Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Bumps

I thought I was doing really well with two kids and that the transition wasn't really as hard as I had imagined it would be. I started internally tallying all the things I had mastered doing with one hand while holding a baby who didn't want to be set down while awake. Things like, pealing an egg, cracking eggs, making eggs, actually anything egg related, getting dinner prepared, folding laundry although not very neatly, putting laundry in the washer or dryer, getting Emery dressed, and well the list goes on. Then I impressed myself with the ability to do things while nursing. Walking was first, then getting Emery breakfast, helping her on the potty and getting her cleaned up afterwards, even disciplining if need be...while Declan remained latched! Pretty impressive, I told myself.

Then this week came along. Things changed. Emery got a cold last week, then Dustin got a cold, then I got a cold and none of us were feeling so great. This Monday was definitely the downfall though. I didn't think it was so bad when I woke up (after waking a few other times in the night) at 3am, then 3:30, then 4, then 5, then 5:30, then 6 to a fussy gassy baby. It wasn't horrible realizing that my head cold had turned into a chest cold and cough. The challenge came when Emery walked out of her room, looked up at me and began vomiting all over herself, the carpet and me. When I had to rush her to the bathroom, peal off her clothes, my clothes, bathe her, clean up the hallway, put the load of puke covered clothes in the wash, AND care for a wailing baby boy who somehow was starving after only nursing an hour earlier. Yep, at that point my lists and pride went out the window.

I obviously hadn't learned my lesson Monday though because Tuesday I had similar sleep/gas issues with Declan and then as I was desperately trying to get 2 more minutes of sleep as he lay propped up against my side, he proceeded to empty the contents of his stomach all over me. My pride faded even more as I felt the oozing curdled spit-up soak through my shirt, pool into my neck, and reach either side of me and sink into the freshly cleaned sheets. Of course Emery woke up right then to announce that she "was hungry, mama!" I knew then that I would be going on day 3 of no shower.

I recently read "Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches" by Rachel Jankovic. A fabulous book and inspiration for anyone with little, a ridiculously quick read, which is vital at this point.  In it she says, "You know those pain scales at the hospital, where they rate your pain from one to ten? Well, pretend that you are screaming, "Thirteen, thirteen! Fifteen!" What that should tell you is that it is time to restart the whole thing, stop screaming, and just deal with the fact that this is now the new "one." Start over, and accept the new "normal."

I think God was laughing at me for acting like I had things handled. It's so easy for me to think I have all things under control, the laundry done, folded, dinner prepared, Em somewhat clean, and all one-handed, lol!! I always took pride in the fact that I could take on a big load and would try to go out of my way to do more. I'd pick the thickest and toughest book to read for our optional book report in high school, take 28 credits at two different schools in college, take 34 credits in grad school while planning a wedding for the day after finals...
Then God used little things like vomit and spit-up to show me just how ridiculously out of control I am. When I have to let go of clean, let go of everyday showers, of clearly defined 'me time', of a beautifully prepared meal every night, of my reading goals, to let go of babies who never cry and little girls who never have emotional break-downs. Because these things are a part of life. My new normal.

Of course, everyday isn't hard and there are actually many really easy days, and it's only been 2 years with one little one and 1 month with two of them. It's those trying days though that bring me back to the reality that God is in control. He wants growth and if those hard days get me there, bring me closer to Him, lead me to prayer, and falling on my knees asking Him for more help, more patience, more time, more, more something to get me through... then I pray for more hard days.

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