Wednesday, October 5, 2011

PYHO: A Year of Exhaustion

Trace was born on Monday, October 25, 2010 via scheduled C-section. Everything about him was wonderful. 9 lbs, 2 oz, 21 inches long, a little dash of dark hair, big beautiful blue eyes. My recovery was easy, he got great reports all the time from the nursery. We left the hospital on a Thursday with him already on a good eat-play-sleep scheduled (Thanks, Baby Wise!) All things considered, I assumed this would be a relatively similar situation to Rory's newborn days. I expected lots of sleeplessness, lots of snuggling and new challenges. I was prepared to be tired. I wasn't prepared for an entire year of exhaustion.

Around 3 or 4 weeks, Trace started screaming. All. The. Time. I don't mean just being fussy or crying. I mean SCREAMING. This lead to a discovery of a milk allergy. We ended up switching to soy formula, thinking that would be the solution.


Not even close.

Things got worse and worse. The crying, the screaming, the fighting between me and Dave. We were arguing out of fear, out of anxiety, out of frustration.

Eventually, Trace was diagnosed with Acid Reflux after an incredibly trying trip to Florida. That was in March and we've been doing Zantac twice a day since. Add in some choking episodes, a handful of trips to the Children's Hospital, a flouroscopy...yeah. We've had a year of doctor's appointments.

But this is all old news to anyone who's ever been around here. Trace's stomach issues are exhausting but the worst part of all of this? The emotional wear. The strain it's placed on my relationship with my husband, the anger I feel, the constant worry that Trace will get his little paws on something dairy related. Dave and I have tried to hard to be a united front on this issue, but our naturally personalities vary so much. He gets mad because he worries. I slip into problem solving mode and try to fix the problems away. Neither approach is appropriate. Neither is a solution. And certainly neither is God's vision for my marriage. That I am sure of.

If I had to sum up the first year of Trace's life, in regards to his health, I could do it in one word. Exhaustion. Sheer, pure exhaustion. It's probably about a 50-50 split on the number of nights I've gotten uninterrupted sleep and the number of nights Trace has required me to get up and help him. My emotions are run down. I look like hell, mainly because there are days when it's either get ready for the day or grab 45 minutes of sleep. I have barely even scratched the surface of getting my post baby body back. I'm using food as a comfort item because I'm stressed. That's no excuse but it is what it is.

I guess what I mean to say is...I'm pretty darn proud of myself for surviving the last year. When I look back, I can honestly pat myself on the back for the things I've accomplished. I spoke up, clearly and loudly, to doctors giving us the run around. I learned quickly to curb my frustrations and give Trace positive energy. I grew really close to the Lord, spending lots of time in devotions and prayers. I realized that it isn't necessarily true that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. I could NOT have handled all of this with Trace alone. He gave it to me to lean on Him through.

Things aren't fixed by any means. We've got issues to deal with. Trace's health issues are far from resolved. This next year, we're going to focus on being a family. Connecting. Rejuvenating. And being so thankful that we survived!


Laura said...

Such an honest post! I love it and I love you!

The first year with two small babies was super hard for us. I can't imagine how much more complicated it would be with baby health issues added in.

Mike and I fought a lot the first year after Jason was born but I am excited for you because you are on the right track! Focus on family and connecting. That's what we did and we are in a good place now... I know you will get there too!

The Random Years said...

I can't even imagine what you're going through. I have no kids yet. But this is an amazing, amazing story. =)

Thank you for this.

Shell said...

Oh wow, that has to be tough!

Even though you still have other things to deal with, I hope that this year is easier on you!

Jenna said...

What a great intimate look into your real life and how exhausting parenting can be. Im glad you've had such good support from your husband, and that you linked up with PYHO this time!

Amiyrah said...

I don't even know you, but after reading all of that, I'm proud of you too! Your whole experience is the definition of exhaustion and you should think of yourself as a Saint for surviving it all and not losing it. This is my 1st time to your blog, but I can already tell by all that you do that you are an awesome mother. Keep your head up, hon!

I'm visiting from PYHO and would love for you to check out my post for this week :).

Kelly said...

Such an honest post, Kate!! I'm happy and proud that you and Dave have fought so hard throughout this year-- nothing is easy, especially with the stresses that you've all had this year. I'm excited for your family to continue to focus on what matters this next coming year. And you go out and do something NICE for YOU-- you deserve it!! :-D