I'll Miss These Days When They're Over

Miette may have started out a mild, easy baby, but I believe she's drifted away from the straight and narrow. Of course, she's probably still not the most difficult of babies, either, and she has started smiling and cooing, which is fun. But the whining, arching, screaming, squirming, grunting, writhing, gasping, flailing, and kicking she manages to fit into each 24-hour period is breathtaking. I'm sure there's good reason for it almost always, but I want so badly to fix it, and it keeps me on my toes.

Sometimes I think I have to assume that her vocal discontent is directly proportional to her discomfort, that she does indeed spend most of her time in pain - due to reflux, diaper rash, gas, etc. Other times I try to construct a thicker psychological skin for myself, conjecturing that there could be any number of reasons for her cries, doing my best to anticipate her basic needs and refusing to think too much about the haunting possibility of being tiny, in pain, unable to communicate or do anything at all of my own volition.

Last week, when Jesse was sick, was long and tiring. I think the hardest part of it, though, wasn't necessarily being the only one on baby duty for so long - it was the worry. I was afraid she would catch the flu. I was afraid I would catch the flu and then give it to her. I was afraid of what might happen if she got sick. I was worried her reflux medication wasn't working. I was worried there was something more wrong with her. I was worried she would get a fever and I wouldn't notice it soon enough. I could go on and on with various causes for anxiety. By the time my mom got to town and offered to take care of her in the night so I could sleep, I was so conditioned to worry that I couldn't turn it off. I woke up in the wee hours, unable to go back to sleep, wondering if she was still breathing, wondering if I should go check on her, thinking about what I would do if she died.

Her increased fussiness over the last month or so has been wearing in and of itself, certainly, but I think it has both triggered and revealed something deep inside me that I will have to wrestle with for the rest of my life: my discomfort with my utter lack of control. I've come up against it before, but never with the force I'm experiencing now. The depth of love I feel for her is necessary to get through the middle-of-the-night wakings and afternoons of crying and days of having only the scantest slivers of free time to brush my teeth, pay rent, or eat half a bowl of cereal. (And did I mention the bushels and bushels of laundry soaked with spit up?) But it makes it that much harder to entrust her, the helpless and vulnerable object of that love, to the Lord. Every. Single. Day.


Jenna said…
Seriously, same exact scenario at the Huff household a couple of weeks ago, even down to the acid reflux and increased fussiness. It's good to know I'm not alone in this craziness.
Kathryn said…
Welcome to parenthood! There's always something that scares me to a degree I never experienced before having a child. God willing, we will trust Him far more through these experiences.
Wow. Sounds exactly like me, 22 years on. I am sorry, but you have got it right. So hard. Hasn't gotten any easier. I am again laying awake, afraid she will catch the flu and wondering what on earth I could do so she would be comfortable tonight. Agonizing.

Popular Posts