Sponge Bath

We left the hospital last night, taking in our first breath of outdoor air in five days. As we drove south on 35, Joey shared one of many recent perspective changes: “We can’t get in a wreck. Finn needs us.” Suddenly we are more important because we’re important to Finn. We are parents and responsible for a helpless human being–a lot of responsibility.

We visited Finn again very late last night. We were tired and I was emotional. I cried and cried as I stood holding his tiny finger. The swelling in his head has not decreased. In fact, it has increased, perhaps as a result of surgery and narcotics. I thought this would happen almost immediately, but apparently it can take weeks. I want healing to begin NOW. Yesterday. Six months ago. This isn’t fair. I wanted to rip all the tubes off his fragile body and escape with him in my purse. We stayed at a dear friend’s house last night and got our first full night’s rest in days. So refreshing.

This morning Finn had his first bath. There were so many adhesives and sticky orange (Finn just tooted, by the way…big deal) operation fluids all over him, he looked like a lab rat. Even his little ear was stuck to the back of his head. The supervising nurse made a tub of soapy bath water and helped me clean him. We used a strong oily wipe to get off all the adhesives (think Goo Gone) on his head, ears, back and in the crease of his neck. Then I used soft soapy wipes to make him clean and smelling more like a baby and less like formaldehyde. It felt so good to contribute to making him more comfortable. I feel helpless during this process, but today I gave my little man a sponge bath.

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13 thoughts on “Sponge Bath

  1. We are praying that recovery comes quickly from Finn’s surgery. We love you guys and are praying for you.

  2. I loved seeing you three tonight. He’s a fighter, and I love him already! And, I agree with Joy, he looks super content laying on his Mommy.

  3. So good to hear you got to give Finn a sponge bath and that he tooted. As someone who has been around a lot of newborns I know how very critical all those bodily functions are. Here’s to toots, poo, and peepee:).
    Praying the swelling starts decreasing sooner than expected. Praying for rest when you can get it.
    Love,
    Linda

  4. Praying against the belief you are helpless. You are the vessel, hand-chosen by an unfailing God, to give Mighty Finn life. And what a beautiful visual He gave you – washing away what taints and replacing with new.
    I love you, Joey and Finn.

  5. I am obsessed with what is going on here. And I hope that’s not totally freaky. But I just love seeing God at work and how you 2 are sharing so openly and honestly when it might feel best to just not. When I read your words, I feel like I am right there with you…aching and weeping. I want you to know how loved you are. I want you to know how much you are teaching me. And I want to somehow help. I feel so useless, and yet I know the best thing I can do is pray. I pray my words do not cause pain, but somehow Jesus uses them to let you know how many people are here for you. So glad you got sleep. Love you 3!

  6. Although we’ve never met – I would imagine it would be nice to know that you have people surrounding you with prayer.

    -Rachel (a friend of Blake & Angela Davis)

  7. Sweet Finn – You are our hero. You are such a brave little boy and we are so proud of you. Your Mommy and Daddy are the very best and God chose them to love you because they can do it oh so well. We pray for you constantly and our hearts are always with you. We’ve set up an army in a place called Dallas and they are praying for you too. Someday you should get your Mommy and Daddy to bring you here. We are so proud of you and how you’ve fought through these first two surgeries. You are writing a story sweet boy … a story that is inspiring so many and a story only God can write. We love you so much more than you know right now. Keep fighting Mighty Finn! With prayerful hearts from your cousins, Blake, Angela, Layla Kaydence and Brooks Avery Davis

  8. Ashley, My family has a special place in our heart for Terry & Becky, so therefore YOUR family. My 4yo has a vp shunt (with 5 revisions). I’m surprised Finn’s head size has not shown some decrease. I know you are in the hands of skilled professionals, but we were discharged after the 1st revision only to be back the next day because the new shunt malfunctioned. We shouldn’t have left at all, but I didn’t know how he was supposed to recover, so I didn’t urge the professionals to check further. So, all this to say: even as a new mom…trust your instinct…you know this baby, who grew in your womb for 9 months, better than anyone on earth. God puts that instinct in us to know when our babies need something. Praying for rest & healing for you all. And if I can be an ear, as someone who’s walked a similar path, please let me know.

  9. Dear Armstrong Family — We are friends of Becky and Terry and have been following the amazing story of Finn. So many friends have given you such wonderful advice and good words!! Finn is beautifully and wonderfully made in the image of God, and GOD ALONE controls what is ahead for Him. How BLESSED he is to have such incredibly faithful loving parents and grandparents!! God surely knew he would need that support. And however God chooses to use his little life, he is SPECIAL and IMPORTANT in this world!! And God is using his life already to minister already to others on how to depend totally on the provision of God. God can do ANYTHING in this world, even when others say it can’t be so! So lean not unto your own understanding, and trust that God will take care of all of you! And in the meantime, be kind to yourself, let the tears flow — it’s surely okay to feel all these things…..(even when we know God is in control, we still experience pain and grief…) Please know that we are praying for all of you and expecting MIRACLES for your beautiful son!! [on a side note, our 27 yr. old daughter has an LP shunt and has had to have five revisions over a period of about 14 yrs. — they do have to be revised occasionally — I pray that there is a resolution to the swelling very quickly!]

  10. Dear Ashley,
    I am Penny (your dad’s first cousin). I am reading your sweet musings as you mother little Finn. I have signed up to follow your blog and will pray for you. My dad brought over his computer to your grandparents today so he could show them the photos and messages from Chad. I will sign him up to follow your blog too. He can then share with your grandparents.
    Penny Rosell Giesbrecht

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