So when I started this little blog, I was always pretty good about keeping you all updated on our lives.
The ins and outs of our losses and testing.
The ups and downs of social worker visits and court dates.
The Love and grief intermingled in the daily moments of family life.
And then I got pregnant again, and I was so so so scared to trigger anyone here. And when I had my baby, I longed to share, but fear won out most often.
That is still all true today. I don’t write as I once did for fear.
-fear of not being what you dear readers (and awesome people that you are) need right now
-fear that when I share you will collectively sigh and say, “well, it’s always something.”
-fear that potential publishers who may want to consider putting my words in print may say, “why doesn’t she have it all together?”
And so, in our current season, I have remained largely silent here. And while I understand I never have to share here, I miss the safety and openness I once felt toward my blog. Once felt with you.
But I long for that openness, I long to just be Rachel and not “Rachel author and speaker who has something to prove.” And in that vein, I’m going to be a little more honest about what is going on.
Ellie is a fantastic, sweet, charming baby. She has taken so much of the ache away I felt in recurrent loss and in returning Z home. That is not to say that I did not also feel some healing when Leyla joined our family. (I did, it was just very different as her joining our family came from her loss of her first family.) And it’s not to say that she replaced Olivia, or Z, or any other child of my heart.
But the fact of the matter is — God is using her to bring healing and joy again.
In spite of the joy, there has been a lot of struggle.
When she was born, my blood mixed with hers. She was throwing up amniotic fluid mixed with blood, and eventually had to have her stomach pumped. She also choked on it several times, which scared the heck out of me. Her bilirubin levels were crazy on her first day of life. I made the mistake of googling rh incompatibility, and realized the condition could be fatal.
I didn’t sleep much in the hospital.
I’m not sleeping that great now either, 8 months later.
In the 8 months since we’ve been home, we’ve dealt with:
-bad reflux with choking episodes
-food intolerances. For the last 6 months, I have cut out gluten/dairy/soy/egg, and just recently, treenuts and peanuts from my diet.
-diarrhea with blood (assuming allergic colitis)
-and now apnea
She has a neurologist, pediatrician, gastroenterologist, and now a pulmonologist.
We have two overnight hospital tests scheduled, and of course, lots of appointments. My pediatrician’s office knows who I am now just by the sound of my voice on their voicemail for the nurse. We did a 24 hour urine collection twice to (praise God, hallelujah) rule out neuroblastoma.
She has kept me on my toes. And it’s weird because to the naked eye, she is fine. She is meeeting her milestones. She is petite but not malnourished. She smiles from the moment she wakes up to the moment she closes her eyes. I can go whole days st a time without hearing her cry. (BTW, that is only the case now that her reflux is well controlled.)
So all of this is a little crazy-making.
The parenting after loss. The parenting while you have anxiety. The parenting a child with scary issues that could be benign or could be a brain tumor, and you still don’t know.
I vascillate between wanting to call everything off (because deep, deep inside I believe she is OK), to wanting every appointment to hurry up and get here so I can just KNOW she’s ok. And then, there are the million what ifs that plague me all day long.
So, that’s where we’re at.
Talking about loss is extra scary to me right now because I feel so vulnerable to it. Talking about anything is hard right now as my brain is on a loop replaying all the upcoming tests and appointments and what we need to do for those.
So now you know. If I have seemed silent, that is why.
But I’m going to try harder friends to let you in. And reclaim this space that for so long felt like my haven.
Thank you all for sticking with me here, in the good and in the hard.
Rachel (& Ellie)