out when you are here.....I would just sit with you at the doctors office if you wanted company...I am available ANYTIME.You and your baby are welcome here.....Trust me,I have my own story.....God is my email....


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