Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Perspective on a Rough Night

Last night was among the worst nights in the last three years of parenting. Elijah was up screaming with the beginnings of a cold/possible ear infection. Jude was...well, Jude is five weeks old. And nursing is still a total nightmare for us right now. He's thriving, but let me put it to you this way: If offered the choice between going through labor and delivery, or enduring this first month of breastfeeding...I do believe I would choose pushing out an 8-pound, 12-ounce baby with a 15-inch head without any pain medication. So...yeah.

Some thoughts rolled around in my head at 2 AM, as I lay curled up next to my miserable toddler:

It is humbling...
to have to wake your sleeping husband and whisper through tears that you can't deal with the wide-awake, screaming newborn anymore.

It is comforting...
to experience the truth of the promise that God gives grace to the humble--grace in this instance coming in the specific form of a patient, understanding, sensitive, gentle, strong, selfless husband who immediately hugged me and took over.

It is frustrating...
to listen to your child scream and have no idea what is wrong because he can't or won't tell you where it hurts or why he's upset--and to feel helpless because you can't fix it.

It is reassuring...
to know that my Heavenly Father never experiences that frustration or helplessness--that His ears are attentive to His children's cries, that He knows exactly why I am upset even when *I* don't know, and that He has the power *and* the wisdom *and* the love to do what's best for me, always.

It is difficult...
to persevere in breastfeeding when you're in so much pain.

It is hope-giving...
to remember that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us...that this light momentary affliction is preparing for [me] an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison...and that Jesus endured far, far more excruciating pain to provide me with eternal life and joy.

And then, as I lay in the dark practicing gratitude for these truths, some song lyrics came to mind as a benediction (a friend sang this song at our wedding, actually):

Two kids and a dream
With kids that can scream
Too much it might seem
When it is two a.m.
When I am weak, unable to speak
Still I will call You by name
Oh, Shepherd, Savior, Pasture-Maker
Hold on to my hand...
And You say, "I AM."

(Nichole Nordeman, "I Am")


Anna said...


I have been struggling with health issues and motherhood lately. And have been reminded of your posts over and over again. This one struck a nerve and brought tears to my eyes... especially with the reminder of that beloved Nichole Nordeman song.

Thank you for striking the balance between confessing your sin and wallowing in it... thank you for reminding us of grace and truth in the midst of difficulty.

Amy said...

I'm so glad, Anna. thanks so much for taking the time to say so--it encourages me!

Marianne said...

Amy - I love how real you are about the struggles of motherhood. I've been blogging for about 4 years now, and most of my parenting posts have been very sunny and happy. Things have been really difficult for the past two months, with a 2 year old who doesn't sleep, being (now 8 months) pregnant, and working full-time in an organization that doesn't value you me. I feel like the 2 people who read me are probably sick of my lack of fun/funny posts... but sometimes you have to be *real* about the variance of life. It's not this straight line from beginning to end, it's so busy and crazy, and sometimes it's bad.

Gene and Annie said...

Just wanted to let you know that I appreciate how real you are in your posts!! Motherhood is such a wonderful thing but it is definitely not easy! I, too, struggled with nursing with all 4 of my kiddos. It's the one thing that would send me down in the dumps super easy. I just wanted it to be easy but it wasn't. It's the sweetest thing when going well but when it doesn' stinks. So, I just wanted to let you know that I have been there and done that and I know it's hard. I will be praying for you Amy!! :)
Annie (a fellow IWU grad)