I am writing this as I sit and bask in the natural light pouring in from the window. It was a cold, snowy night, but the daffodils are coming up, and the days are longer and warmer.
Around here, we are forever organizing, and working, and parenting with as much love and patience as possible.
So many things seem different this year. Our older kids are interesting and fun and funny teens. Half of our teens are into music, and their music teachers have given us great feedback on our budding musicians. E had a long week last week with a band competition, but they were giving a great ranking. We are so proud!
Our littlest continues to amaze me with his love of life. He teaches us all so much about living in the moment, and stopping to smell the roses.
After D's birth, we went through a traumatic illness. Its unnerving, to say the least, when you plan and prepare for the birth of a healthy child, and then when your baby is born....to have to suddenly deal with the reality that he/she may not be healthy. But remember, none of us are promised anything in this life.
When D was born, everything looked fine. We were an average family, having a typical birth. We were sent home with our perfect baby, the cute little instruction booklet, ( make sure you feed your baby whenever they cue to be fed! Back to sleep! Tummy to play!) and flowers and promise and hope.
11 days later, we were back in the hospital with possible viral meningitis, and the nurses were holding my newborn baby down, trying to get a needle in his vein to start an IV, to start with possible life saving antivirals. Veins were blown, all of us were crying, and my husband was standing across the room from the nurses and I, staring up at the ceiling of that brightly painted and well lit room.
My heart and my throat sobbed as they stabilized my baby's tiny arm with a huge IV sticking out, and took us to our room. The hospital room where our son would be poked every morning at 6 am for his daily blood draw. The room where they sat me down and explained to me that I had to let them do a spinal tap, an EKG, and what kind of PICC line I need to start thinking about. The room where I sat up all night, for nights on end, cradling my wired- up baby boy, and pleading with God. That hospital room became my home. It became the room where the worst of me, and the best of me, poured out of all of the cracks this experience was making inside of me.
I cracked. I fell down a deep hole of depression over the loss of my dream, the fear of well... SO MUCH FEAR, and PTSD.
Long story short, after a long hospital stay, we were taught how to give our baby his IV meds at home. We went home. I became a safety and illness police woman, always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Always nervous that again, life would send me something that I wouldn't know how to handle.
I started having nightmares, I was irrational and irritable.
Then one day, we went to the CDC doctor, and baby D's PICC was removed, and we were given a clean bill of health. We were free to start our lives. At least, that's how it felt in a gripping way. It felt like now we were finally free. But at the same time, I wasn't feeling very free yet.
I remember everyone congratulating us then, and telling me " Now you can relax!"
But no, I still couldn't relax. Sometimes an experience can send you into such a tailspin, you don't know how to move on from it, to let it go.
I'm not sure how to end this story. I wish there was some magical moment where it all clicked. I wish I had woken up one morning, suddenly overwhelmed with confidence and gratitude and wisdom.
I am so so much better now, thanks to a visit to my amazing doctor almost a year ago.
I remember when I was going through all of that and at one point I turned to my mom and said " Mom! I don't know how to live through this!" And she so wisely and warmly looked into my eyes and said "One moment at a time."
One day, one hour, one moment at a time. One foot in front of the other. And if you need help, don't be ashamed to ask.
Spring is coming y'all, and life is waiting to be lived. Even the daffodil's come out smiling after a long and cold winter.