Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Patience, patience

This picture I took yesterday at yet another doctor's office. It pretty much sums up what each week - me carting both girls to a doctor or therapy appointment and Mary Lawrence trying her best to be patient with it all. It seems like we have an appointment nearly every day.

And so I have become Mary Poppins in the diaper packing department - stuffing everything from food to juice to library books to new toys in there so it is overflowing with activities to keep this nearly three year old entertained why we wait and wait.

Yesterday we waited for nearly an hour and she sat there quietly on the steps playing with her princesses. I wish I could enjoy the good behavior but the whole time I am overcome by immense stress wondering when Maggie is going to wake up, praying she doesn't start crying and I have to take her out of the veiled car seat where she is protected, thinking any minute Mary Lawrence is going to hit her breaking point and hoping I packed enough anti-bacterial wipes to get through the office visit?

And then no matter how well things are going, something always happens to throw the relative calmness into complete chaos and my mounting inner stress turns into tears running down my cheeks. Whether it is a huge diaper explosion and I forgot an extra outfit or Mary Lawrence busting her knee on the sidewalk outside the office and I don't have any band aids , it seems no day ever goes really smooth and as I often find mysef in tears and praying for endurance and patience to get through the day.

I know I am kind of feeling sorry for myself. I think I have just come to the realization that even though Maggie is healthy and doing great, our normal daily lives are very different than other families with young children and will be for a while. Maggie is going to need occupational and physical therapy twice a week and speech therapy as well. She has a developmental specialist that comes to our house twice a month. That's not including the pulmonologist, opthamologist, dermatologist and I sure there will be other "ologists" along the way. Am I sounding bitter? I am not. I guess I just had this impression that once we got through RSV season we could get out more, but getting out consists mostly of these appointments and then me stressing to fit in some "fun" time for Mary Lawrence. I always thought as a young mom I would be going to story time and Bible Study or MOPS or planning or day around the arboretum or some fun museum. And that's just not the case right now. I am trying to make the most of it, but honestly right now I am just a little overwhelmed.

I pray often to God that I don't know if I can do all of this well enough. I'm too impatient. Too short-tempered. Too selfish. Too tired. I just feel like I am not strong enough to deal with it all. But each time I feel so weak and incompetent I remind myself what he has already empowered me to endure. And I hear him saying to me, "Lee, you can do all things through me, who gives you strength."

And that's all I have to say about that right now.


  1. Oh Lee, I have been in your shoes with a preemie newborn, and I had postpartum depression and think I cried away most of his first year of life! I have few happy memories of him as an infant, so I know how stressful this time is. I think two things really strike me now (9 years later) about how I could have coped better:
    1) get more help from other. I didn't reach out, didn't ask friends, didn't hire people. That was very ignorant and proud of me. I should have gotten more people involved. Maybe you could get a friend to have ML play with her children at their house to give her more social time, pay a sitter to stay with ML and take Maggie to a few appointments alone, etc.
    2) Learn to let go of expectations. Yep, that's a big one. I was in postpartum due to this one. My child wasn't what I expected, and I resented my new life. But now, 9 years later, I think about how SHORT that time with a preemie was in the big scheme of things. My son has been "normal" with no therapy since age 2, so we've had lots of outings and activities for 7 years now. I hardly remember that first year of confinement. Realize that this is a SEASON and not a permanent condition. Find things to do at home that you won't be able to do later once you can go out, like rent all the DVDs for a tv series off Netflix and watch them (not that I did that or anything!).
    3)Be thankful. Continue to remind yourself that Maggie's therapy appointments and limitations now are far less than people who are carrying for a terminally ill child or one with a life-long disease. Follow a blog or two about those stories, and it puts it all into perspective.

    Lots of prayers,
    Michelle Cearley

  2. Lee - I have nothing to offer in the way of advice or such seeing as how I have only a dog, but I love you and am still praying! Kisses. Anna

  3. You are amazing Lee and your feelings are so normal. Use me! I will do whatever I can do help. Praying for ya, Tessa

  4. Hey Lee, sounds like you are very overwhelmed. I feel like reading your post is how I felt with just one health baby, all the stress, and not having any patience and praying every night for more patience. I know my situation is not the same as you but we are both separated from family which makes it sooooo much harder. I agree with Michelle about asking for help it seems like you have so many nice friends who would be more than happy to help with a few little things. Which would make things just a tad bit better.
    I think about you girls daily.
    What is going on with Maggie’s decreased appetite? How was her weight?
    Alison Cardenas