Friday, July 15, 2011

It's NOT All Good

Like many moms who blog, I enjoy posting about all of my kids' accomplishments, milestones and achievements.  And I love to post about all the fun and exciting activities we do and trips we make.

But I also want to be a blogger who keeps it real, so that means that I have to make this post... 

This vacation back home to Carolina hasn't been all "rainbows and butterflies" of happiness.  There have been parts of it that have been pure hell.  And it's not because we are away from our Canadian home... the weeks (and months) leading up to this trip were much of the same.

You may recall from this post that our entire family had been sick with a crazy respiratory infection a few weeks before we left for vacation.  Well, only a few days after I had published that post, Myers was also diagnosed with double ear infections.  Reagan was then diagnosed with yet another ear infection a few days after Myers.  JUST GREAT!  Thankfully, one week before we left to come to the waterway, both Myers and Reagan were given a clean bill of health to travel.  No colds and no ear infections!  Our doctor did warn me that it was possible that a flare up could occur in either of our children, and that I would need to get them to a doctor at the first signs of any illness to make sure that we weren't dealing with additional ear infections.  I filed that piece of information away in my brain with the hope that I wouldn't need it.  Yeah, right...

You may also remember that I posted in both his six month update and seven month update that Myers isn't the world's greatest sleeper.  That hasn't gotten any better either.  His sleeping habits worsened with all of his illnesses, and then the pattern just seemed to stick for him even after he was well.  He was waking up almost every hour on the hour before we left for Carolina, so needless to say this Mommy was hoping to get some much needed rest while on vacation. Yeah, right...

The first night that we were at the beach house, Myers had an absolute freak-out meltdown when I put him in the playpen to sleep in.  It was like something out of a horror movie!  Sound travels VERY freely throughout our beach house, and I didn't want to keep the entire household awake with his screaming.  (Of course, at the sound level he was reaching, he was probably keeping people awake even 4 houses away!)  After only a few seconds, I went back in the room to him and took him out of the playpen.  I then put him in my and Ryan's bed, nursed him until he fell asleep, and then crept out of the room.  Within 40 minutes he was screaming again.  This continued ALL NIGHT LONG, even after Ryan and I had crawled into bed to snuggle with him.  The same pattern continued the next day for all of his naps, and then again the next night.  And then again the next day.  And then again the next night.  You get the picture...

Ryan decided to sleep on the couch in the living room in the hope that maybe Myers needed a little more room in the bed to sleep comfortably.  At least that is the reason he gave me... truthfully I'm sure it was because he was thankful for the opportunity to leave the "bed of no-sleep"!  It didn't help Myers any, but at least Ryan was able to get some sleep.  I continued to keep Myers in the bed with me so that I could immediately nurse him when he would wake up every 30-40 minutes so that he wouldn't wake up everyone else.  We have now been here for 16 days, and nothing has changed.

No, wait.  That isn't true.

On day 6, things went from bad to worse as both Reagan and Myers suddenly had thick green snot pouring from their noses again, and both of them sounded raspy and wheezy.  I waited a full 48 hours to see if they would show any signs of improvement before I started making phone calls to our Canadian Insurance company to see what clinic in North Carolina would accept our insurance.  It turned out that no clinic or office physician would... our only option was to go to the local hospital's Emergency Room to be seen.


Neither kid was sick enough in my opinion to warrant a trip to the hospital.  But I didn't want to mess around with any more ear infections either, so I knew that they had to both see a doctor.  I am pretty sure that I muttered the words, "Can you just go ahead and shoot me now?" to Ryan as we walked into the waiting room at the Brunswick County Hospital ER.  Thankfully, it was a slow day in the ER, and we were in and out within only a couple of hours.  And thankfully, neither Reagan or Myers had an ear infection... but they did both have another upper respiratory infection.  But most thankfully, our Canadian insurance company footed the bill for the visit that otherwise would have cost us $1728.

Reagan got over her cold pretty quickly, which was a really good thing considering all of the cousins that are here at the waterway that she has to play with!  Myers on the other hand is still a very sick little boy to this day.  We are now having to do up to six breathing treatments a day (Hooray for Mommy planning ahead for all possibilities and I packed the nebulizer machine to bring with us!) and he no longer likes doing them at all.  My only comfort is that I know he is getting lots of medicine into his lungs with all of the screaming that is taking place during the treatments!

He also still HATES to ride in his car seat.  Without fail, within 10 minutes of being in the car, the screaming begins.  We've tried singing, clapping, nursing, comforting and ignoring.  None of it works.  This baby is just miserable.

