The hum of the box fan softens the sound of the outside noises. And the throbbing deep within my hip can be felt with every push of the rocking chair. I have the shadows cast upon the bedroom walls memorized by heart. The neighbor’s car rumbles to life, telling me it is nearly 5am. Like clockwork. My baby rests uncomfortably in my lap, and I watch him work for every breath.
This is where we sit. Or stand. Or rock. Or walk. Or bounce. All night long.
Liam came down with a cough turned cold. Something that makes every baby and parent miserable. But my baby, with his already compromised airway and his nighttime struggles? It has turned our nights horrendous.
I knew parenthood would come with its plethora of surprises. But this one? Where I pace the floors and spend hours helping my baby get into a comfortable position where he can breathe? I never imagined such a thing could exist. And despite living it, I still find it hard to believe.
The darkness that is 2am wraps me in all its worries and despair. 14 months sleep deprived. With countless therapy sessions, doctors appointments, oral exercises, and bitten fingers under our belts. And still, we have gotten nowhere.
My tears blur the blue stars projected onto the ceiling, our nightlight that illuminates every hour of the dark. “Where are You?” These lonely night hours have crept into my days and my life. Their existence a reflection of the way I feel abandoned by the God who said He would never leave me.
All the praying. The begging. The surrendering. The embracing. The trying to trust. The asking for answers. In this moment, it all feels futile.
This is not the story I would have written.
The not-so-baby in my arms tosses, bolting his body upright as he coughs up the flem and saliva that quite literally take his breath away. We walk the room, his cries softening, his body settling as the minutes pass by. Finally still, I slowly ease us back into the rocking chair, a skill I’ve gracefully mastered in light of the last week. I breathe him in, that baby-mixed-toddler scent of his skin.
Tired as we may be, I cannot imagine a life without him.
Light creeps in between the cracks of the windows. The pale gray a reminder of the winter mornings that lay ahead of us.
As surely as the sun will rise, You’ll come to us. Certain as the dawn appears, You’ll come.
In the meantime, I write. To document the days. The thoughts. The feelings. The worries. The joys. All in hopes that one day, it will be a reminder of the trials He has carried us through. A remembrance of how far we have come, because of Him.
And in the midst of this waiting, I will choose to trust the Story Writer.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Liam is on the mend from his cold and almost back to his normal sleep-breathing patterns, thanks to use of a nebulizer. After 5 very long days, we are getting our normal bad nights back again. Something I never imagined I could long for. Haha.
Back in September, we went to appointment after appointment to look for answers for Liam and rule out possible issues. We have one last appointment in early November with an airway specialist up in Chicago. We are praying this appointment yields answers and some solutions on how to better help our little guy. In the meantime, Stephen and I split night duty and remind ourselves that we have extra precious time to enjoy Liam’s baby stage. People often tell us it goes by in the blink of an eye. Our solution for that is to just not blink or sleep for 14 months 😉