For my friend in the hospital with her child

I currently have two friends spending time in the hospital with their littles, and three people tell me that they have been in the hospital for febrile seizures in as many days.  My heart aches for each of these mamas.  And while I cannot promise them that everything will be alright, I want nothing more than to encourage their hearts.  

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Today is hard.

Tonight will be harder.

By tomorrow…oh tomorrow…your bones will ache from the weight of carrying these worries.

The exhaustion of these days and hours will be unlike even the earliest newborn days.  If you didn’t drink coffee before, you will now.

Sterile walls close in on you so easily.  Beeping machines will drive you to the brink.  And the good-natured souls who are caring for your family will feel obtrusive.  Really?  Blood pressure check?  Again?!

Rest assured that many Mamas have walked in these uncomfortable shoes, and they will gladly hold you up when you need it.  It’s a ragamuffin society of weary moms…who know your hurts.  Your fear.  Your anger.  Please don’t ever feel alone.  I promise you that while your specific circumstances may be different…the feelings are the same.

These days are hard.  Haaaaard.

Even if you get to go home soon and it was all just a great big scare…it will be hard.  Even if this is the 76th time you’ve been here and people think you should just be used to it by now…it will be hard.

But friend, I want to encourage you today.  I want you to rise up and be strong.  Stronger than you’ve ever been.  Stronger than you’ll likely ever need to be.

I’ve learned a lot about being a mom in five short years.  And one of them is this: Your kids need to believe that you will fight for them…and more importantly, that you just might win.

Your baby, your toddler, your teenager…need to believe that ‘it’s okay…Mommy’s here’.  Because Mommy will stick up for me.  Mommy will help.  Mommy is here.

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Your children need to believe that they can root for you.  That they can cheer and whoop and holler for Team Mom.  That Mom has a fighting chance.  That Mom won’t always win, but dammit, she’s trying.

That Mom will do whatever it takes to get the answers, the tests, the sign offs…the cherry jell-o instead of the yucky orange.  And maybe Mom doesn’t always win…but she just might.  They need to be confident in you.  Confident not that you will make it all better or get the clearances or take the hurt away…but confident that you will not wilt.  Confident that they can trust you to fight.  Confident that you will keep on keeping on.  For them.  And even if you don’t “win”…they won’t mind because they know you tried. Tried with every fiber of your being.

This is not about feeling pressured to always do the right thing, say the right words, or even ask the right questions…this is about your baby (whether 3 months or 33 years) being 100% confident that ‘Mommy’s here’.

This is about standing tall, taking a deep breath, and through your hurt and pain and tears advocating for your child.

This is about pushing through all of the anger and exhaustion and fear and letting the Mama Bear roar if she needs to.

This is about comforting and rocking and shushing in little ears that it’s okay…Mommy’s here.  At two in the morning.  With tubes attached and wires running and monitors beeping.

You can do this.  You can do it with grace.  You will do it beautifully.  I know you will.

You may need help lifting a bag of dog food.

You might need someone to get a bowl from the top shelf in the cupboard.

But hidden behind your skirts is safety found nowhere else.

It’s okay to cry.  It’s okay to be scared.  It’s okay to be mad.

But be fierce, my friend.

Fight hard.

Push back.

Love your little one.

This is what being a Mom is all about.

Right here.  In this moment.

It isn’t about the Little League games, or the perfect nursery, or empty laundry baskets, or college scholarships.

It’s about shining for your baby when they need it the most.

Shine on, Sister.

God is good.  Always.  No matter what.

 

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jeannett
I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.
jeannett
jeannett

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Comments

  1. 1

    What a gorgeously-written, heartfelt post. Straight from the heart. I felt it.

  2. 2

    Oh my, thank you for this. Your words brought tears to my eyes as I sit here with my 7 month old who is quite ill (fourth time in her short life here) and knowing that we may be hours away from yet another hospital stay. Everything you said spoke rught to my heart but it was the “Be fierce” part that rung so deepest…..thank you.
    Marcy´s last blog post ..Snow Fairies

  3. 4

    I’ve never been in this situation, but if I were there I’d like to think that it would all be okay because you’ve told me so.
    NJ @ A Cookiebeforedinner´s last blog post ..Hello Monday – Lost Camera Cord & 8 Weeks Edition

    • 5

      Ha! You crack me up. But you would. And in some ways, you now know how a friend might feel. And that makes you a better friend overall. So…there.

