Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Today


Today was both a good and bad day. The good first... Eli went to the opthamologist today, and we got the report that his eyes are no longer premature. All the blood vessels have grown normally! This is a really good report, because premature babies frequently have eye trouble. We also took Eli to the pediatrician today, and he weighs 5 pounds, 15 ounces. He's growing really well, and everyone is pleased with his progress. Tomorrow night we're having a "sleep study" done here at the house with a fancy piece of medical equipment that will monitor Eli's oxygen levels all night. When the pulmonologist reads the results, he'll determine whether or not Eli is ready to come off of oxygen, which we're all thinking he is. He's making so much progress! Please pray that he does well on his sleep study so that he can come off of oxygen! It will be such a wonderful thing to not have to wheel around his giant oxygen tank all the time!!!

The bad part of the day was what framed the time that we were out of the house. All the time we were at our doctors appointments, Eli did great- no crying or fussing at all, with the obvious exception of when they were poking his eyeballs with sharp instruments. :) But this morning he was inconsolable. I had no idea what was wrong. He cried and fussed for hours, and I was beside myself. The same thing started again as soon as we got home. Finally, after he woke up 5 minutes after I finally got him to sleep in his bassinet, I broke down in tears and Eric took the baby to my mom's house for an hour.

I feel so "small." All I do every day is feed, burp, change, sing, rock, bathe, soothe, coo, etc. I am not using my brain at all. I am lucky if I get a shower by the time Eric gets home. I rarely get to cook dinner for Eric or clean up the house like I want it. I have a list of cards I want to write to people that haven't been written. I haven't read my Bible in weeks. I haven't done anything to serve anyone else. I am so tired. And then I feel guilty for feeling all of these things, for not feeling completely fulfilled and at peace with my role as a mother.

Don't get me wrong- I am so thrilled with the privilege of being Eli's mom. He is a gift from God, and I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. I am really enjoying motherhood. But I am also having a really hard time with this new season of life.

I know that things will get easier as Eli gets a little older, and I also know that every mother that has ever existed has probably felt some mix of these same emotions. But it's still hard for every mother who goes through it. And that's me! :) I am so thankful for my mom's help tonight. She gave Eric and I an hour to be alone and talk and process with each other. I am also so thankful for my wonderful, godly husband who listens to me, comforts me, and always points me to Christ.

I feel better now, especially because Eli is sleeping soundly in his bed. Tomorrow is a new day, "fresh, with no mistakes in it." (A quote for all you Anne of Green Gables fans like me.) I had always heard that motherhood was difficult, full of sacrifices, etc. I am learning that now. I am trying to have an open heart, a teachable spirit. I would appreciate ANY advice you mothers can give to me. I love to see moms who have walked through the newborn stage with grace and godliness, and I am so blessed to have wonderful friends and family to help me through this time.

2 comments:

Kate Wilke said...

Erica,

When I read this post - I got teary eyed. My heart goes out to you - because I know EXACTLY what you are going through. Everyone can tell you this - but it's hard to believe it when you are living it. What you are experiencing IS normal! You are not alone. Being a mother truly is the hardest job and the most rewarding job at the same time.

I remember after I had Ben, I felt like I had lost myself. I was David's wife, Ben's mother - but what had happend to me? The fun, crazy girl that everyone liked to be around. I had lost her somewhere in all the burping, diaper changing, feeding, rocking, singing, etc. I felt like my whole life was about being a mother and a wife. It was hard to go to lunch with my old co-workers because I had nothing to contribute to the conversation. I was with a baby all day and my day was the same. I THOUGHT I wanted what they had. I remember being resentful and feeling guilty for being resentful. It was one of the toughest times for me. Trying to figure out where my place was and realizing that being Ben's mom and David's wife was my place.

I know it's hard for you not to be able to serve and help others. You have touched so many in all the missions you have done - that now it's your turn to let others serve and take care of you. It won't be forever, but it's now - this is YOUR season. Accept the help from friends and family. If someone calls wanting to bring a meal, let them. If they want to come hold Eli while you shower, let them. Let them serve you - that is their joy - you definitely deserve it.

I know that you can't imagine having to do one more thing before you fall down from exhaustion. But take time for YOU. Go on the back porch, smell the morning air. You don't have to have expectations. Even if it's just for 5 minutes. Take time when you can to rejoice and to remember who you were before. Strap Eli in the stroller and go for a walk. Get out and move around. It really does help!

Right now, everything is so new and your trying to figure out how to be a wife, a mother, and Erica all on a few hours of sleep. I promise this is a season. Try and enjoy this time. Let Eric do the cooking and cleaning - don't stress about it. He loves you and he wants to help you, let him. I know it seems like the day is endless, but it really is gone within a blink of an eye. Soon Eli will get bigger, stronger and you'll be able to regain back yourself and the life you had before you were a mother and wife.

Hang in there. If you need anything - don't hesitate to ask.

I love you!
Kate

hollymark said...

Girl, you got me crying on this one!

Since I'm not a mom I can't give you "tried and true" advice, but one thing that I thought of is that you could listen to audio Bible or sermons online.

Love!
Holly