Monday, January 12, 2009

Hitting Rock Bottom...

Lil Chick came home from the hospital last week Tuesday.

I cannot describe how great it felt to come home and resettle after spending a week in the hospital. My own bed! My own kitchen! No cords or tubes attached to Lil Chick! Unlimited sleep!

OK, let's get real, there is no such thing as unlimited sleep with a newborn. However, there is a HUGE difference between stumbling groggily to the nursery to feed a starving newborn vs. being awoken by alarms and personnel at all hours of the night. Granted, the alarms and frequent checks were necessary for Lil Chick, but did not promote rest.

I am no stranger to sleep deprivation. I did 12 hour night shifts and pride myself on being able to stay awake and lucid when need be.

So despite getting up every three to four hours at night to feed Lil Chick, I am feeling SUPER compared to the rest I was getting in the hospital.

I managed to handle spending four days and nights in the hospital with only one quick 2 hour 'run home to shower and grab stuff' break before I cracked.

I hit rock bottom.

Lil Chick was on a 4 hour inconsolable crying spree and I got to the point where I could not cope one minute longer. I was getting angry and was afraid of myself.

The last month has wiped me out. A high risk pregnancy culminating with a week of intensive hospitalization and a scary delivery, five days after delivery driving across the state to a destination wedding, a uncharacteristically sick and crabby 2 yr old, food poisoning (oh yes, I got food poisoning one week postpartum), daily heel pokes for Lil Chick, a sick husband, pest invasion in our brand new home (eww!) forcing our eviction on Christmas Eve Eve and the subsequent laundering of every shred of clothing/bedding/fabric in our entire house, the normal hustle and bustle of celebrating Christmas and then ending with my sweet baby in the hospital.

I called my husband sobbing at 11pm and said I couldn't cope one second longer. Those four days in the hospital I was experiencing intense sleep deprivation and actually losing my mind. The phrase, "I can't think or see straight" is accurate. My mind was jumbled and I couldn't focus my vision. I had flashbacks of Bubbalu screaming for hours on end in colicky bouts and started to panic.

The funny thing is, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was failing somehow, that I was supposed to be able to handle it all by myself and STOP FREAKING OUT ALREADY! I kept thinking to myself, "suck it up princess, think about what parents of terminally ill children have to go through! You're being a complete wimp".

Lil Chick's nurse came in right after I made my call for help and we discovered that her IV was causing her pain. While the nurse was checking her IV she shrieked and dug her heels into the bed and arched her back. She continued shrieking until the IV was taken out and I could hold her. Just thinking about it now makes me cry.

Lance and my Mom came that night to rescue me. They performed a necessary intervention and took me home to get some sleep while my Mom stayed with Lil Chick.

Leaving her was the hardest thing I've ever done.

I am crying as I write this and continue to fight against that feeling of being selfish, of not being able to handle it, of failure. How I left my sweet baby to get some sleep. What kind of mother does that?

I slept for 2 nights and spent a few hours with Bubbalu, who I was missing intensely (and had another ear infection). I spent the last few days with Lil Chick in the hospital before coming home last Tuesday.

Her hospitalization already feels like it happened months ago. That it might have just been a bad dream.

What has this taught me? I've learned that I can't do it all by myself. I CAN'T cope. I DIDN'T cope. Only through God folks, only through God. It is easy to say that you lean on Christ, but when chaos and pain slaps you in the face again and again? Not so easy.

I am writing this because it is real, it happened, it is my life. I know I normally keep my posting on a lighter note, but this was my reality.

Our family is now in a time of healing: mentally, emotionally and physically. We crave pattern and routine and are looking to see what our new definition of 'normal' is.

We are in love with our sweet baby girl. She is growing like a weed and doing great. Her Mama has been pleasantly surprised by how well she sleeps and her lack of fussing and crying. Bubbalu is sweet to her (for now!) and calls her 'baby sithster'.

We are blessed.


Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills -
where does my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip -
He who watches over you will not slumber;

indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you -
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm -
He will watch over your life;

the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forever more.


  1. Oh Vintage Dutch Girl (I don'teven know your name), I am tearing up as I read this post. I can so feel your pain through this post. I can totally sympathize as this was me just a few short weeks ago. It will get better, I PROMISE. And you certainly aren't a failure- banish that talk RIGHT NOW. What kind of mommy needs rest? ALL mommies, especially if yu are to tend to your baby in the hospital. You have to have rest. All of us have moments where we feel like cracking- mine are usually middle of the night : ).

