The past week has been a little crazy in the Sandve household. Mike works as an electricity trader and his shifts are 12hours long, either 5am to 5pm or 5pm to 5am. This week he’s been on the day shift 4 days in a row so yes, he is exhausted to say the least.
On top of that, we had a little feverish baby bear to nurse back to health. Doesn’t make it any easier that this 2nd pregnancy has been far harder on my body than the last, my back hurts so much my legs feel a little numb. I don’t know if it’s from the side effects of my last epidural or the sheer amount of weight I carry around nowadays aka a 25pound baby. She is officially a quarter of my weight!
So it all started one morning (i don’t even remember which), I woke up nice and early, got dressed, felt ready to take on the day, made myself a cup of tea. I was so happy I posted an outfit photo on snapchat, captioned : Woke up before the baby means having time to get ready properly, I win Emma, I win”
Was I wrong. The little munchkins seem to get you when you least expect it! Always! So I walk towards her room when I heard her whimper, and started to smell something.. No idea what it was. As I opened the door to her room, I literally gagged. Don’t forget i’m pregnant and my sense of smell is severely heightened! It was absolutely shock horror what I saw next. My daughter was quite calmly laying on a bunch of stuffed animals in a corner of her crib. Around her was white gummy paste splattered all over the walls of her crib, on her toys, and a big puddle on her mattress. Traces of seaweed and bits of pork embellished the already nasty mess. Yes she had been rolling around in her own puke (for goodness knows how long) . This has been the worst puke episode i’ve ever experienced with Emma and my first immediate thought was how bad I felt for my own mother who had to clean up the many episodes of mine when I was a child growing up. Which also reminded me this was just the beginning…….
Anyway, after it happened of course I took her out, gave her a good scrub and bath because she smelt like puke all the way from her hair down to her toes. I scraped off as much gunk as I could from her stuff and threw all her toys, blankets and mattress cover into the washing machine. I scrubbed down the entire crib, while trying not to constantly bump my belly against the crib. I was quite physically defeated. Her mattress sits really low in the crib, i’m not the tallest nor the strongest person around so reaching in and out was pretty miserable.
Amidst all of this, Emma was jolly and happy, didn’t seem to be sick, she just immediately wanted more milk and to sit and watch the washing machine go. “Wow! Wow! Wow!” she says when she sees it spin. I was very glad she was fine after that whole episode, but at the same time frustrated because I was guessing she probably just gagged and threw up by accident (she does this gagging thing sometimes if she sucks on her bottle too hard)
Later on the day she actually developed a fever which made me realise she was unwell. Immediately, I felt like I failed. Did I forget to wash her hands yesterday when we came home from the store? Is that why she fell sick? Did I not dry her off properly after her bath so maybe she caught a cold? Or was it the 4 shots she had at her doctors visit a few days ago.. Then came time to actually give her some Tylenol. She hates tylenol. She cried and screamed, kicked and punched as if I was giving her poison. It was so hard for me to watch yet I knew she needed it. I probably got punched 4 times in the face and kneed in the stomach a couple of times lol. Again, I felt like a failed mother.
In the subsequent days, I felt heavy, sad, and discouraged. For mostly the reasons above, but I think my negative thoughts quickly manifested itself and snowballed into me being discouraged about everything! Cooking dinner, cleaning up after Emma, taking her out.. Everything became such a chore to me, I just couldn’t enjoy my time with her.
This morning, I woke up from my stuffy nose (yes another pregnancy symptom) and couldn’t fall back asleep. So while the apartment was nice, quiet and peaceful, I decided to make myself a cup of tea and do some devotion before the sun came up, before my commitments for the day began. I had not done my devotion for about 6 days now because I was so caught up with. life. (yes just an excuse..) Wow. The moment I picked it up and started reading, a weight was immediately lifted off my shoulders.
God spoke right to me. That I need to be very careful with the thoughts that are in my head. I need to discern the thoughts that come from him, and the thoughts that don’t. He only speaks truth and life. So who is telling me I’m a failure? Who is making me feel defeated? And that I need to be very careful to not let these negative thoughts snowball. I shouldn’t be believing in these lies and surely should not be allowing it to affect my life.
<I like to share my experiences in real time, because I am learning as I go too. I’m no expert. I want you to know that I’m finding my way through motherhood too>
This reminded me how important it is to renew our minds through God’s word. As mothers, we can view each exhausting, difficult, painful episode with our children as a setback, or we can recognise it as a way of God moulding us into becoming more like him. Instead of having a frown on my face while I vacuum and mop the floors for the 3rd time today, I can turn on my christian station on spotify and sing praises to the Lord as I go. Praise and thank him for keeping my daughter safe through her puke blowout instead of getting all frustrated about having to clean it up. By shaping myself to have the right mindset to take on these small mommy adversities, I am learning to be a woman of God who praises him through all circumstances.
For all you mommies out there, who some days feel very discouraged, we all do, and that’s ok, because we’re human. But what we can control is how we control those negative thoughts, and turn them around into positives. How we may feel them, but be aware to dismiss them quickly because we know they are lies. And to do this, I find meditating on the word so important to guide and shape our thoughts. Trust it to do it’s work in you.