Except for when he's not, because then he is the happiest baby on the planet! As long as he is not riding in his car seat or trying to sleep or having to do a nebulizer mask to help with his breathing, he is a VERY happy boy.   Thank God for that small miracle... I seriously think that I would have lost my mind completely if it weren't for that.

Prime example for you of my current state of mind... the night of our anniversary dinner boat ride, Reagan and Pops decided to have a dance-a-thon on the end of the pier as soon as we got home.  It was quickly becoming dark out as it was already past Myers's bedtime and would soon be Reagan's bedtime as well.  I went inside to attempt to put Myers to bed while everyone else stayed out on the pier to enjoy the shagging performance that was taking place.  Pops had the beach music blaring from the boat as he and Reagan danced the night away.  By the time I finally got Myers to sleep, it was well past Reagan's bedtime.  Being overly tired has also made me overly grumpy, so I was the party pooper that stomped out onto the end of the pier and forced Reagan to come inside to put on her nightgown and get ready for bed.  It wasn't pretty, but I finally managed to get her to go to sleep.  Of course, this whole process took about 40 minutes, which meant that it was time for Myers to wake up for his first screaming-fest of the night.

I think Ryan could tell that I was on the verge of a meltdown myself, and he didn't want to witness it.  He took Myers outside to scream on the end of the pier, while I sat on the couch and tried my best not to cry. I was doing pretty good at my attempt until my parents began to tell me that I ruined the perfectly fun night that everyone was having watching Reagan dance with her Pops by making her come inside to go to bed.

(And the poor camel's back was broken by just a tiny little straw.)

That was it.  I started crying.  My dad looked at me and asked what was I crying for.  In a voice just above a whisper, I said, "Because I can't stand it that I both love and hate my child with every fiber of my body right now."  I was referring to Myers.

Seriously, what mother in her right mind would even think that, much less say it out loud?

I know, I know... I am tired.  It has now been almost 4 months since Myers slept for more than a few hours at a time, if even that much.  And it is only getting worse.  But what kind of an excuse is that?  Don't get me wrong, I do love my son.  I love him and Reagan both with all that I've got.  There is no question about it.  But I don't know how much more I can take!  At least here at the beach house, I've got lots of extra hands to help me bounce this baby boy that is struggling to figure it all out himself.  I guess I am just scared that things won't even get better once we head back home to Canada in a few more days. Or, what if they just continue to get worse?

Plus, I NEVER EVER EVER do well when it comes to saying goodbye to my family, leaving the beach, and returning to Canada.  And like I just said... that day is fast approaching.

But again, it's no excuse.

So, there you have it.  A no-holds-barred honest post about the struggles of being a sleep deprived mother with sick kids.  I've talked to lots of friends recently who have been through the same struggles, so at least I know that I am not alone.

And at least I know that they lived through it to share their stories with me!

Update:  Seeing as how it is now February 2012 when I am finally publishing this post, I can tell you that it does eventually all get better!  And now you all have a better understanding as to why I have been missing from the bloggy-world for so so long!


Teri M said...

No fun! Glad things got better for you. Eli just screamed and screamed in his car seat as a baby. Lasted for months.

"Cookie" said...

I don't think there's a mom on this planet that hasn't had the feelings you had/have at one time or another. If she says she hasn't, she's lying. Being a mother is freakin hard!! There are wonderful things about it but there are times when you just want to walk away..... walk away for a day or so. Just to get your head on straight and have more than 5 mintues to have a complete thought.

I'm dealing with a 23 month old that has to be rocked to sleep every night. It takes me a least 45 mins to get him to bed. I'm due with our 3rd baby in less than 2 weeks. Is it bad that I dread bedtime? I hate putting my child to bed these days.... I just don't want to deal with it. and then I think, what kind of mother am i that I don't want to rock my child? But truthfully, I dont' want to every night.

Oh, the joys of motherhood!! :)

Loukia said...

Being a mom is most certainly exhausting! I feel your pain and I had a similar medical experience recently in Florida. My bill for my son was $2775... and yes, thank goodness for Canadian health care insurance! Oh, the joys of motherhood, indeed!

Shell said...

I love your honesty. Hate that you had to go through it- but love that you don't try to pretend that all is perfect!

Heather H said...

I'm sorry you are dealing with this. I don't understand kids' sleeping habits (or lack thereof) and why some of them don't get that Mommy needs to sleep too!

The meltdown was totally understandable. And I don't know a mom who doesn't feel that way occasionally.

Hope the rest of your trip was great!