My Millie.

I feel like I've been dreaming of the words weaving perfectly to describe this post. Because, chances are you've felt the heaviness of the hard, lonely, moments of motherhood like I'm about to describe.

Motherhood. It's the banner we raise high, with our non-gmo, sleep trained, hospital/birth center, health beliefs, and discipline differences. We all secretly nod and champion on each others differences with the hopes that if your toddler loses their cool they will nod and not judge, because Lawd knows I CAN'T HANDLE your judging more than I have already judged myself for 103943890th time today. We pretend to circle up and relieve, but still carry high the emotional weight of "this is what it's about, right? I'm a mom, I should be happy and peaceful and have it ALL TOGETHER."

When I was pregnant with Eleanore in 2014, I was terrified. I had a different upbringing and struggled HARD with the idea of motherhood, what it would look like, how I would respond. I remember clearly asking the nurse that was checking me in "what if I don't love her the way everyone tells me I will?" Crazy, right? Of course as soon as she was delivered and whisked to the NICU for a week with some breathing complications, I fell madly in love. I mean EVEN HER BREATH SMELLED LIKE THE DUST OF ANGELS! 

NOT REAL.

So as we planned for our second, I was dreaming of the love and sweetness of knowing another. It became such an exciting thought to learn who another person would be that would fill my heart again. I was not prepared for the immense, heavy love of my first so this next would be fantastic right? Oh, the the season I was so unprepared for. 

Yes, a newborn cries. Yes, there is such thing as colic, gas.. blah blah blah. Then there is Millie.

Millie, began screaming about 24 hours postpartum and was LOUD. I could not figure out how she developed lungs so quick, but she was determined to be the next Celine Dion in newborn diapers. We took her into the pediatrician believing YES the child has reflux or something medically wrong. Yes, she did-- our sweet Ped. held our girl and looked at me and said "I'm so sorry, but this is NOT going to be an easy fix. She is really struggling." So he rattled off lists and meds that we could try that we desperately tried and everything failed. After that appointment, we went straight to her hearing test and I sat down with her while she was mysteriously quiet for a moment and she failed her hearing tests for the first time. I was so confused. I laughed in pure delirium, asking "well I'm sure that it's like common or something, right?" Sweet, kind, woman, she responded "I'm so sorry, but she actually has no response."

 

So then we began doctors appointment after doctors appointments, failed hearing test after hearing test to only pray that once she hit the 4 month mark she would finally be released to have her surgery to extract the fluid and place tubes. The ENT literally could only hope with us that this would help her hearing, but he said that if she failed her hearing test the day of surgery we would enter the next phase of hearing aids, etc. Around December, her ears just stayed infected. They didn't know how to drain since they had never been clear, and no drop or technique worked for my girl. We just had to wait it out. 

Let me paint you a picture of my Millie and my motherhood in this moment. 

Millie, cried. Normal babes, have a newborn cry... it's soft and when they develop they learn how to cry louder. Sweet girl, could never hear herself, so she WAILED. There was never shushing to be comforted, no "mama is here". In order to soothe her we had to strap her close and bounce on an exercise ball till kingdom come. IF she stopped crying, you learned how to sleep with your head on the edge of the bed to not move her. We had to be stealthy, because she cried so loud that it would keep my 2 year old up through the night (YES, we had sound machines, she was that loud-- and we had to sell our house to put the girls on opposite ends!)

Chris had the 7pm- 12am shift, and I got the 1-6am shift. He would sleep in the guest and wake to shower and then hold her another 45mn while I slept before the day started. If the nights were crazy I would text and tap out for a bit. There was no 'comfort nursing'. No feeding normal. I would have to convince her to eat (despite her cute rolls), sister couldn't suck on anything because of the fluid and pressure in her ears.

Loneliness ravaged my spirit.

I had a baby with special needs, a toddler who had 'mass chaos mother', and I was drowning. I remember clearly at about 4am in November when I lost it with the Lord. I was going to force a good ole fashioned wrestle and remind the Lord I had paid my dues. I had gone through enough in my life that it was actually supposed to be like SUPER easy for me from now on. RIGHT? I wish I could even say that it went that kindly. Guess what, it was UGLY. There was no Holy moment of prayer and conviction. It was raw, "Lord Jesus, if you love me like you say and you say you haven't left then you better show." 

"You will teach her how to hear my voice."  As plain as day, I felt a whisper in my spirit. Minute by minute my life for a season was teaching me that we cannot PHYSICALLY wait for the reward, the answer or moment. Sometimes our battles are fought without knowing where we land. I had to understand that physically, and emotionally I would come to the end of myself and teach my girl what joy LOOKED like. 

February 27th came, and sweet Millie had her surgery. Everything was perfect. She had perfect hearing, and was miraculously changed from that moment forward. She basically NEVER STOPPED SMILING. She loved the sound of her voice so very very much that she immediately had to be moved to her own room because she would talk to herself for hours. (PRECIOUSNESS)

That season. Hard. There was such an intense battle for our peace, and for my vision. An incredible realization that loneliness is so very real in exhaustion. An incredible realization that some seasons are marked with utmost respect, that we did it and survived and want to etch the moments in our hearts to remember where we once were. 

Aftermath. 

My sweet two year old. Her world had changed so much. So very much. Her momma that once had cringed at the thought of angry outbursts and convinced that she could mother 48 children had checked the patience and kindness at the doorstep. So many days my sweet girl sat on our couch watching hours of endless tv and just crying for momma, only to have me bounce sister next to her and tell her that I loved her. My girl learned to brave and weather a season. Last week, I sat her down and wanted to process the best any almost 3 year old can and the conversation looked like this..

"Honey, do you remember when mommy brought sissy home? Sissy cried so much because her ears hurt and mommy had to spend a lot of time with her?"

Eleanore "Yes mama, she's all better now."

"Yes, she is! But mommy wants to say sorry for anytime you felt sad, and let you know that I love you so much and that we are going to have a fresh season of fun, health and happiness!"

Eleanore: "Oh I know mommy, Jesus is helping you."

 

Cue all tears in the world. 

 

"What did you just say?"

Eleanore: "Jesus is helping you mommy, it's ok. I love you so much."

 

Motherhood in my brief timing is so raw. It is humbling, because all I can do is surrender these girls and show them how to live without control. To live with abandon to the fact that peace and joy are SUPERNATURAL, not a natural response. Mama. There is grace. There is so so much grace. 

Because where I didn't have my arms wrapped around my two year old, the Lord was holding my Eleanore on that couch giving her all the peace she needed in the moment. He covers our babes, He gives sight and He gives sound to the deaf. But what good is our vision and hearing if we cannot even use it the correct way? 

So today. If you've been laying in the trenches.....Pray for vision. Pray for breakthrough. He is faithful. 

"Lord you’ve been faithful to plant the seeds
And you will be faithful to always send your rain
Lord you’ve been faithful to plant the seeds
And you will be faithful to always send your rain

Though the seasons change
Your love remains
Your love remains
Though the seasons change
Your love remains
Your love remains"

 

Deborah GlennComment