Sunday, May 31, 2009

With a heavy heart

Ella’s condition had become complicated. The doctors and nursing staff went to great pains to explain to Steve and I that it had not worsened, as such, but that with her growing body placing more pressure on her lungs, the complication of her heart condition meant that she had to work harder. Her breathing had quickened and she was having more frequent desaturations – her blood was not oxygenating enough due to the holes in her heart and its leaking valves and the shared aorta. To help her become more comfortable and, in turn, allow her body to concentrate more on growing than on breathing to stay alive, the doctors had decided to place her on CPAP again. It was highly distressing for her whenever she was awake. I was finding the strain extremely draining, of seeing my baby struggle with the tubes, often pulling them free angrily with her hands, coupled with my now quite regular inability to console her with any of the usual methods I had learned. It tore me up whenever I was not able to successfully settle her and it impressed upon me an even greater importance to be at her side as often as possible, given that, from my perspective, I was becoming ineffective as a mother altogether as she grew more uncomfortable and I could not ease her distress.

I have been forging ahead with performing a re-read of my manuscript this past week. It has been a hard slog this time, the reason possibly two-fold: I am aware it is being read by an objective third party (the Editor) and.... I have an irascible toddler just chomping away lately at every last grain of patience I possess.

It is mostly due to this latter 'reason' that I am brought to my knees whenever I think of the two ends of the parenting spectrum on which I am sitting right now. On the one hand, I am gnashing my teeth over every little thing the LGBB is doing that grates on my nerves and encroaches on my personal space. On the other, I have this memory of the history I have shared with her amazing older sister.

And once again, I am torn into pieces. I have been a horror head to Lolly recently. It's only just been tonight that the penny has dropped: of course I have felt things more keenly. I seem to think I can just stroll on through the script that was our lives, Steve's and mine, as we walked alongside Ellanor (not to even mention the enormous hill we climbed before we even met her), and yet not have it affect me.

Silly, silly, silly girl. When will I learn that to carry the two, I must be aware at the same time of the different energy expenditure required of me?

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