Monday, August 6, 2012

It's not terrible. It's just different.

It's no secret that Ronnie and I are big supporters of hospital stays. Moreover, Ronnie and I always talk about looking forward to them and what a fun time they can be. I still hold to those two beliefs, but I will tell you, this last hospital stay has been hard.

Ronnie's been in a week, today. Some of you know, Ronnie gets treated in Tucson, 2 hours from our home. We have decided to keep things as normal as possible for Mckenna, so we decided to keep visits to just a couple days a week. Last stay we were down more than that, and it turned her into a monster. She wasn't sleeping and was cranky during the day. It made for a tough 2 weeks, for both Mckenna and myself. This hospital stay I was sure was going to be different. I was sure it would be easier since she's sleeping through the night, taking naps on her own in her crib, and a little slower to become overstimulated. However, that hasn't quite been the case. The day Ronnie left, Mckenna started showing signs of a stuffy/runny nose (blessing that Ronnie wasn't here to catch it, bummer for me to deal with a sick Peanut on my own). Unfortunately, it didn't end with a stuffy nose. She started have diarrhea and a raging diaper rash. My days quickly became filled with a baby that was "off" all day, and totally beside herself screaming as I changed her diaper every 30 minutes. It was exhausting. I looked forward to having help on the weekend when we went to visit Ronnie. I looked forward to seeing Ronnie. I missed being down there with him and all the fun hospital traditions we used to fill the stays with.

Well the weekend came and Mckenna was doing a bit better. I was hopeful that we'd have a fabulous family weekend. Nothing so much went "wrong". Mckenna slept decently well. She wasn't a total overstimulated monster. She was "well behaved" at the hospital. But holy cow, it was exhausting. She wouldn't nap at the hospital, so I drove back and forth, 3 times a day, from his mom's to the hospital. While we were visiting, it was a bit of a chore chasing her around and trying to keep her occupied. Time together was limited to short 2 hour periods, where we didn't really spend any time together, just entertained Mckenna. By Sunday, I was drained.

It's not terrible. It's just different.

Being that it's so different, I have to start changing my expectation. We are so blessed. Ronnie has a great hospital; great medical care. We have great family down there taking care of him, bringing him meals and keeping him company. I have a wonderful daughter keeping me busy. I have family near by to visit daily. These hospital stays can be great, I just have to let go of the old hospital stays. I need to realize I can't be the one caring for Ronnie during that time. I have to not feel guilty that I can't. I have to manage my expectations for how it's going to be. I have to just go into it knowing it will be exhausting. I have to decide going into it that I'm going to just enjoy the phase, as different and difficult as it is. Change is ok. I may not like it sometimes. But change is healthy. Ronnie and I are so blessed. We are blessed with a beautiful, healthy little girl, who is now my focus during hospital stays, instead of Ronnie. I have to remember that the best thing I can do for Ronnie while he's in, is take care of Mckenna and be strong, so that my emotions don't make the stay harder for him. He can take care of himself. And the love and care he does "need", he gets daily from his mom, stepdad, brother, and extended family. He's not alone, I'm just not there. And that's ok. My focus needs to shift from Ronnie, to being a good and strong momma...just for a few weeks. It needs to shift from missing what was, to embracing what it is today. It won't go back to how it least not for awhile. So I need to move on, and cherish our current phase.

All that is fine and dandy. It's really easy to tell myself all of that. It's really easy to know and understand it. It's another thing to actually get there mentally to the point that I don't still have thoughts of what used to be and feel overwhelmed by the current situation. But this is just my second go at it. They'll get better. Last week was better than the whole first hospital stay. This week will be way better than last. This week Mckenna is not sick, so I can go back to the gym, giving me a little time to myself. And since she's not sick, I can hang out with my mommy friend, giving me more interaction with someone that says more than sounds all put together. This week will be better. And this week I'm choosing to change my mindset. Instead of allowing myself to become overwhelmed, and choosing to become sad about what used to be, I'm going to choose to enjoy this week...even when my patience and sanity is running thin.

I understand this blog has a bit of a different tone. I just figured I'd share some raw feelings! Ronnie is 100% positive, in any situation. I'm trying to learn from him. To take my 75% positivity and bump it up quite a few notches! That's the beauty of marrying a man who's so positive, I'm hoping he'll wear off on me :) I will end with this though. We are blessed. In my frustration, in my emotions, in my missing what used to be, I'm constantly reminded just how blessed we are. We have a fabulous life! We have an ideal situation with hospital stays, even if they're a bit more stressful now. We are so blessed!!