I’m back! I’ve been MIA now for approximately two months, but I now have a quiet moment to sit down and do a little bit ‘o writing. I have been thinking a lot lately about the way I would go about writing this post because A LOT has gone on in this family. I thought about doing an “update,” but that actually made me feel a great bit of anxiety because I don’t really want to re-hash all the details for the millionth time. So then I was stumped, but after talking with my father-in-law at Sunday dinner last night, I decided I wanted to do more of a “reflection” on the past two months.
Today, my newest child is eight weeks old. Yikes! Where has the time gone? Let me tell you: doctor appointments, hospitalization, medical testing, seizures, medication administration, canning, crying, learning to be a mother of two, disciplining, loving, teaching, and being with family and friends. So very much has happened and it feels, for like of a better comparison, like a whirlwind. I look back and think, “Did all of that actually happen?” How did we do it?
I honestly cannot say how our little family managed to do everything we did, but one thing is for certain: we have really honed certain skills and have learned a great deal. My biggest takeaway from this first two months of our new way of living is the recognition of the immense learning curve that I was hit with when I brought home my second child and began dealing with medical issues of two very young children. There is quite literally nothing that can prepare you for the experience I have had. With my first, I felt like I had quite a lot of time to learn how to be a stay-at-home mother and that experience was fairly leisurely. This time, I had to hit the ground running. There was no time to sit back and figure it out because it hit me the same night I had our little Teddy Bear and Crazy Pants climbed right up into my chair with the two of us and made himself comfortable. In that most precious moment, I did not realize just how much love I was going to need to possess in order to keep us all from falling apart.
It was rough when medical appointments started to pile up in regard to Teddy Bear’s hemangioma and Crazy Pants epilepsy, but it was even more rough after a five day hospitalization with Teddy Bear in order to do all the testing he required to get started on a treatment. I’ve never been so happy to be home and with my family as I was that night. It was a really tender homecoming, but shortly thereafter, Crazy Pants became incredibly aggressive with Teddy Bear. He was hitting, head-butting, and biting. One day, Crazy Pants bit Teddy Bear’s thigh so hard that it broke the skin even through his clothes. I have never felt so out-of-control. All I could do was send Crazy Pants to his room and cry. I knew that he didn’t harbor any malice toward his little brother, but he was struggling so much with all that was happening and didn’t have anyway to express himself. His behavior has improved a great deal since then and I have to worry a lot less. He still is sometimes rough with Teddy Bear, but he is easily corrected and more often is quite gentle. Thinking back on that night still brings tears to my eyes, but we are definitely in a different place now.
This post may be a reflection on the past two months, but it in no way is an indication that things are going to slow down. Crazy Pants is still having seizures so we are frequently changing dosages and getting blood drawn. He also has hand surgery coming up for his “trigger finger.” A toddler healing after surgery should be fun. Hahaha. We also have follow-ups with a number of different specialists to monitor Teddy Bear’s medication, hemangioma, eyes, heart, and other parts of his vascular system. Though we haven’t slowed down yet, I feel much better able to navigate all of this absurdity.
To wrap up my reflection, I just want to share the unquantifiable amount of love, care, and compassion I have experienced from family, friends, and strangers. I have always had a very optimistic view of humankind, but this experience has left me feeling even more positive about the state of human existence. A person hears quite often how horrible things are in the world today, but some people really are overflowing with kindness and goodness. There are more than most of us realize and you would be surprised at how easily people rise to the occasion when there is someone how truly needs grace in their life. Every time I think of this, I become overwhelmed with emotion and a feel so full of joy. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have the friends and family that I do: we are blessed.
For more background: