Living in Survival Mode

We had another appointment with the pediatric cardiologist today.

It’s always interesting going to Children’s Hospital.  It’s a much more colorful, cheery kind of place than a regular hospital.  As it should be!  And, of course, it is filled with children coming in and out.  All ages of children.  Some are look outwardly “sick”, others don’t.  They are all adorable and precious!  But my heart breaks a little bit with each child I see because I know they are here because something is wrong with them.  And that is just not how life should go.  There was one child in the waiting room at the heart center who looked to be maybe 18 months old-ish (I’m horrible at guessing ages!) and his parents were talking about how he needs a transplant.

It helps me put into perspective what we are going through.  It could be so much worse.  Yes, a 4 month old baby having open heart surgery is awful.  I won’t deny that or try to downplay how hard this is going to be for a season.  But it COULD be worse.  The defect that she has is very “fixable”.  She will likely not have any issues once she is healed and this shouldn’t affect the rest of her life.  We didn’t have to put her into surgery at just days old.  She should make a full, healthy recovery.

It could be worse.

I’m trying to remember that.

I’ve been struggling with post-partum depression since she was born.  It’s been really hard sometimes.  I’m writing this post in the afternoon on a beautiful sunny, warm day…because if I write it at night it won’t be very positive.  Nighttime is the hardest for me.  I’m tired, I’m worn out from the day, and the depression hits hard when the sun goes down.

PPD does not help when trying to deal with Adara’s heart issues and balance the two precious kids I now take care of.  It’s hard to stay positive and have a good perspective.  And finding time to read the Bible and have some sort of prayer life has eluded me so far.  I have tried to read the Bible on my phone while I’m nursing but I’m so tired I didn’t comprehend much of what I was reading!  😉  Not that I won’t keep trying that though!

Tim asked me last night if I just see surgery when I look at Adara.  I think to some extent that is true.  I see this little being that I have to work really hard to keep alive.  Has she had her medicine today?  How long has it been since she’s eaten?  Has it been two hours yet?  Did she get a bottle?  When am I going to be able to pump?  Has she had enough wet and dirty diapers today? How is her breathing – is it still too fast?  Is she sweating when she’s eating?  Has she nursed long enough this time?  How many ounces should I put in her bottle?  Ok, she’s asleep, I don’t know how long I have so I better put her down so I can eat/shower/work/spend time with Caleb/do the dishes/do the laundry/make dinner/make lunch/pay bills/pick up clothes and toys……

Ya, that’s pretty much what it’s like in my head all the time.  Not a lot of room for cooing, playing, etc.  I am just consumed with taking care of her, I’m not enjoying her.  I’m not spending those special, quiet bonding moments with her, talking to her, making silly faces at her….because I’m consumed with caring FOR her.  I’m living in survival mode.

So, I’m writing this post in the afternoon, when I’m in a better state of mind, to remind myself to take time to enjoy her.  To enjoy Caleb.  To try to keep perspective.  To try to get out of survival mode for a few moments now and then and ENJOY my kids.

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