When I found out I was expecting each of my children, moments of pure happiness starting flooding all of my thoughts. I imagined going to the park with them, dressing them up for Halloween, their faces on Christmas morning…I thought about kissing them goodnight and snuggling in with them on Saturday mornings while I drink my coffee and they watch their favorite episode of Wonder Pets.
And, I think those are probably the same thoughts most people have when they think about motherhood. But, motherhood is much more than that. Motherhood is not all sunshine and rainbows. There are good days, and there are hard days. Motherhood is cheering on your child’s first steps, but motherhood is also standing in the bathroom with your two year old as he repeatedly pukes all over you and feeling relieved that you were there to hold him.
These past few weeks have been pretty grueling in our household. As I stated in my last post, we had to take Cal to the emergency room because he was throwing up for five days. We thought he might’ve had something wrong with his intestines because he could not keep anything down and was in pain. Luckily, he had a nasty case of the Hand, Foot, Mouth virus and we figured out how to to keep him comfortable and get through the misery.
And today, Jacek was acting a little off all morning. I was slightly concerned that something might be wrong, but then again, he crawled into bed with us at 4am so I thought the lack of sleep could’ve just been catching up with him. When it was time for his afternoon nap, I scooped him up and held him in my arms. We started to walk up the stairs, and he immediately put his head on my shoulder. As I was walking into his room, I felt it start to happen. I felt his body convulse a little bit. And then I heard a burp. And then the two joined together into a big burp with a convulsion and I felt my shoulder get wet and warm. The puke show started.
I calmly walked with him into the bathroom and proceeded to let him puke on my shoulder and all down my back while I stood there stoically. There was nothing else I could do accept stay calm and let him feel safe and comforted. My two year old sweet boy was ill, and I needed to do everything I could to make him feel better.
When he was done, I had to figure out how to get both of us cleaned up without making more of a mess. We had to tip toe over the vomit splattered floor and carefully remove our gross clothes. Jacek got a little pep in his step at this point because I think getting all the demons out was just what he needed at that time. I scooped him up, and we took a quick shower together to clean off.
I got Jacek dressed and snuggled him in his bed for a nap. As I walked out of my sick baby’s room, I had a million fears enter my thoughts. “Is he going to be ok?” “Is this more than just a bug?” “What happens if he throws up during his nap?” “Is he breathing?” “Should I stay in here with him?”
These are the moments that motherhood is all about. Yes, there are wonderful, beautiful, fun filled moments that you look back on and smile (and brag to your friends about). But there are just as many puke filled, worrisome moments where you see you heart walking outside your body in pain and the only thing you can do about it is let it puke it’s guts out on you. The truth about motherhood is it is not glamorous and it’s not all fun. It makes you do things that you never would’ve done before, and it makes you feel things and think things at such a magnitude that sometimes it hurts just to be alive. Motherhood is half hurt and worry and half joy and happiness. But in the end it is all worth it, and I would trade all of my days being a single wild bachelorette for just one day comforting and holding my sweet boy even if means getting puked on at the same time. Because the truth is, these are the moments that life is all about.