    Hang in there, love on that baby...all too quickly, they are 3.5 months old!

  2. What an ordeal! I am so happy you are home and you family is healthy, together and complete.

    I was re admitted to the hospital following my section with the triplets. So I kinda know the feeling. My three babies were at home and I was stuck away from them in our 'normalcy" for a week

    you are a STRONG woman.

    Enjoy this special time.

  3. No one ever said you had to do it all, and had to do it alone. Who cares about what other people have to go through!! You did/do what you need to do for YOUR family and yourself and not worry about it (I know, easier said than done). The Lord puts friends and family in our lives to bless us (and conversely, us to bless them), so when it's your turn to be blessed, take it!!

    Praying for healing and peace!

  4. I hesitate to say this, but I love this post. I'm so glad you were honest about how things are going and happened. I have been wondering about you all and sorry I didn't let you know you were in my thoughts and prayers. YOU HAVE BEEN THROUGH ALOT!! So, it's ok for you to not be able to cope, to have "failed" to have left your child for a night of rest--it's totally understandable.
    But you're right--God does it. He gives us smiles when we want to cry; he gives us patience when we want to yell and snap; he gives us energy when we're about to collapse. And someday, you'll be able to be with someone else in a similar situation and give them hope, something else also does, through us and through our stories.
    I'm glad you are all home and look forward to seeing the little lady grow up!

  5. Oh, Amanada. I've been thinking about you so much lately. Wondering. Hoping. Praying.

    I'm so, so sorry for all you've been through with Lil' Chick. I think I have an idea of how you felt at your worst. After Mia was born and Brian went back to Houston for work, I was all alone with a newborn and my 4 year old. All day and all night. So many times, I just wanted to run away. To leave. To find some peace and quiet.

    I'm glad your husband and mom intervened and made you go home, as hard as it may have been.

    Take care of yourself and your new Lil' Chick. I can't wait to see more pictures and hear more stories.

  6. Girl... I am so glad that your hubby and momma made you go home!! Please take care of your self!!! I am happy that things are becoming somewhat normal!

  7. I can't believe you made it that long before collapsing! We had Miss O. in the hospital for 48 hrs at 6 weeks. Pure misery. I'm so, so sorry. I can truly empathize with you.
    "My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Cor. 12:9-10

  8. You are a Super Mommy, and I am totally giving you a big hug right now! (HUG)

  9. I know this is a while ago...but always remember that you can never take care of your babies if you don't take care of yourself first. You deserved an escape from reality and a little sleep, so give yourself a break. We're all praying for you guys! :)

  10. Um. Okay. Well, I NEVER had any breakdowns. Un-uh. I never banged the bed in the middle of the night and shouted out cuss words because the baby woke up again. Nope. I never fell in a puddle on the floor and couldn't stop crying. That was someone else. I never screamed at my husband in the middle of the night because he didn't change the baby's diaper right. Not moi.

    We ALL lose it honey. Usually at the three week mark. I warn my friends now - and their husbands - that 3 weeks postpartum is a very delicate time. That seems to be the threshold for sleep deprivation + hormones to explode.

    And if it makes you feel any better, when Ike was in the NICU for 2 weeks, I came home every night and slept in my own bed. I knew that the whole NICU thing sucked so incredibly bad that the only silver lining to it was getting to sleep at night and recuperate before he came home. So you are a much, much better mommy than I was.

    Praying for your sanity :)

  11. I found your blog through One Pretty Thing, am catching up on old posts... So I'm sorry this comment comes a few months after the initial post!

    The enemy does such a great job of making us feel inadequate, doesn't he? But not all that long ago, back before these modern times, mommies and aunts and grandmothers and great-aunts all lived close together so that us new moms could rely on our family when we needed some sleep. God never planned on us doing it all by ourselves. That is the myth pushed on us by our culture. My kids are little, only a tiny bit older than yours, but everyday I need my friends and my family and most importantly our awesome Lord to keep me sane throughout the day.

    So this comment is coming to you late, but never forget that you're not supposed to do this mom-thing alone. We were made to live in God's community with His help.


  12. What a heart wrenching post. It's one thing to lean on Christ, it's another to give up and let Him do it all~and that's what you did. How freeing!

  13. Beautiful, wonderful and exhausting just to think about it!

    thanks for sharing this!


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