If you tend to cry easily, are able to be empathetic and feel a person’s pain, and suffer right along with them when they’re sad, as I do when it comes to reading other people’s emotions, chances are you will want to back out of this page now. I don’t want to be anyone other than me tonight. This is a small glimpse into my heart, and everything I’ve been facing today.
Tonight, I can’t help but just release everything I’ve had bottled up for a while. What better way than to do it through my love of the written word?
Today hasn’t been an easy day for me on so many levels. Not only am I running on pure exhaustion (I should be in bed right now, but I decided after brushing my teeth that this just couldn’t wait) and nearing the point of delirium from lack of sleep, I had some extremely difficult news today.
This morning I had taken the baby in for a weight check, and when there, I learned that he hadn’t gained any weight since at least his last appointment on September 26th. He is still at 15 lbs and 4 ounces. Generally, babies are supposed to gain an ounce per day. He didn’t gain at all. He hasn’t been wanting to breastfeed much these days, maybe 2-3 times per day if I’m lucky on most days, and 4-6 on very good days. I have had to force most of his feedings lately, and that’s completely miserable for everyone involved. I find myself crying many days in frustration because I just don’t know what else to do. I thought it was probably just because he’s teething and getting 2 or 3 teeth, we aren’t quite sure, all at once. Apparently, it’s bigger than that.
When at the doctors, I wasn’t expecting to hear that he had gained a whole lot, but I did expect to hear that he had gained something. After having gone over the test results from his recent cranial ultrasound, and being that he still has swollen lymph nodes in the back of his head (there are 2 which showed up on the ultrasound, to be exact) and now he has a random bruise on his arm from seemingly nowhere, isn’t gaining weight and doesn’t have much of an appetite, his doctor wants to have blood work done. Not only does she want blood work done, but she wants to screen him for cancer.
I have to admit, when I heard that, my heart just fell onto the floor.
As I sat there looking at my baby boy and she was still talking, I felt tears form in the corner of my eyes and her voice began to trail off. I stared at him and just remembered everything. All of it. From the time I was pregnant, feeling his small but steady kicks inside my belly, to the intense moment where I learned I needed to have an emergency c-section to save his life, to laying on that table and nearly dying from the anesthesia cocktail they administered that reacted badly with my body, to the first time I laid eyes on him. I thought about him in the NICU, his tiny, frail body laying there and how desperately I wanted to keep him with me every moment and make sure he was okay. I thought about those long car rides home from the children’s hospital, an hour away from me, where I would just cry and cry the whole way. Every inch my car moved away from him was an inch further away from my beating heart that was laying in that isolette.
I thought about the moment we got to bring him home and walked through our front door with our sweet baby boy. I remembered the kids really getting to see him for the very first time. I remember all the smiles and cheers, and the first time I got to breastfeed him in the comfort of my own home. I remembered the smell of his sweet baby skin after that first bath and just spending countless hours watching him sleep, terrified to sleep myself because he was on an apnea monitor, and what if he stopped breathing and the machine was faulty and didn’t alarm? I remembered his first real smile, and the first time I heard him say mama. I remembered everything.
After everything we had been through, here was his doctor, telling me she needs to rule out cancer. I wanted to scream and pound my fists through the wall and throw a tantrum like a toddler, screaming about how unfair it all was. I wanted to fall onto the floor into a fetal position and cry.
How could he have survived so much to make it to this very moment in time, only to end up with a potentially deadly disease, one which has claimed the lives of so many in my own family? How could this woman say this to me?
The reality is, we don’t really know what the heck is going on, and we are terrified. It could be absolutely nothing more than teething, but it could be something catastrophic.The uncertainty is what terrifies me. The, ‘what if?’ really kills me. I have tried talking myself into having hope and being completely positive. But then, I think about other babies I have witnessed, that have been here, have gone through hell and back, and didn’t make it. It’s a horrible thing to think about.
I believe my husband to be a far stronger person than I could ever be. He doesn’t get scared. For him to actually say the words, “I’m scared”, like he said to me today, I have become terrified. I do a great job of carrying on about my day so everyone has no idea what’s really going through my head. I have to hold it together for my other kids. But tonight? Tonight, I full on broke down laying in my husbands arms. He has no idea how grateful I am. I’m grateful for him just holding me and allowing me to cry. I needed that so bad. He has no idea how much I appreciate him just being there next to me. It’s amazing how something so small could be so significant. It helped so much. And, for a few minutes after having cried, I felt okay. I almost felt hopeful. I must have cried off and on at least 15 times today.
Lord knows I am terrified.
I had a lot of other things on my mind tonight as well. One of them being I really wish I had a mother to call and talk to. Yes, my mother is still alive, but she couldn’t care less about my baby boy if she tried to. For the entire duration of my week long hospital stay before I had my emergency c-section, I heard from her once. That’s it. Now, my mother and I used to talk multiple times every single day up until the past year- until she became so self absorbed with her own selfish motives in life (I won’t get into that) and became more and more distant. From the moment she learned I was pregnant, she practically cursed my pregnancy and told me she didn’t think the baby would survive, because I wasn’t supposed to be able to have any more babies. She was nothing but negative the entire time I was pregnant. She actually told me, “Don’t get your hopes up,because that baby probably won’t make it long enough to be born, and if he is, he will probably have problems.”
Well, shows how much she knew, because he is here today. And problems or not, he’s freaking perfect. My baby could have been born with Downs Syndrome, and he would still be absolutely perfect in my eyes. How could someone be so evil? How could I have come from that woman?
Whatever. Not everybody has the kind of parents they can turn to. Lord knows I don’t. It’s an awfully lonely world we live in when you can’t even rely on your parents for emotional support – not even a little bit.
I’m also missing my oldest daughter tonight, so much. I miss her every single day though. Every day she’s been gone is another day I die a little bit more. 10 months feels more like 10 years. I miss her so much and I will never stop thinking about her or loving or missing her. Ever.
Those are just a few of the many, many things plaguing me tonight. But for now, I suppose I should try to get some sleep while I can.
I’m so sorry for the post -I know it’s neither happy nor encouraging, and for that I am sorry. I just hope someone reads this tonight and can offer me some sort of hope. I am relying on Jesus as best as I can, but I am really having a hard time tonight.
Please pray for my baby boy. I appreciate it more than you all know.
Have a great night, everyone.