First off, my apologies for my absence. I know I made some oblique mentions about health concerns in my previous posts, and while I did have some minor health issues, it was primarily my daughter that had the medical problems. First, I want to say to all the mommies out there, there’s nothing as challenging and life-changing as motherhood, and I commend each and every one of you. Having a baby has taught me so many things, but the most important thing it taught me was that there’s such a thing as unconditional, limitless love. And it was that love for such a small innocent being, my baby, that both built me up and broke me down.
Hearing your baby cry in pain is one of the worst things you can experience. My daughter didn’t have any life-threatening medical issues, but her health problems brought her pain. I realized during her second week of life that her cries weren’t just cries of hunger and having a dirty diaper. I knew on an instinctual level that she was crying because something was wrong. I could write pages and pages of those dark months where myself, her pediatrician, her gastroenterologist, her urologist, her chiropractor and her physical therapist tried to help end the pain, but honestly it’s not something I like to revisit much. Sometimes I think I have PTSD from those endless hours and days I spent holding my daughter as she cried in pain, tears rolling down my own face because there was nothing I could do to help her.
To sum it all up, she had severe acid reflux which made it extremely painful for her to eat, vesicoureteral reflux which caused her to have UTI’s, a milk/soy protein intolerance which made her intestines inflamed and led to blood in her stool, and torticollis which she wore a helmet for. I consider myself lucky that none of these conditions are permanent and we’re hoping her vesicoureteral reflux (which is an abnormal flow of urine from the bladder to the urinary tract) resolves on its own and she won’t need surgery. But that was cold comfort when she basically cried 24/7 for months on end, and all I could do was take her to multiple doctors to try to figure out how to stop the pain. That, and desperate prayers begging God to let me experience the pain instead of her.
Whew, this is getting kind of heavy! And this post is supposed to be happy. Happy because we’re finally through to the other side. Although she still has vesicoureteral reflux, her acid reflux resolved on its own and her milk/soy protein intolerance is controlled by both her and I avoiding the proteins (since I’m still nursing). Physical therapy did wonders for her torticollis and the helmet reshaped her head. She’s now a giggly, happy 10 month old who has a stubborn streak and a mind of her own. When she cries now, it’s usually because she’s mad or tired or frustrated. When she does cry in pain, it’s because she’s bonked her head falling over after trying to stand on her own, not from internal searing agony.
I’m usually a very private person, but I’m writing all of this for two reasons. First, because I feel a real connection to my readers and I wanted to share this with you. Motherhood has been the biggest struggle of my life, but also the most amazing experience of my life and it’s changed who I am. Secondly, I felt you deserved some sort of explanation as to why I’ve been gone for so long. But I’m back! And while writing is still hard with a baby, it’s so much easier now that we’re dealing with the ordinary challenges of day-to-day life with an almost toddler who demands my attention 59 minutes of every hour.
The sequel to Of Love & Regret is releasing in November 2014, much later than I had originally anticipated, but it’s a date I’m confident I can meet. Thank you everyone for your well wishes, patience and understanding. Life has never been more difficult and challenging than it has been these past few months, but I wouldn’t change a minute of it because at the end of it all, I have a baby whose sweet smile erases all the hardships away.