  4. 6

    I first began reading your blog several months ago. I’m not even sure how I found you, but my heart ached and I poured out prayers for you and sweet Jilly as you waited in the hospital for that seizure that never came in October. And I selfishly thanked God that it wasn’t me. I’ve had my fair share of medical problems with my four little ones. My oldest son has a genetic condition most doctors have never even heard of that causes very high temps of 105 to 106. But, we have never had to deal with seizures.

    Then, on November 24th he had a grand mal that lasted 5 minutes. He didn’t have as temperature. He was asleep. We began a journey of testing that revealed my soon to be 8 year old is having several partial seizures a day. And I cried out to God, “really? Something else? Haven’t we had enough?”

    Today, I am tired and weary. We are on day one of a 48 hour ambulatory EEG. I was up all night, pushing a little button, as I watched my son seize in the middle of the night. Grateful the camera caught it. Praying for answers. And this post is what I needed to hear this morning. God is good. All the time. Thank you. Even though it wasn’t intended for me, it was for me. Thank you.

    • 7

      But it was for you. I mean, I didn’t know what you were going through…but I knew that there were so many mamas out there staying at these really expensive hotels with crappy towels. I’m so sorry. I cried reading your comment. It’s so so so hard. All we can really do is praise when it’s the hardest…and encourage one another through our suffering. The simplicity of that helps me cope sometimes. Hang in there. Praying for answers alongside you.

  5. 8

    You have a way of speaking straight to me. Thankfully everyone in our house is healthy right now but I have been there. No matter how many times your child has been hospitalized it is never easy. I don’t feel like numerous hospitalizations has made me a pro. I’m not sure I always handle the situation with grace but I can be one fierce Mama Bear. When I counsel with new parents whose children have a medical issue, I tell them to fight and to listen to their parent’s instincts. I assure them that they will be equal to the task and their inner Mama/Daddy Bear will roar when it’s needed. For those families struggling with medical issues–my heart goes out to you and I hold you in my prayers.

  6. 9

    Oh Jeannett. You always have the perfect words. As I read this I felt about a hundred emotions. Ranging from YES I CAN DO THIS to gosh it’s damn hard. But I was reminded how last week when Julia asked to be tucked in AGAIN (who is almost 11), instead of telling her to GET TO BED (like I honestly sometimes do)…. I took the time and did it. I held her tight and then she bawled in my arms and opened up to me about how she’s scared about what happened in Connecticut. Which in weeks past she’s said- “Mom it’s fine. It’s the other side of the country. I’m NOT scared….” On another day I might’ve thought she was just trying to get out of going to bed. But that night, I was glad that I was there for her when she was really scared. The icing on the cake? She said “Thanks so much Mom. You made me feel WAY better.” Sometimes I’m so busy worrying about J that I forget that my other two REALLY need me to be present. I mean, I know that’s the case. And I try really hard to be there for all 3 kids. But sometimes I fail. I was so glad that I had that little momma victory that night.

    You know I don’t comment much….but when I do it’s going to be a novel. Anyway—- keep inspiring. I love you!! xo
    Mique´s last blog post ..Triple Chocolate Chip Malt Cookies with Sea Salt

    • 10

      Mique…just read your comment after I posted my own. Oh do I hear you. And how crazy we had similar feelings/experiences with our girls. Blake still asks me to tuck him in and so badly I want to just stay sitting on the couch but I know that time will end at some point so I go down the hall for that sweet kiss and tuck him into to safety. Hugs to you!! You are doing a GREAT job.

