This morning, I swayed around the room with Mark as he looked contently over my shoulder. I think he was so exhausted from the last two weeks that he was happy to just sit in my arms and look around as we danced. After a few minutes, even though he was still awake, I could feel his body relax a bit. We swayed a few more times, and then I attempted to put him down for a nap. He fussed for a few seconds until I gave him his pacifier, and then he drifted peacefully off to sleep.
Mark is not the only tired one around here. It is a rainy Thursday morning, and after a pretty insane week or two, I am finally able to sit down on the couch and just think. My brain has been on overdrive lately. Interestingly enough, I didn’t realize how mentally exhausted I was until I sat down a few minutes ago.
In late January we look a trip across the country to the west coast to visit Matt’s brother and his family for our niece’s baptism. We were excited to see them and for Mark to finally get to meet his only three cousins! Mark’s first trip out of the state was across the country on multiple planes, delayed flights, and a time change. I was a bit on the stressful side trying to keep him fed and content throughout the whole traveling ordeal. That was a challenging task considering we had to be up at 3am to catch our first (delayed) flight. We were very tired.
When all was said and done, Mark was a champ. He didn’t fuss on a single flight, and we spent a lot of time in the air. He went with the flow when we missed a connecting flight and even managed to squeeze in a nap here or there. His only traveling meltdowns were while we waited on the rental car after we arrived on the west coast and in the car when we were driving home at the end of our trip. Admittedly, I was a bit stressed about the traveling since I had no idea what I was doing, and I asked everyone I knew for advice about traveling with a baby. In the end, it all worked out and Mark got to spend some great quality time with his cousins. We are very thankful for that.
With all the traveling and lack of sleep, it should come as no surprise that both Mark and Matt were feeling a bit under the weather by the time we got home. Mark was in good spirits but was definitely developing a cough that I wanted to get checked out. We headed to the pediatrician the day after we returned. The diagnosis was a little cold that the pediatrician felt he would probably kick in a week or so.
A few days later, after a night with very little sleep and four hours of straight crying, we headed back to the pediatrician’s office in the morning where we were ultimately sent to check into the hospital over concerns about Mark’s breathing. That little cold morphed into a scary four-night stay at the hospital. Mark was miserable and given a diagnosis of Bronchiolitis caused by RSV and an ear infection.
When Mark was initially admitted everyone was hopeful that it would just be for 24 hours of observation to make sure his breathing was on track. But by Sunday evening, Mark turned a scary corner that had Matt and me terrified that we were about to relive the events of July 2014.
I remember looking at one of the nurses and knowing that things were not going smoothly. She was clearly concerned about how hard he was working to breathe. At one point the pediatrician even brought up the idea of a transfer to the second hospital that Isabelle was at – We lost it. (Thankfully, the transfer was not necessary.) I just sat, helplessly, next to Mark’s bed, held his little hand, and stroked his hair.
Sitting there, watching him lay in a hospital bed hooked up to several things and working so hard to breathe, pushed me about as close to a meltdown as possible without going over the edge. I was petrified that I was about to lose a second child and begged God to not take Mark from me.
After many prayers and a new medication to help open his airways, Mark began the road to recovering by sleeping four straight hours. By Tuesday he was finally eating a bit again, and they were able to wean him from the IV and later the oxygen. By Wednesday, Mark began to smile and giggle, and had been off the oxygen for 24 hours. The doctor was thrilled with his progress, and we were finally able to go home.
I truly believe that our little St. Isabelle was watching over Mark and sending prayers to God right along with her mom and dad. I like to think of her prayers as twice as loud since she is already hanging out with the Big Guy upstairs. We are beyond thankful that Mark is feeling much better and is finally kicking RSV’s butt.
Today, as I swayed with Mark around the room and his tiny head and arm rested peacefully on my shoulders, I was happy. That simple moment reinforced the fact that Mark brings me tremendous joy and fulfillment in life. God has called me to be his mommy, and I intend to appreciate every moment of it. So rather than getting caught up in his routine, as I so often do, I am going to focus on appreciating the small moments. As I was again reminded this week, life is a precious gift and should not be taken for granted.