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.
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.