Joshua will be one week old today at 6:30pm. What an amazing gift that he's still with us. I think I'm going to make a cake for his birthday. :) I'll celebrate as many birthdays as I can, since I may not have all the ones I want. He's doing really well. He scares us occasionally with his combinations of hiccups, burps, sneezes, and yawns. He seems to get them all together and so they sound like he can't breathe. But he seems fine. Maybe he's faking - coz they seem to stop when we pick him up... hmmm....??? :)
Please pray for my recovery. I was doing really well, and then had some issues the last two days. I'll spare you the details!!! But I'd like to be pain free without the tylenol bottle.
This week will be a gradual hit-the-pavement week. My parents are having to be in to work a bit more (2 or 3 days) and Matt's mom has to leave us on Wednesday. So we'll begin to experience a bit more of life on our own... which will be interesting since Oceana's had her gramma's undivided attention now for about two weeks. I'm sure she'll want mine when Gramma's not around for her entertainment.
In other news: The Goodson Hiccups Strike Again! They've made it all the way to New Zealand! Tarah, everytime I see anyone with hiccups now, I think of you. Hahahaha! (For explanation on this: See Growing Goodson's blogs about her hiccups!)
Our situation here in New Zealand is a bit of a frustration right now. We currently work for a non-profit organization Youth With A Mission as part of their medical ship ministry Marine Reach. Matt works for the office and I have an open work visa (which allows me to work wherever I want). Our original job, when we came to New Zealand, was working with our church's youth group, which we have continued to do. But officially our visa is through Marine Reach. The problem with the set up is that Matt isn't legally allowed to work another job - only the non-profit job. I can work anywhere, but 2007 was spent travelling, pregnant, and caring for a toddler. The only time I could have gotten a job was when I was 8 and 9 months pregnant. Yeaaaaahhhh.... that's gonna happen! So our plan this year was to change it so that I work for MR and Matt has an open visa to work and provide the moolah. The last year and a half we've been living off of faith-based support from our family and friends in the US and a small stipend for working with the youth group.
Just about the time we should have been beginning our paperwork we found out that Joshua had his encephalocele. At that point we believed there would be surgical options. New Zealand has a socialized medical program that covered all children under 5 and all pregnant women who have 2 year work visas, residency, or citizenship. We had a 1 year work visa and did not come under these requirements. We were prepared to handle the situation out of pocket (insurance is in the next paragraph, just wait!). But our concern was that if we applied for our work visas (2 yr visas) it would appear as though we intended to get visas just so that our sick son would be covered (this was when we were expecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in neurosurgical bills). We were told by an immigration consultant to wait a bit further into the pregnancy to apply, in order to suppress that reaction from NZ immigration.
Then in December (about the time we were planning to start the paperwork again) we discovered Joshua's situation wasn't repairable. The immigration offices closed for the holidays, and we decided it would be easier to apply after I was no longer pregnant as this would cause a lot of unanswered questions on our visa application.
Insurance: We purchased insurance last March, and chose not to add the maternity rider because we didn't plan to get pregnant last year. We did not realize at the time that if you choose not to take the maternity rider they have the right to deny your child when they are born, based on their situation. (Just the same as an insurance company can deny someone when they first sign up). I'm presently trying to contact the insurance company to inform them of Joshua's birth. It has to be pretty quickly after birth, but he still wouldn't be covered until Day 14 under their policies. It won't really matter for him, as we don't plan to take any heroic measures at the end for Joshua, but it's the principle of the matter.
None of our maternity costs will be covered by the insurance company, or by NZ's health care system, because we're only on a 1 yr visa.
This week feels like Red Tape week. I have to get paperwork to apply for Joshua's birth certificate, and send that to Wellington. Then I have to take Wellington's paperwork and send it with more paperwork to Auckland to the Consulate to register his birth with the US. Then, if Joshua stays with us much longer, we'll have to apply for a passport for him too.
We need to contact immigration to explain our situation, and ask them how to proceed with Joshua - if he needs to be on the application, and do we have to call and remove him from the application if we lose him.
I have to contact the insurance company to add him to the policy.
I HATE PAPERWORK AND POLICIES AND ALL THAT RUBBISH.
But you know what makes it all worth it? This beautiful little man who's still with us after a week. So many of you have said we're an amazing family, a strong family, etc etc etc. Believe me, we don't feel like it. We take each day - hour - moment - as it comes. And we've had more than a few hard blows this year. Imagine being told your son will die at birth, and how you'd feel. Then imagine getting hope the next week that he'd be okay. Then imagine two months down the road being told he'd die at birth.... that there aren't any options..... it messes with your mind. Just when you think you know what's going on - it all changes.
If you've been following along for a few months, you'll know that Joshua presented head-first, but then had to be turned breech. (Three times!) We've been through a lot - we've listened to doctors tell us over and over again that he won't live, that they don't give him much hope, .... we don't feel strong. I'm so sure it's the prayers of our friends, our family, our blog readers, our email list that have kept us strong. We're not amazing - please believe me when I say - we have our own issues, we have our own hang-ups. We're just trying not to drown in this. We're trying not to blame God (it's not His fault, but our finite minds try to make it His). We're trying to keep our heads above water.
All that said... Your prayers do make a difference. Your kind words do make a difference. Your love makes a difference.