Well so much for my attempts to keep up with blogging after Isabella was born.
It's just not happening right now, much as I have wanted to write.
The past month has. been. rough.
Here's a little update on our family of five:
Isabella weighs in at 10 pounds 6 ounces at 6 weeks, up over 3 pounds from when we left the hospital! This was significant for us, because she was diagnosed with a tongue tie when she was born, which was hindering her ability to nurse. We had the problem fixed with a procedure done at the ENT, and she is eating like a champ now, praise God!
Another praise is that she has stayed relatively healthy (just a cold for a day or two) in the midst of everything that's been going around and around and around in our house.
Which leads me to why it's been a rough month...
Everyone keeps asking me if I've recovered (from childbirth) and if I'm adjusting to having three kids. My answer is that I recovered from birth within days, but have been fighting one ailment or another since before we even left the hospital. And no, I have not adjusted to having three kids; I haven't even had a chance to adjust! I haven't done any of the typical things that would make me feel adjusted...things like taking them to the park, running errands with all three of them, meal planning and actually cooking three meals a day, etc. I left the hospital with a cold that quickly turned into the sinus infection from satan. It. Was. Awful. To all of you who suffer from these on the regular, I'm sorry! Brad had one once not too long ago, and as much as I hate to admit it, I thought he was being dramatic. Now I know. They're the worst! Anyway, I brought newborn Isabella home to an RSV infected home, and then I had this sinus infection for two weeks solid, followed by one more week of a sinus headache that just wouldn't leave. Then Addison and Lily caught RSV again (apparently there are tons and tons of different strains, so you can catch it over and over again each season. Joy.)
We all had a flu like thing for a couple of days, I have another cold, Lily got tested for RSV (results came back negative yesterday!), Addison is on antibiotics for an infection, and I refused antibiotics for Lily, since she's been on them several times recently. I'm hoping she can fight off whatever she has. And last but not least, we ended up spending 2 and a half hours at the hospital Friday when I took Addison in to have her leg looked at. She had been complaining it hurt for over a month, and I thought it was growing pains, until Friday morning she got out of bed and could barely walk, kept falling down, and her leg looked twisted and crooked. Her knee kept buckling, and I called the doctor asap, who got us right in and asked all the scary questions that totally freak a parent out (ruling out the worst case scenarios). By the end of the morning, she had been through the gamut of an intense evaluation, x-rays, and blood work, all of which came back negative, and so we are supposed to call orthopedics Monday morning for further investigation.
Whew. That's a lot even to write! Add to that the normal stresses of having a newborn, and you might think this mama was falling apart. And I have, at times.
I admit, I've had days here and there where I wallowed momentarily. Tears have been plentiful.
I've found myself wishing I could feel 100% so that I could better take care of everyone.
Wondering what we did to 'deserve' all this sickness for almost 2 solid months.
But, a funny thing has happened.
This past Thursday and Friday were two of the longest, hardest days: Thursday Brad worked from 7am until 8:30pm...Friday was the day I drug all three girls all over the hospital. And at the end of each of those days, I felt good going to bed. Good about the mom I was. Many a night, I go to bed thinking of how I snapped at them or how I should have done this or that better, with more patience, more grace, more gentleness. And those are usually the 'easy' days. Why in the world, on the long, difficult days was I able to be the mom I desperately want to be every day?
The verse in James 1 comes to life:
Consider it pure joy...whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I realized that on the hard days, I leaned more heavily on the Lord, though I wasn't spending a long time in the Word or prayer, my prayers were breathed quickly throughout the day..."God please help", "Give me strength".
I saw myself being forced to persevere...one foot in front of the other. Push through my own pain to take care of the littles. Keep it together to comfort Addison through a scary morning. Just. Keep. Going. And the harder the day got, the more my back hurt, the more exhausted and hungry and uncertain about diagnosis I was...the more the fruit of the Spirit were flowing out of me toward my children. I went to bed without regret those days.
Now, I'm not going to pray for trials to come my way. Maybe a more mature Christian would have the courage to pray that prayer. Not me. The very human part of me still desperately wants life to ease up a bit. For healing to come over all of us and health to be back in store. But I can look back over the past couple of months and see marked spiritual growth in myself, and for that I am truly thankful for. I'm also thankful for friends who I was able to text and call and humbly admit that I needed help and prayers, and for family who came to help (my mom helped me cook and freeze meat to last a couple of months!), friends who dropped by with a meal, a coffee, chocolate for 'a happy heart', and a friend who brought food and even loaded my dishwasher while she was over visiting. These friends have shown me the kind of friend I hope to be. And my husband, he's just the best, I'll leave it at that.
The blessings have been more abundant than ever.
Here is a quote from the book I'm reading, Death by Living, by N.D. Wilson:
When faced with unpleasantness (trouble) there are only two ultimate responses (with many variations). On the one hand, "The Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord." On the other, "Curse God and die." Variations on the latter can include whining, moping, self-pity, apathy, or rage. Variations of the former can include laughter, song, retellings, and an energetic attack of obstacles.
I have really thought about this lately. How often do I curse God without a second thought, as I mope or feel sorry for myself? (Not too often I hope, but never would be a lot better!) I truly want to go through each and every day, hard or easy, good or bad, and have each and every breath say Blessed be the name of the Lord. I want to laugh my way through hard things, and 'energetically attack the obstacles.'
Well, that's it for now. I'm skipping church, as the girls were too sick to go this morning. Brad's manning the house, taking care of the older ones while the baby sleeps. I figure I have ten more minutes before she's awake and hungry, so that's it for now!
Here are a few pictures from the past couple of weeks when Brad's parents were here (and kudos to them...I think collectively they read at least eight thousand books over the week!), and Easter at my parents.
Have a fabulous week:)
(Yes, those are Christmas gift bags for the egg hunt. Don't ask)