I knew it would be hard to have two babies. In spite of what my brain knew, I made the choice to have them just 15 months apart. I told myself to expect long, sleepless nights and difficult times. I told myself that I’d laugh about it, remind myself of the great privilege of having them, remind myself of how I’d prayed longingly for them. I told myself that God would give me the strength to handle it gracefully.
That was before sleep deprivation and the challenges of dealing with two crying babies took over.
That was before I experienced back-to-back pregnancies that were crazy-hard.
With my broken body and my roller coaster hormones, my brain seems to have gone into hiding. My emotions are running amuck and I can say with bleary-eyed stutters that this time in my life is hard.
The kids got sick the second week in July. Then their dad got it. After taking care of all of them for a few days each, I was hit with it. Mine lasted two weeks, and I still got to take care of all of them during it. A few weeks later, we all got it again. In the middle of my bout with it, my grandfather died. I spent the week trying my best to ignore the dizziness, congestion, coughing, and proliferation of snot so I could help with arrangements. My grandfather was a wonderful man and I felt he was worth it. (I’m working on a tribute to him for this blog, but I want it to be special and my brain isn’t up to “special” right now.)
Three weeks after it started, I finally woke up feeling normal. Three days after my congestion finally went away, Eliana started sneezing again. Then wheezing. A trip to the ER in the middle of the night set our minds at ease that she was okay, but soon Charlie started sneezing and wheezing too. Shoot. If this goes anything like the previous two illnesses, I’ll come down with it in a couple days and it’ll be a month before I’m better. (In Jesus’ name, I’m not going to get sick this time. I’m just being dramatic.)
This time around it’s been several nights in a row of one or both of them not able to sleep because of congestion. We’ve been walking up and down the driveway in the middle of the night, praying desperately for healing, hoping the cool night air will help them to breathe clearly again. Cold medicine doesn’t help my children to sleep. Instead it makes them extremely grumpy and restless.
I remind myself that I’m the luckiest mom in the world that my children only have colds. I have a friend whose daughter has lost her hair from chemo, which is actually one of the least of the difficulties with chemo. Other friends have kids with asthma and life-threatening allergies. We are so blessed. We have so much to be thankful for. I really did pray for the blessing of being the mama, the one they turn to when they are at their weakest.
As grateful as I am for the relative health of our children, right now, TODAY, I am bone tired and ready for a nap. Except 15 minutes after Eliana fell asleep this afternoon, Charlie woke up. At least in those few minutes I had the presence of mind to eat a bowl of cereal…
In case you’re wondering, we still have our mother’s helper here a couple days a week. Because of her my house isn’t in shambles. I’m going to credit her and Rick’s parents with the reality that I’m lucid enough to spend a few precious moments writing down my thoughts. I don’t want to think about what it’d be like right now without them.
There is so much to be grateful for and I’m truly going to feel that gratitude – just as soon as I can sleep for longer than an hour at a time.