Friday, May 11, 2007

On Motherhood

I know there are a gazillion posts out there now about Mother’s Day, and why each person feels special to be a mom, and how blessed we all are, and blah blah blah. Well, here’s the reality. I was up all night with a feverish, sick child and it’s been like that almost the whole week. Andrew is sick again with a respiratory infection and he’s back on antibiotics. CJ has been getting less and less attention lately because Andrew seems to be on an endless trip of sickness and we’re moving in 2 weeks. TWO WEEKS. And hardly a box has been packed. Not to mention the added responsibilities for me at work.

Andrew’s fever spiked to over 104.5 last night. After already having a dose of Tylenol, we promptly dunked him in a cool bath, which he hated since he was so tired, but it seemed to help and got him cool enough to make him comfortable enough to fall asleep again. But about 5 hours later at approximately 4 am, he was up tossing and turning again, not as hot as before, but hot enough for another dose of Tylenol, and kept tossing and turning until 6 am. Dave took over most of the time during this sleepless interval because I have to have some of my brain functioning at work, but I didn’t sleep well and was up again at 5:30 anyway checking on him. Soon enough it was time to get up and get in the shower to get to work. Another night of interrupted sleep down the drain.

So as I was trying to soothe Andrew back to sleep it the haze of the early morning darkness, I couldn’t help but reflect on the moment. I can’t say I had some great revelation about motherhood at 4 am, but in the stillness and being half awake, I just laid there next to him, holding his hand. And thought of all the other nights I’d been awake with a baby. Whether it was with CJ or with him. And then I thought about my friend’s sister, who is dealing with her 10 year old son, who is fighting Leukemia right now and how she posted this on their website about the nights they had been having lately:

Things have been really rough since our last posting. I can honestly say that since this all began there has been very little "it's not fair" going on in this household, but sometimes it is just too much. It turns out that the abdominal stress he was experiencing in the hospital was , at least in part, due to some kind of lower GI bug that has really knocked him down. I am not sure of the names we were given but it could be a side effect of the antibiotics he is taking or he could have picked it up somewhere else as it is highly contagious we are told. That's great news around here. Its effect has been a vicious sudden onset diarrhea made all the more complicated by the fact Jack struggles to get out of bed as it is and can't walk on his own. Around 1AM last night he attempted to do both and fell as he entered the bathroom spraining his foot a little and banging his knee. You've never heard such a cry-out. That led to a long night of panicky bathroom visits and Beth bore the brunt of it, as usual. Well, it's just not fair. There....I said it. Our good friend and podiatrist, Dr Greg Bordiuk made a housecall and Jack is fine. He likes Dr Bords a lot and I think it gave him some much-needed confidence having him visit and wrap his foot in an Ace Bandage. We have such good friends. So, onward we march during Jack's so-called "vacation" with new meds and the hope this will disappear quickly.

That was written by her husband, who does most of the postings on the site. And I don’t mean to turn this post into a sappy, be-thankful-for-what-you’ve-got kind of post, but I was feeling so worn out and tired this morning, after being defeated once again by Andrew’s wakefulness, that even as I use toothpicks to keep my eyes open today, I can’t help but think that it could be worse. Things could be worse. I know I’ve been blogging a lot lately about sick kids, house hunting, my job and all the shit that comes along with those things, but I’m really happy to be a mom. I think that is what has kept my spirits up. I’m just really happy to be a mom. Life is too short to fret. Andrew is not dying of Leukemia.

So I’m enjoying myself this Mother’s Day, but I don’t think I necessarily “deserve” anything. My kids didn’t ask to be born into the world and so I should really use my time to just enjoy them. I wanted them. That doesn’t make up for the grogginess from sleepless nights, or the endless questions from an inquisitive preschooler, or a beligirent child who won’t eat his peas, but after all that we have to remember that we wanted these kids. And whatever happens to them, we’re here to help them make it in the world.

Have a great Mother’s Day everyone!


Blogger Kathy McC said...

Happy Mother's Day! I just read your Meme Since Bloglines is a LOSER and hasn't been updating me on several blogs, including yours. :-( Grrrr....

Thanks! Will be posting my Meme soon.

4:10 PM

Blogger soccer mom in denial said...

Happy Day to you! My cousin's baby has a rare form of kidney cancer. It has been one of those be-thankful-for-what-you-have experiences for me.

6:47 PM

Blogger Alex Elliot said...

Happy Mother's Day. Thank you for the reminder to be grateful for what we have. Two of my friends have cancer right now (I'm 31) and I lost one to cancer a few years ago and every time I think I've too much going on, I think about them and what it's like for them as women and them as moms and what their families are going through. It really does help to put things in perspective. At the same time, it sounds like you've got your plate full! With all you have going on you'll probably laugh when I say this, but make sure you're taking care of you. Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your son.

10:13 PM

Anonymous mayberry said...

It's not cancer, but it's not easy either to deal with a lot of smaller stresses at one time. So I do hope you have a relaxing Mother's Day weekend!

10:15 PM

Blogger Heather said...

We are blessed here with pretty healthy kids most of the time...I know we are lucky.

But a Mom that I know who has a chronically ill child once told me "your stresses and worries are just as important as mine."

Happy Mother's Day Kate.

8:49 PM

Blogger Day said...

Happy Mother's Day! And may you get some sleep.

8:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the mother of a child who had Leukemia, I would like to agree with those that say your worries about your child are as valid as the parent of any critical, chronic or dying child. Indeed crying over the first day of kindergarten is as valid as any emotion we feel when we lose control over the world our child stemps into.

Although I know it is human to count your blessings by the seemingly greater misfortune of others, I would remind you that with all challanges come blessings of perspective, appreciation of time and moments. Perspecive that simple a challange-free world cannot provide.

Childhood cancer is an absolute horror. It steals children, and leaves holes in families. In siblings it causes a variety of stress and anxiety of their own health and the health of loved ones.

If anyone wants to focus pity into action there are a lot of charities that support children and families going through pediatric cancer, Local Ronald McDonald Houses, Livestrong, local Children's hospital and Cancer foundations. (depending on where you live)

Happy Mothers day, I know each day with my daughters is the best day ever!

10:26 PM

Blogger Kate said...

Anonymous - I wish I knew your name, because your words are very true! Thanks for sharing your story.

5:38 AM

Anonymous L.A. Daddy said...

Sorry things haven't been going well lately.

The best thing about bad times is that they usually end. Soon. And you'll look back and laugh -- or drink heavily. Either way, sleep when you can, nap when you want to, and smile even when you don't want to.

6:41 PM


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