Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Return To Me: Thoughts on Blogging, Babies, and the Blessed Mother

Back on Friday, I was so excited to start bringing this blog back from the dead, and truly I am.  At the time my most recent post went up, Andrew and I had just gotten home from spending the night in the hospital with our sweet baby boy.

In the middle of the night last Wednesday, Aaron started screaming hysterically in his sleep, on and off for about three hours.  It sounded clear to us that he was experiencing either a good amount of pain or of fear, but since he didn't wake, we chalked it up to a night terror sort of thing.  I figured I'd let him sleep the morning away and then end up with a happy, well-rested baby, but after Andrew left for work around sunrise, Aaron continued screaming on and off, then began throwing up continually, like the more-than-typical-spit-up variety.  The more he puked, the greener it got, which Google told me indicates bile loss and is fairly serious.  After trying not to panic and calling the pediatrician, off we headed to the emergency room. As I was packing up to leave, Aaron was completely listless--no eye contact, no nursing (his refusal to eat was what started to really concern me) no interaction at all, and my baby who ordinarily fights sleep with all his heart wanted to do nothing but sleep. I thought we were in the clear after he finally nursed for a few minutes near the end of our ER stay (this was before I knew we were about to be admitted to the regular pediatric ward), but no sooner had he finished than up came some more green and out came some blood in his diapers, three in a row.

All that bile loss and bloody poop resulted in an IV drip, ultrasounds, an X-ray, and ultimately, an overnight stay in the hospital for my poor little man.  Andrew and I agreed it was one of the scariest experiences of our lives (and my husband almost took out a doctor in his frustration).  Thanks be to God, Aaron accepted some Pedialyte that evening, slowly perked up again, and eventually started nursing again during the night.  Amazingly, whatever sickness this was seems to have been a quick-hitting virus, and my baby has been contentedly eating and sleeping away and seems even smilier than before.  I told my sister-in-law this weekend that as long and as difficult a day it was, Aaron's easy recovery has almost made me forget about it already, not in the sense of willfully blocking it out, but just in the sense of gratitude for such a speedy return to his normal, happy demeanor.

Why am I talking about my baby's poop and vomit and clumsily trying to connect it to my blog?  I mentioned Friday that writing my manuscript has coincided with having a newborn, and both of those things have taken priority over blogging, rightfully so, over the past few months.  I'm excited to return to more regular posts, but at the same time I've felt a little guilty just wanting to hop on the computer the second Aaron falls asleep, and I've missed my other hobbies, too.  Mamas who dash off daily posts and birth stories just days after getting home from the hospital, I salute you and you better believe I gobble up those birthin' tales.  For me though, I've come to prefer and be at peace with way less screen time than I've had lately, and if that means more time with my menfolk then I'll gladly take it.

So this is a return to my blog, but in a moderate way.  The other night in the hospital, nursing Aaron in the chair we slept in (all. night.), I was thinking how, as crummy and scary a situation as we were in, my sense of presence felt renewed, and being present, without all the usual distractions I surround myself with while nursing or generally taking care of him, is so freeing for me.  All I needed to do at the moment was feed my baby, hold him, and let him get better.

Much as I love the Rosary, I'm honestly kind of delinquent about it a lot of the time, but have made efforts to recommit myself to it this Lent.  Something about this being my first Lent with a son, I feel like I've been able to see through Mary's eyes in a new way--the closeness, the deep love, and yes, the shared sorrow, between her heart and Jesus' is a new revelation for me.  In each mystery, she is present and is loving her son in the profound way of feeling every emotion and experience the person you love is feeling, to the same degree they are.  I get it now (and I'm sure I'd feel pretty similarly if I had a daughter, since the love of a mother and child is so powerful regardless of whether it's a boy or girl).  I think Our Lady has been pulling me back to her these last few weeks, out of my spiritual laziness and into a different, deeper knowledge of her heart, and I'm so thankful for that grace.  And so I return.

