Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Momma said there'd be days like this...

Just a note of warning before I begin...if you are stopping by my blog today and are in the middle of an infertility battle, you may want to refrain from reading this post. There is a chance it's going to come across like I am not grateful for my miracles.

Please know that I am.

With that said, Wow. We have had some hard days in this house lately. When Lucas woke up and puked all over everything late Sunday night, and the thermometer read 102.5, I knew we were going to be in for a longggg night.

I was right.

It was a rough night. Luke and I maybe got 45 minutes of broken sleep all.night.long. I felt just terrible for my son, who was burning up and miserable. My heart was absolutely broken for him.

After I woke David up at 5:15am to take over for an hour so I could get some sleep, I crashed in bed. When the alarm went off at 6:30am, I wanted to cry. Instead I sat up, and begged God to grant me the grace to make it through the day.

My sister Natalie came over in the morning, and when she left for class my Mom and stepdad came over for the middle of the day. In the early afternoon Natalie came back, my Mom & Chuck went home, and then David left work early and was home by 3:30pm.

The day went well, all things considering.

Abbey was in a great mood all day, which was such a blessing. Poor Luke felt miserable all day and did not want to be put down. I was grateful for the extra set of hands to either help with Abbey while I cuddled Luke, or to hold Luke while I tended to Abbey. I could not have done it alone, and I am so grateful for family who are willing to be helpful even though it means exposing themselves to a stomach virus.

Luke's fever finally broke around 3:00pm. I was so relieved.

When David walked in the door, right away he asked if Natalie could stay for a bit longer, and when she said yes, he suggested I go take a nap. My mom had suggested that same thing multiple times during her time here, but I wanted Luke to have a parent here. I know he would have been fine with my mom, but he was so sick I just wanted him to always have the comfort of one of his parents.

I went to nap a little after 4pm and told him to wake me at 6pm so I could help with baths and nurse for bedtime.

He woke me at 6, we bathed the babies, finished their bedtime routine, I nursed them, and we put them to bed.

Shortly after, I knew I needed to head back to bed. I was so tired I was bumping into walls. I had at this point had less than 5 hours - of broken -sleep in the last 36 hours.

Right as I was saying goodnight to David, we heard Abbey fussing through the monitor.

I just burst into tears.

I started saying "I can't do it again. She can't be sick. I can't do two nights like that in a row, I just can't. It's too much. It's too hard."

Luckily, she stopped as soon as she started.

I crawled into bed with good intentions of drifting right off to sleep, only to find myself completely wound up. I was just laying there, staring at the baby monitor, bracing myself for Abbey to start crying. Then I became obsessed with what time it was. I kept watching the minutes tick by and berating myself for still being awake. I was driving myself crazy thinking "if you don't fall asleep right now, you are barely going to get any sleep before one of them wakes up to eat..." the more I thought about all this, the more pressure I felt to just fall asleep already, and in turn the more wound up I became.

I finally got out of bed and went to get the heating pad, thinking putting that under my back might help me relax and drift off to sleep. When I walked into the living room, David asked "what are you doing up?" to which I burst into tears again and said "I can't sleep. I am so tired that I can't sleep"

And then I said to him the same thing I had said to my sister earlier that day...

I never saw this.

During all those years of waiting to be a mother, I only dreamed about the good days. I only ever envisioned the happy times. I would daydream constantly about having a baby (or babies) and about how fun it would be. How fulfilling it would be. How happy I would be. How content it would make me. How perfect my life would be.

I never saw it any other way.

I never saw myself so tired I was dangerously delirious. I never saw my babies sick and miserable all night long. I never saw the days where they could not be put down for one second without crying. I never saw my husband and I arguing about how to handle sleeping issues. I never saw myself rushing through a five minute shower while one or both of my babies cried through the baby monitor. I never saw myself so sleep deprived that I had no instincts as to what is best and second guess every decision I make. I never saw having two babies with completely different sleeping patterns, and having days where they napped at totally opposite times and I literally had a baby awake at ALL times ALL day. I never saw myself feeling so incredibly exhausted all the time.

I never saw it being so damn hard.

The hard moments and days and nights never made it into my daydreams of motherhood.

It's not always hard, and even in the hardest moments - hand to God- I wouldn't trade my miracle babies for any amount of sleep, or comfort, or sanity.

There are so many good days. So many great days. So many days where having twins feels like the greatest thing in the world. But there are times it is just so very difficult, and I feel so stretched beyond my ability to give, and I guess it is just hard to reconcile that with all the fantasies I had about motherhood.

