Once in a while, those moments come up where you’re tested; where you really see what you’re made of as a person, or in this case, as a mom.
As I mentioned in this post, A has been sick. It all began last Thursday night, with a tight, nasty cough, loads of congestion and poor sleep for everyone involved. It continued into the weekend with high fevers, loads of eye goop, never-ending mucus, general misery, lack of appetite and after one additional sleepless night, a few days where naps and sleep took over with very rare waking moments. And now here we are- it’s almost the end of the week and A is finally starting to feel better (though she’s still not truly there, yet). Thank goodness that my parents have been around to save us all week long!
I don’t know when it happened exactly. It was likely somewhere between A waking after sleeping for a whopping 15 hours straight (!!) on Sunday morning with her eyes crusted shut from the build up of eye goop, and her face covered in dried mucus and her blatant refusal to eat anything put in front of her, that my heart cracked and broke into a million pieces.
I always thought that my heart wouldn’t be prepared for the overwhelming amount of happiness and love that comes with having kids (spoiler alert- it absolutely was and I’m counting the moments until Baby Bubbles gets here so that I get to feel it twofold). What I couldn’t bring my mind to imagine was the idea of preparing my heart for the way it would absolutely shatter over being helpless against my sweet baby feeling terrible. I simply was not prepared.
I don’t know if it’s the insane amount of pregnancy hormones coursing through me at this juncture, or if it’s the fact that it’s our first experience in the trenches of our child’s illness. Sure, we had our impromptu emergency room visit, which you’d think would have been worse than this, but in truth I think I was just very numb that night and A showed a huge difference in how she was feeling the very next day. Outside of that, the only time A was sick beyond the usual daycare sniffles was the hand foot and mouth debacle in the summer and she had a very light case of that (while J was the one who was hit extremely hard by it!).
This illness is seemingly endless. While her fever broke on Sunday (only to return once again on Monday and finally cease late Tuesday) A just cannot seem to kick this thing. We’ve had two doctors appointments (with our regular practice and the local urgent care) and both times they said it was some sort of upper respiratory-thing. The second appointment, they also added teething (molars, no less) and conjunctivitis to A’s roster (although there is not even a spot of pink in A’s eyes…and the gunk has finally died down).
I probably sound like such a big baby here. I mean who am I to complain? There are parents out there who’s precious Littles are dealing with much scarier, more dangerous illnesses. Not to mention the brave NICU parents who are often forced to leave the hospital without their baby and wait by their phones for the call they dread in the moment that they can’t be at the hospital. These scenarios are all too prevalent and I know how blessed we are to be in a position that isn’t as dire.
Still, I cannot escape the helpless feeling of seeing my sweet girl in such discomfort and not being able to do much of anything to fix it. It’s the heavier side of love.
The logical part of my brain tells me that this is totally normal. The trade off of getting to feel the immense joy and love that only your child can bring to your world, is that heavy love which weighs on your heart in the challenging moments.
Needless to say it’s been a long week. With A finally making her way out of the fog, she brings with her a few tantrums per day. Part of me wonders if this is just a phase we’re entering. I’m also concerned that this may have traveled into her ears and her tantrums are a result of the combo platter of incoming molars, ear discomfort and the leftovers of the toughest parts of her illness. A is headed into another doctor’s appointment today, just to make sure we’re on the up-and-up.
In the meantime, I’m working on toughening up. After all, my kids will get sick just as all kids will get sick. Part of me feels like I’m failing at my job as her mom because I can’t keep it together over a nasty cold. I need to sack up! If not anything else, I got a little extra snuggle time with my favorite gal and Baby Bubbles seemed to enjoy these snuggles too, judging by the dance party that occurred when A was sleeping on me.
So Mamas- does it get any easier? Am I just being crazy and hormonal (it’s ok, you can be honest, I won’t be offended)?