Monday, January 18, 2010

Confessions of a babylost mama

This is really hard. This motherhood thing. Especially after losing Noah.

I know many of you have been waiting me to write, to write something, anything. But I have been mainly posting pictures because I can't find the words.

The six weeks that have passed since Eli was born have been very emotional for me... all emotions. From the heights of joy, to the frustration of sleeplessness, to the depths of fear.

You see, it is hard for me to believe, truly believe, that it is possible that Eli is healthy. That I will one day hear him say the word "Mama" or watch him walk across the room to me. Some days I feel as though I have been transported back in time and that I am about to relive our year with Noah. Most days I watch Eli like a scientist, searching for points of divergence between him and his older brother.

Why is it so easy for me to give into fear? Several reasons, actually:
  • One is the ambiguous nature of Noah's diagnosis... he tested positive for a leukodystrophy known as Alexander Disease. However, the mutation he had was in an atypical location on the Alexander gene (read my original post about this here) which leaves the door slightly ajar to the possibility that this was not the cause of Noah's issues. So... we could do a blood test for this mutation with Eli but the results would be less than conclusive in my mind.
  • Another is that Noah's first few months of life were very normal. He did all the things he was supposed to do. So Eli's first few months of normal life offer me little comfort... I'm thrilled that he is "normal" so far, but I find myself holding my breath and wanting to fast forward the next few months.
  • The last is where Noah and Eli converge... points of similarity that feel too familiar. Not making enough milk to nurse either baby, early developing reflux in both boys, introducing them to antacids. You get the idea. The overlap could be completely coincidental, normal baby stuff. But it feeds my fears.
It's no fun to live in fear. It robs your joy and clouds your mind. So how am I fighting fear?
  • Actively seeking points of divergence between my two little guys. One happened at birth. Noah was only 6lbs 8oz at birth. Eli was a whopping 9lbs 7oz. Noah never really seemed to enjoy eating... almost from the beginning he struggled to master the bottle and after he was 4 months old, he struggled to gain weight. Eli has been eating like a champ (although he doesn't always feel well afterwards) and is currently consuming over 6oz of formula per feeding. When we go back to the pediatrician this week, I fully expect him to be around 14 lbs! It is my fervent prayer that his voracious eating continues through the critical time when Noah started to struggle with feedings (around the 2 month mark). And I long for additional points of divergence that I can report to you in future posts.
  • Sharing Eli with others. Fear makes me want to hide in the house. Fear makes me worry that others will look at Eli and tell me something is wrong with him. Hope tells me to bring Eli to Bible study with me. Hope encourages me to invite friends to visit. Hope allows me to leave Eli with his grandparents or a babysitter for an evening.
  • Reminding myself of TRUTH and through prayer:
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." 1 John 4:18a

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Ps 139:13

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Rom 12:12

So there it is.
My heart bared, my fears revealed.
And this chubby little face that I love so fiercely:


The Baumanns said...

I have been thinking about you a lot over the weeks since Eli was born. Just know there are lots of thoughts and prayers are coming your way to help you get through all the fears. Keep looking for those positives.

Amber Sidwell said...

My prayers continue for you. I know that there is nothing that can take away your fear, and you have every right in the world to be fearful. Allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling. You are one of the bravest, most resilient women I have ever known. God is good.

Anonymous said...

Your honestly allows us to direct our prayers for you, Deb. You are brave to admit your fears. Most of us just keep them to ourselves.

I will pray for Eli to grow and thrive and for your fear about his health to dissolve as he grows older.


Joe and Kelli said...

I just want to get my hands on that boy and kiss those chubby cheeks! He looks so healthy! I think about you often. Thanks for being so real. I love you and will pray againt fear.

erin said...

I'm so proud of you. Praying for you friend. I wish I could reassure you more. Praying that those fears would be squelched. I miss those huge cheeks!

Amy Barrett said...

I think your fears sound completely normal after the loss of precious Noah. Cling to the truth of the Scriptures God has given you and know that your sweet family is being bathed in prayer. God is doing a new work in the life of Eli. I believe that! Praying for you to be able to freely love and enjoy sweet Eli. Love you!

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine...I know how I felt after losing 2 babies during pregnancy. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop with each subsequent pregnancy. You are doing all the right things to make push that fear away. God bless you and bring you peace!


Anonymous said...

Your strength, spirit and love carries your family everyday. Sending love and energy. Your little man is so cute! I see some kind of ball player; volleyball baseball.....time will tell.


Jeff and Brandi said...

Praying for you Deb-that you would find peace!

The Murphys said...

You are a wonderful Mother.

Katie said...

Great post, Deb. Thanks for being vulnerable. Praying (as we already have been) for you and your sweet family.

Nicoolmama said...

My heart hurts for your fear and your loss of your sweet Noah. I don't know you IRL but I think of you often and pray for you every time I think of you.