Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This year of having a new baby and a toddler was so much more difficult than I imagined. I knew it would be busy, but I did not expect it to be so exhausting, frustrating, and just down right hard! I don't even think I realized all of this until I started to look back on the last 12 months. Tripp's birthday is 10 days away and things are finally settling into a rhythm. I really just did not expect to struggle SO much. God has such an amazing way of keeping us humble doesn't he?

It all started with a late night C-section on June 29th, 2011. I was having a lot of contractions and with two previous c's, there were some risk factors with that. I was only 37 weeks, but he looked to be a good size and Mia was born healthy at 37 weeks. They handed me this perfectly chubby 7 pound 13 ounce baby boy. It was a truly special moment. In fact that picture is still the wallpaper on my phone because right after that, things began to unravel!
They heard gurgling in his breathing so he was whisked away to NICU. I think most of you know the story from there. It was 10 LONG days. I was healing from the C-section and had to stay on the maternity floor for 5 days. It is so strange to be there without a baby! Tripp was on heavy antibiotics and breathing machines. We did not get to hold him until the day I discharged home. He came home 5 days later. Because of his NICU stay, I never really got the hang of nursing him. We both endured it for 6 months, but it was never easy like it have been with the girls.
These problems stacked up and made it so hard for me to just settle into those precious mommy moments. You know the ones when you are overcome with love for that precious baby. He has never been one to snuggle either, which is such a huge part of my baby love language. I have to confess that I even struggled with resentment for the whole situation. I no longer had unlimited special moments with Mia and I now had a son that was more work than I bargained for. I also walked completely away from my job which I LOVED to stay home with both kids. That made for long days and feelings of isolation for sure. ( I hope my candidness is not offending anyone...but I thought it might help someone else if I shared!)
Tripp spent most of the year sick. He had skin infections, eczema, several rounds of croup that we now know as asthma. His skin and illnesses prevented him from sleeping well and just a diaper change took 20 minutes with all of his creams and treatments he had to have. Also add in that we had him on a heart monitor at home because of SIDS risks. I was dealing with fear everytime he finally DID fall asleep. I am sure that part of my detachment as well. We were exhausted and in survival mode!

I considered telling my doctor how stressful it was...maybe a little medication would have helped. I really wanted to avoid that as much as possible. I have avoided it through this whole grief process, so starting now didn't seem right. I resorted to prayer, quiet time, and some good girl talk to survive.

Once his personality starting showing, things did get a little better. He has an infectious smile and the cutest lopsided dimples that I have ever seen. He doesn't know a stranger and loves to play with toys all by himself. (Something his sister still struggles with.) We now know the allergens that are the root cause of a lot of his problems and since we have figured those out, life has completely changed for the better. He sleeps great, eats great, and is generally a very happy guy. I have completely fallen for him, head over heals, just like everyone warned me I would!

I used to always say that I LOVED babies. Having lost one, I just clung to the special moments that you get when they are so young. Tripp and I did not really get those moments and I had to change my heart to welcome this unique little into my world. I think I am officially changing my "favorite" age to 1! I am supposed to be one of the those Moms that has perfect perspective, right? I have seen the worst of the worst, so everything else is just roses??? That is what I have tried to tell myself all year. That is where God just took over. I am not in control of my own life, I never have been. He hands me the reigns everyone once in a while to see if I can handle it, but I lose sight of the big picture and he has to remind me once again who is in control.

I love my life, my husband, my children, and my story. I know God uses it and I pray that I continue to be faithful to whatever plan he has for me. Thanks to all of you for hearing my confession and my heart! This blog has been life saver for me this year!


  1. Jen, you are an inspiration to all of us and your strength is amazing. Especially us non-mothers! We are so blessed to have you in the family. You have no clue how many other women you have helped by sharing your true self and your journey. You are also a mentor by your passion in your faith and remind us all every day to live the life he has planned for us. love, Great Aunt Heather

  2. Hi! This is Jessica, one of Sherry's friends. I have followed your blog for years, I think since Lilly passed, but have never commented. I had to today to say THANK YOU for being so open and honest. Motherhood is not easy and it's nice to hear that other mothers are going through the same struggles too. I have a friend who lost her first child last year and a second this year and it's just heart-wrenching. She is very faithful like you and I know that only God carries us in times like those. I had sent her a link to your blog a while back when you wrote about Lilly. She said it was a great read and I know you helped at least one person in sharing. Just wanted to say that I love reading your blog and getting design ideas as well as mommy advice!
    Thanks again for being an inspiration!

  3. I love love love this! And I love your honesty!! :)

  4. Girl, it IS hard! And you had a tough year! I'm so proud of you for making it through! I can't imagine doing this mommy thing without you!!

    PS-You know one is my favorite age! Yay for Tripp being one next week! Can't wait to celebrate.

  5. Sweet Jenn, you rock for being honest and sharing. I am 9 weeks ahead of you and still struggling and not "settled" in life with 2, in fact having a very bad attitude currently with summer and NO breaks. And like you I know how amazingly blessed I am and struggle with feeling gulity for how I feel, or guilty that I can't handle more or be more to my kids or community but then like you I go back and give it all to God and he gives me the strength, sometimes just to survive a day and other days to thrive and see the impact of what I'm doing. Love you more than words and proud of you - not for being perfect, but for being real. That's what life is all about, letting our struggles be used to help and uplift others. Love you!!!!!! Can't wait to play!

  6. This post is worth a million bucks!!! I always feel pressure to act like this is a piece of cake and I am "enjoying every minute" when there are lots and lots of moments...and even days right now when we feel like we are in survival mode. Thanks for sharing and being real.

  7. I wanted to thank you as well! I had a super hard year too and loved this post. Jayden has had a lot of difficulties (not sure if you knew that) and is now in a special school- which has been amazing- but it is still really hard especially when one child requires a lot of attention.

    This will make you laugh- today I was all ready to take the kids "out" to breakfast and then to the pool... and where did we go today??? NOWHERE!!!!!! :)

    Anyways- thanks for sharing. Sometimes it's nice to know you aren't the only one....


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