  7. 11

    This brought tears to my eyes! Be fierce indeed! Thanks for sharing such a raw and honest post that is so moving!
    laura b´s last blog post ..Right Now

    • 12

      This post is just perfect!! I was a “hospital mama” and looking back it was by God’s grace that I was able to be stronger and more courageous than I ever could have imagined! Thanks for sharing and “shine on”!
      patti´s last blog post ..Sushi, Preschool and Freedom

  8. 13

    Very touching and so real! Hope your friend’s family is safe and sound at home soon…
    Alexandra´s last blog post ..Apps for mums (and dads)

  9. 14

    I so needed this today as Little Miss has now come down with what Little Mister had. And that high fever scares the crap out of me because Kaia had a febrile seizure when she was 9 months old. Scary. I keep putting these two littles in lukewarm baths and they think I’m crazy. The hardest part of this….is they aren’t mine. I mean they are for now. But they aren’t really mine. I’m being mommy for someone else, who I am quite sure would not be up to this task right now and that breaks my heart and makes me want to scream all at the same time. And makes me want to cry because I’m tired and not even being able to be present for my own two children because I’m caring for two others who are sick and have their own special needs/diagnosis. But my momma heart wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. So I push along being mommy to them all as best as I can. And when my 15 year old calls me ‘her best friend’ I know I have won. And it is all worth it. Thank you for sharing today and for letting me ‘vent’ her a bit on your space too. Love you, friend. And I pray for your friends who are in the hospital and hope their babies have a quick recovery.

  10. 15

    I know the feeling. I just relived it thru your post. For us, it was 32 years ago;, with our first born, who was 5 months old at the time. We were in the pediatric ICU for 6 weeks. I spent 24 hours a day every day in that room. Friends and family visits insisted I leave, just to go home and shower and rest. They were crazy. No way I will leave my baby. They asked how was I so strong. FAITH. It was meningitis. Eight young babies were hospitalized for meningitis in the same week. Two babies died while we were all there together, going thru the same thing. We were the first to go home after 6 weeks. I remember our pediatrician like it was yesterday, He was scared. We were too. Thoughts and prayers are with your friends.
    gin´s last blog post ..ChristmasTakes

  11. 16

    wow, i needed to hear this tonight.

    although our ‘hospital stays’ are over – I just believe it – I’m having to fight for my little guy still. epilepsy is cruel and has taken so much from Ben. We are fighting to restore every last bit of what has been stolen.

    thank you for your encouraging words…I’m trying to be fierce for him, hope for the future, and accept a new normal all at the same time.

    but His grace is sufficient. I just need to take one fierce step at a time. thank you for this reminder.
    laurie´s last blog post ..lately…

  12. 17

    Too real, thanks…

  13. 18

    Thank you!!! Yes so real! I sent it to my mum and she emailed back saying ‘still crying from that one…need to compose myself…..that one just about sums so much stuff up’. Thanks again! xx

  14. 19

    Beautiful, beauty-full post. I love it. :)
    Selina´s last blog post ..Aaah!

  15. 20

    Thank you, from the girl who recently left an awkwardly long and poorly written insta comment about our febrile seizure event on Sunday.

    I don’t even know how I came across your blog in the first place but I come back time and time again because of your honesty, your vulnerability, your faith, and let’s be honest – the undeniable cute factor of your kids.

    So, thank you again. Thank you for this post specifically, for encouraging moms all over the world by allowing God to use your story (as terrible and joyful and scary and exciting as it can be) to bless others’. You sure did bless this momma last Sunday night as my baby was loaded into the ambulance. Your face, your kids, your story…it flooded my mind and encouraged me at a time when I thought peace and strength were impossible. His seizure is done and gone, but the memory of it isn’t, and this post has encouraged me yet again. Thank you, friend.
    Sarah Brooks´s last blog post ..Seize the Day: Part Dos

  16. 21

    How beautiful & true & perfect. Thank you for this.
    Heidi´s last blog post ..A Song

  17. 22

    I have tears in my eyes reading this post as I have been in those shoes before with my five year old son. He was a NICU baby and has had several subsequent hospitalizations for respiratory issues. I have known the pain of watching your child in pain, the exhaustion so thick it causes your bones to ache and the worry so great that it can go nowhere but to the feet of Jesus.

    Thank you for putting words to my heart and for encouraging other mamas who are there at this moment. It was beautiful!

  18. 23

    I love this. I needed this. Although my son doesn’t frequent the hospital, he does frequently encounter doctor’s offices, therapists gyms and couches, and all kinds of daily roadblocks in education. He was diagnosed with autism right round the same time I began reading your blog, and I have, so many times, wanted to run away from all of this. You have no idea how much your honest, reflective, humorous, strong, momma bear writing has influenced me – strengthened me to fight on for him and for our entire family. Thank you.

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