Well how did that happen? All of a sudden it’s May!
I know I haven’t been posting on the blog very much at all these past few months. I have also been questioning whether to continue with a little delightful, or if it’s time to say good-bye. As the bills rolled in for web hosting and re-regestering my domain name, I felt that might be a good time to call it quits, but as their deadlines loomed closer I didn’t quite feel ready to let it all go as I really have been missing this space, and sharing little snippets of our days.
It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster for my family over the last 12 months. Around this time last year my husband was made redundant. He was still within his trial period at his new work, so they didn’t need to give him any notice, nor a redundancy payout. It was stressful and totally unexpected, but his redundancy could not have come at a better time for our family in every way but of course financially.
Just prior to his redundancy, he was coming home to a sobbing wife and cranky kids. I was just not coping with the our very unhappy baby, who would not sleep for longer than 40 minutes, once per day, and spent the rest of the time screaming and crying. I raced to and from school to drop off and pick up the kids on auto pilot – and often on that 8 minute journey I cried too as Owen screamed in his car seat.
I held him all day, in my arms or in a baby wrap. I seriously got nothing done. Noah and Chloe needed more attention and energy than I felt I could give them.
Overnight Owen didn’t sleep either, and woke every hour or two, all night. In the mornings I would feel so defeated, another night gone, with no sleep. Another day I can’t ignore, up we get, time to move along. I rarely left our suburb because I would have a hard time staying awake at the wheel. Any social engagement more than 20 minutes away was always declined, and even most of the invitations to the local coffee shop were too really, I just couldn’t muster up the energy to talk to anyone.
Having my husband home, albeit under stressful circumstances, was a sanity saver when I needed it the most. We tried to make the best of our situation, got little jobs around the house done, spent a lot of time together, took turns to cook and clean and hold the baby, remained positive and talked more than we probably ever have, because we had the time. When he started his new job, I was so proud of us, and felt that we were a stronger couple and family.
A few weeks after he went back to work, I took Owen back to our paediatrician as he was still waking every 1-2 hours overnight, and I was exhausted. I wanted to make sure he was medically OK before we called in the help of any kind of ‘sleep expert’, we were just so desperate. He told us that Owen was still suffering severe silent reflux. We had previously weaned him from his medication at 6 months as we were told that most babies are fine after they are sitting up and eating solids. We hadn’t put two and two together as he had always been a terrible sleeper and that hadn’t changed significantly from when he was on medication. I left feeling awful that he had been suffering so badly all this time, and hopeful that the medication would help him and we would soon be getting more sleep.
A week later we received a call from our paediatrician saying he has made us an urgent appointment with a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon as through a scan of Owen’s spine they were able to determine that Owen had DHH, or developmental dysplasia of the hip. After that appointment, Owen was fitted with a harness to be worn for sleep time (15 hours / day) which made me want to laugh and cry, because there was no way in the world Owen had anywhere near 15 hours of sleep a day! The brace is extremely uncomfortable, especially when you’re 10.5 months old and you’re used to being able to roll around in bed and sleep on your side. He woke around 8-10 times a night for the first 3 months of wearing the brace. We really couldn’t do anything more than to continue to hold him and cuddle him like we always have.
That thick fog of sleep deprivation is not like anything I have experienced before. A year on, my days are still pretty foggy, but it has been lifting slowly which I am very grateful for. It changes you big time, and you’re definitely not the same person. I miss the old me, and sometimes I wonder if she will ever be back.
My Mum also suffered a serious accident, resulting in surgery and a very long road to recovery. I find it hard being thousands of miles away, and wish there was a way I could be in two places at one time.
Sometimes you have to forsake so much of the other stuff just so you can give what little energy you have to your family. I felt I was failing as a mum, wife, daughter and friend. I just couldn’t keep up with it all so some things had to give. A lot of my friendships suffered last year, I didn’t have it in me to nurture those relationships like I would normally. I needed to make my little family my first and foremost priority. And even though I feel so guilty, in my heart I know I just did what I could to get through each day.
I had high hopes for 2015, but this year has also thrown in some new challenges and stresses, with health scares for my hubby, being broken into while we were home, struggling with my study and work load at uni, health concerns for other family members and not getting the news we wanted at Owen’s last orthopaedic appointment.
Little things that normally wouldn’t be such a big deal seem to keep adding up, and when you’re a little fragile, well, they take their toll a little more than they should.
I try to keep it all in perspective, we have SO MUCH to be grateful for and I feel insanely thankful that Owen doesn’t have a serious illness, and that Noah and Chloe are healthy and happy. They love to learn and read and play. I have amazing extended family, that are wonderful and supportive despite the distance between us all. I have wonderful caring friends that have helped me more than I think they know, and I’ll never be able to thank them. Our marriage is as strong as it’s ever been, we are happy, have a roof over our heads and food on the table. We adopted a gorgeous 7 year old golden retriever named Maddie who has become part of our family and is very loved already.
There are people in the world going through so much more than this, fighting harder, losing everything, struggling more than anyone should, which is why I really try to look for the silver lining when things get a little tough. In the end, I know that we are very blessed and that there’s a lesson in everything. I am usually pretty good at finding it, but I’ll be honest and say that some days I feel like I am just plodding through.
I am sorry this has been a REALLY long post. Ten points for you if you have gotten this far. It all sounds like a great big whinge, but that’s not my intention. But it is the reason I have been so quiet on here lately. Time just gets away from me and as soon as my gorgeous kids are in bed, I’m cooking and cleaning and prepping for the next day in order to make life as easy as possible. Now that I am back at uni I also do the bulk of my study in the evenings, so on the nights I give myself off, I don’t want to be anywhere near this computer! Haha 🙂
Thank you for your continued support of me, and a little delightful. I am in awe that so many of you message and email to ask how things are going. And I am grateful for those of you who have helped me through this rough time. I noticed my Facebook page ticked over 8,000 likers over the weekend, that was a lovely surprise to start this month off with. Thank you.
I’m hoping to pop on here more often because behind the scenes we have still been having lots of fun. I hope you have been too! 🙂