After leaving the NICU and heading back downstairs to the labor hall, I had a mix of elated and incredibly sad feelings. I just got to see my daughter!!! But I still wasn’t able to hold her. She had so much Red hair! But I was having to go down a floor and down an incredibly long hallway back to the room where I had hoped to deliver a baby and wait patiently for my blood pressure to go down so they could take me off the magnesium drip.
Oh and it was time to pump again.
But then, the best thing possible happened.
This needs a little backstory.
In September of 2015, I flew to Orlando with a friend to attend a Leadership conference. We were gifted a few books upon return, one of which was Jen Hatmaker’s For The Love. It had come out the week of the conference and as my friend Shannon and I took advantage of the lazy river, we saw attendee after attendee with the book.
Now, honestly, I’m kinda slow to jump on any “bandwagon” of an author or a book or a movement. I chalk it up to my Enneagram 4-ness. I knew Jen’s book had come out. And I was excited that I was going to get it for free in a few months. But I was probably the last of my friends to read it. I heard Jen on lots of podcasts as she was promoting the book and heard a lot about her Supper Club group and thought it was cool.
So I ended up reading this around the time my Mom was sick and passed away. And the idea of a Supper Club had MUCH greater meaning at that point. With loss and a new baby on the way, I knew that my community tank was low and I needed to intentionally work to make sure it didn’t stay that way.
I reached out to a handful of couple-friends and asked if we could start a supper club in the new year. Many of them had read the book or I sent them an excerpt. We came up with ground rules–host does everything, no kids (once our little nugget was old enough to just not sleep the entire time), and we’d do dinner out after we’d been through a rotation of homes.
January came and we had an amazing time. Our group bonded incredibly well even though not everyone knew one another. And then February came. We were set to host.
On Saturday, February 13th.
Jen talks in her book about how their supper club had boxed up dinner and taken it to the hospital when one of their families had a parent in the hospital. Our group did the exact same thing (except for bring the food–I was still NPO so no food for me).
This was the absolute BEST thing to come back to after having left June upstairs in the NICU. I was sad and I saw Lew sending lots of texts and realized that they were coming to us. We asked the nurses if having 6 visitors was okay (the limit is typically 2) and under the circumstances they went out of their way to accommodate us. We got to share pics of our daughter and the jokesters in the group made sure I laughed (but not hard enough to bust my stitches).
We didn’t grab a pic that night–and we didn’t for another 5 months until we went to Lexington Restaurant Week 2016, which has become one of our favorite things to do as a group–I can’t wait for our 2018 pic in a few months!
That group saved me that night. I could have been incredibly sad under the circumstances but they saved me–community has saved me these past few years. It has looked different as our church community has changed, we’ve had job transitions in our home and then the reality of being a two-parent-work-outside-the-home household has been tough on community. But it is worth it. Absolutely worth it.
Whatever life is handing you–don’t go it alone. Reach out. I promise, it’ll be worth it.