That's what is on my mind tonight.


Linda Lee Brown Ayers said...

Kendra, I guess your blog makes me realize you were insulated (either because we did a good job or because you chose to not be affected) from your youngest sister's with severe colic.

Motherhood IS a tough job and you are mastering it in just a few short months. How fortunate your babies are to have a mom who feels so much! I marveled to watch you interact with the babies on Monday, even though I KNEW you were tired to the bone.

It would be great if each child came with a individualized instruction manual, wouldn't it? "If you do this with this child, the reaction will be___". Too perfect, too impossible.

We loved spending time with you and hope you will call on us again.

mom & Bopbop

Lauren said...

I totally understand where you're coming from, and minus the twin part I could have written this post. It sounds like everything is so rough for you right now.

The disagreement about sleeping issues would be hard. It's so hard to do what you think is best when your husband disagrees with you!

(((HUGS))) I hope you get some sleep soon! Everything is easier to deal with when you've had sleep!

Lori said...

Kendra, I am so sorry that you have been having a rough time. It sounds totally exhausting!! I cannot imagine. I totally understand your thinking on this post. I too, always think about the good things that come with a baby, and I know I have a suprise coming. The thing is, I will never know how hard it is for you, because we are having one baby not twins. I am so thankful that you have such a wonderful family to help you out in this time of need. Praying for all sickness to be gone!!

Kaycee said...

Motherhood really does give you the highest highs and the lowest lows. It has caused the greatest joys in my life as well as the greatest strife. It has me wondering how it is possible for me to function one second longer, and left me wondering how I survived without my child. I think that everyone (parents, people waiting to be parents, people that never want to be parents) should realize that having a hard time does not EVER mean we aren't grateful for the gift that is our children. Everyone needs to vent sometimes, that doesn't mean you love any less. I think it sounds like you had a rough couple days here and you have every right to use your personal blog space to release some of that frustration. Here's hoping everyone in your household stays well for awhile!!

Anonymous said...

I read your blog often and though I have only one child right now, 2 1/2 year old (due in Feb with 2nd) I also feel like I could have written this.
I remember just crying because I was so tired from being up every 2 hours with a newborn and thinking how could I have wanted this. Then feeling guilty because we tried for 2 years before I got pregnant.
I know it doesn't seem like it now but soon you will have good little sleepers and you can finally relax and then you will miss the nights with them. Not the sick part of course.
Good luck to you guys and take comfort in knowing this will pass. God bless you!

Heather said...

Sweet friend I am so so sorry and pray you are getting some rest today. I have been there, but only with one baby, and I can only imagine how hard it is with TWO. I have done the same thing and wound myself up when it was actually time to rest wondering about the "what ifs" and thinking through scenarios. What you feel is totally normal and of course you are totally and completely thankful for your sweet babies. You are a wonderful, wonderful mother!

Stephanie said...

Being a mother is the best and hardest thing I've ever done. By a long shot.

Hang in there.

(Also, when my little ones didn't sleep, I had the same trouble falling asleep sometimes ... Silas would cry and be back asleep in ten minutes, but I would be awake for two hours afterward. It was maddening).

Aunt Carol said...

Take heart, Kendra. You WILL feel rested again one of these days. Luke and Abbey are the luckiest kids in the world to have you and
David for parents. And they are also fortunate to have their Auntie Natalie and the rest of your family and David's family who absolutely love them (and you) immeasurably.

Love, Aunt Carol

nbrown said...

I doubt the wonderful women who commented will check back again to see my response to them, but on my sister's behalf I want to THANK YOU. Kaycee, thank you especially for acknowledging that even though it's SO hard sometimes it seems impossible, it is still a blessing, and that venting does not mean that a mother loves her children even an ounce less.

Kendra, I know you've hesitated to be honest on your blog before because you have such a tender heart for all the women who are just desperate to have their own crying baby to comfort. But I want to affirm you that God is going to use your honesty to bless others (in fact, I'd wager He's already done it).

Just knowing that someone else has "been there" can make a world of difference in someone's life.

You are a TERRIFIC mother. I love you.

Alyson said...

Kendra-- Thanks for being so real. I can honestly say during my infertility journey, I didn't think much about those days either. So far, since I brought my twins home, they've been healthy and pretty easy, but there will definitely be days like what you've had at are our house too. Thanks for being open with your feelings and definitely helps me to mentally prepare and not be so surprised! I love reading your blog!