Mamacitas, I'd be so interested to hear your take on sharing time between your blog baby and your baby-baby!  Thoughts?


  1. I can totally appreciate a more moderate return to blogging (and am super excited to hear about your book!) But am glad you're not letting it go all together, I very much enjoy your posts :-) glad your Lil man is feeling better! What a scary night for you all!

  2. Oh my goodness, I'm so glad your little sweetheart is okay! That must have been terrifying. Hugs.

    As far as balancing time between family and blogging, I *usually* blog after everyone has gone to bed and Will and I have had some time together. Will relaxes by playing silly computer games, and I relax by blogging or planning a blog post. Obviously doesn't happen every night, but I try to set aside a night for blogging at least once a week.

    1. Thanks so much! Hug accepted =) Your blogging sitch sounds pretty similar to what we've been doing these days, with computer games replaced by schoolwork for Andrew (though he'd definitely prefer games--I tease him so much about those!). Lately Andrew hangs out with Aaron for a while when he gets home, which gives me a break, and we sort of tag team cooking dinner, and then after Aaron takes a bath and nurses to sleep I stay with him in bed and read or blog.

  3. Just getting caught up here. I'm so sorry about your traumatic hospital stay!!! My heart races when Will has a big spitup, so I can only imagine what y'all went through!! So glad it went as quickly as it came.

    I am sooo on the same page with you when it comes to a deeper relationship with Our Lady. I look at my baby and think "Mary loved Jesus like this! I should love Jesus like this!" Humbling indeed.

    My blog baby has just become ALL about my baby baby. I combined babies. That's my only input there! Haha. And who would mind more pics of your adorable lil man? ;)

  4. Oh my goodness glad to hear baby Aaron is back on the mend...praying you find a peaceful, gentle balance for you:)

  5. So glad your little one is ok! My firstborn was in the ICU for 2 days with a nasty case of croup when he was 3 months old, and it was the scariest 48 hours of my entire life. Modern medicine is one of God's greatest gifts to us.

    1. Yikes. Now that I've experienced a hospital stay, too, I feel like I can sympathize in a much more real way to stories like yours, though it's not exactly a fun club to be part of. Amen on the medicine, and praise the Lord for IVs!

  6. Oh my! What a terrifying experience! I'm so glad to hear that Aaron is recuperating well. I can totally relate to everything you said about less screen time. I have no idea how it works for other new mamas or what their babies were like that allowed them to blog so much so soon after their babies were born...but that just wasn't me. Gabriel ate every single hour for three months straight (going longer stretches throughout the night at least - like 1.5-3 hours...with a glorious 6 weeks of him sleeping 5-7 hours at night that was quite short-lived). For me to blog much during those months I would have had to neglect my baby or my husband in ways that I would have been totally uncomfortable with. I definitely salute the moms that can do it while still putting their family first...but I seriously couldn't...so obviously I chose family over blogging.

    I feel like I began to get back into the swing of things once Gabriel hit about 6 months. Now that he is old enough to do a lot of independent play and I know that it's good for him to have some freedom to explore things for himself, I can usually get away with writing while he is happily playing. I usually do this in the morning (when he is the happiest) and spend more of his playtime interacting with him in the afternoon. Between everything else I'm doing, though, I rarely finish a post in one take in the morning. Once he goes down for his morning nap I can usually wrap it up. And there are plenty of days I'd LIKE to jot down ideas but simply don't get around to it. It takes a lot of figuring out what works for you, your family, and tying it in appropriately with your other duties and priorities.

    I feel like this comment is already way too long...but suffice it to say that I understand and respect your blogging in moderation and I've been there. I am still there, really...because I can never find enough time to write all my thoughts down. But such is life! Always having to revisit priorities and act accordingly. Speaking of which, Gabriel is fussing for me to give him some lovin'...so I've gotta go. God bless!

  7. How scary! Sending a big hug your way. Your take and attitude about this whole experience is so inspiring.



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