My Family

My Family

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Suffering is joy

So one of the books I am trying to keep up with is another devotional called Small Steps for the Catholic Mom. Each day, it gives a thought, prayer, and act. Friday’s topic was on suffering. The act for Friday was to think about one suffering in my life and offer it up to God. 

I am still having a hard time trying to think of what in my life right now would I consider as “suffering.”
The dictionary defines suffering as ‘pain that is caused by injury, illness, loss, etc.: physical, mental or emotional pain.’ The thought from St. Peter Julian Eymard, "As the result of sin, the virtues have become painful to us; we shrink from them because they mean humiliation and suffering. You do not want to be humiliated? Humiliation is an honor, suffering a joy, because Jesus Christ has placed in them true honor and true joy."

I don't feel I have any true sufferings as defined in the dictionary. Pain from illness, injury, loss... Loss... There is my pain. Miscarriage. The loss of a baby. How have I forgotten? Well, not forgotten. I saved those special days in a file, and tucked it inside deep. That time that I had prayed for and finally saw the positive pregnancy test. Those sweet few weeks when a baby nestled deep in my womb. Then after a few questionable days, the dark realization that my dream was lost, the warm feelings ripped from my heart. 

That loss nearly broke me. And I never gave that suffering to God. In my small world, closed off from others, I held it against God. I had prayed for that baby for months, and it was taken away.  "How could you do this to me?" I thought. "Am I not good enough?" I was so angry and sad. I stopped going to church. I turned away from God in my own stubbornness. I was cold towards my husband and our daughter. I was falling in a dark hole...

But somehow, my friends were able to help pull me out. They helped me to see that I was not alone in the loss. They opened my eyes to see the many other women (some I was close to) that had shared the same pain I did, and the others who had not yet been able to feel the joy I held, if even for a short time. It was hard, but I came around. In the worst day, I found out God had answered my prayer. I was pregnant again! And now I hold a beautiful 3 month old chunky little boy. 

I never offered that suffering to God. I posted about it, but never gave it up. So today I offer it up. There is a reason that my baby went to heaven too early. I may never know it. But God is the almighty, my protector, my strength. The saying "God never gives you more than you can handle," is false. God gives us hardships. But he wants us to give those hardships to him, to depend on him for help and nurturing. Only God can completely fill those holes in our hearts. So I give up my suffering to God, for he will bear it for me and through Him, I will have joy. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Nightmares and Congestion

Did you know babies can have nightmares? Sweet little innocent babies can have nightmares! Two nights in a row, H woke us with the most heart wrenching cry. Each time I quickly swooped him up hoping to calm him. The first night, I called his name after what seemed like an eternity. It was really only a minute or two. His eyes popped open and he had a confused look on his face. 
The second night he cried and cried for about 5 minutes then stopped. Each time, the cry was not a normal "I'm hungry" or "I'm gassy" cry. It turned into almost a scream cry, but it wasn't even his "I hurt" cry. We concluded he must have been having a nightmare.  About what?? What could this sweet boy dream that upset him that much??

Last night he fought an never ending congestion. We keep passing it around. Hearing Jeanne cough at night is hard enough. Hearing my 3 month old cough is terrible. We have the humidifier going, j use nasal saline on him, I put Vick's on his chest and feet. I guess it just needs to run it's course. Any other suggestions!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Parenting is hard

Let me start by saying no, no one ever said it would be easy. But with all the opinions out there, the sideways glances, and don't let me forget the "I did a much better job" looks people throw around, I can see why some people choose not to have kids!

On Christmas Eve, I hauled my two little ones to Mass as Shawn prepared dinner at home. After Mass, some guys walked past me saying, "That baby is freezing."
I replied, "I am trying to hurry," but in my mind I was thinking, "Jerk! Here I am with two kids, struggling to keep them warm while it's 20 degrees outside as we walk across the lot in the dark. Here you are judging me. Thanks for offering to help!"
Not that I would have taken it. He was a stranger. But what happened to chivalry?

Here is my beautiful baby boy napping. He looks like an angel, but all I can think is "Should I take his pacifier out since he is sleeping. Don't want him to get spoiled." As if!! Babies can't be spoiled. At least not at this age. But don't tell the older generation that! They insist you take the pacifier away, let the baby cry, don't hold it so much, etc, because you will spoil baby otherwise. 

Don't even get me started on sleeping arrangements and when/if to let baby go back to sleep on his own. No, H is not in the bed with us, but he is in a sleeper next to my bed. Jeanne was the same as a baby. I moved Jeanne to her room at 3 months. Then for three more months, I stumbled in there every time I heard her cry or to nurse her. At 6 months her pediatrician insisted I stopped nursing in the middle of the night because Jeanne was old enough. So I did. I am not ready to put Hunter in his crib yet even though he is 3 months. He and Jeanne will share a room. It will be hard enough calming him in the middle of the night, much less trying to get Jeanne back to sleep if he wakes. Plus, he has only napped in his crib a time or two. He doesn't sleep very long on his back. He sleeps better on his stomach. The thought of him being in there on his stomach will not help me sleep, so I'd rather keep him in my room a little longer, or until he sleeps for longer periods of time! 

The previous generation thinks baby should be in their own bed from day one. But they don't realize that their grandparents probably co-slept with their parents because that is all the space they had. Why are they in such a rush to let go of the baby stage??

The people who are the worst about opinions are other moms! They alone could make you feel like you are doing a terrible job and make you wonder if you are cut out for raising kids to begin with! I have learned to tune out others' opinions, but I am sure this is hard for a new mom. Breast vs. formula is the hardest argument. I personally promote breastfeeding if at all possible. But as long as you are feedin your baby, and your baby is happy, it doesn't matter!

Ok. Rant over.