The Long Night

April 6, 2006

Lovely picture, I know. But it perfectly illustrates the kind of night I had Tuesday night.

First of all, almost two weeks ago, Liam came down with a slight fever. The next day he had a cough. The rest of us tried very hard to avoid getting sick and we were praying that he would get over it quickly because Alley had invited her friend from church to come and spend the night on Friday night. After five days, we thought we had missed it and were looking forward to the sleepover but then Alley started to feel bad. By Friday mid-day she had a fever of almost 101. Sadly, we had to cancel the slumber party. Dresden still held out but by Monday afternoon, I could hear congestion in her nose and throat. By this time, Alley had a sore throat and swollen tonsils.

All day Tuesday, Dresden had a fever and was very clingy to me. Tuesday night, we stayed with Mimi and Grandpa so I could sleep with Dresden in the recliner to try to keep her more upright. She and I settled in the chair but sleep was not on her agenda. Dresden started crying and the only position that calmed her was for me to STAND UP and hold her against me. If I sat down in the recliner, she woke up and screamed. She would not eat, she did not want to be rocked. I would walk to the kitchen, look at the stove clock while holding her, lean my shoulder and head against the wall until I thought she was in a fairly deep sleep, then I would slowly make my way back to the recliner and sit down as carefully as possible. I would try to lay my head down and then she would wake up screaming and holding her ears and arching her back. I would get up and walk to the kitchen again, look at the clock again and 10 minutes would have passed since my last look. Over 4 hours passed this way and then she finally, from pure exhaustion, fell asleep in my arms and I was able to get 2 hours of sleep.

As soon as the doctor’s office opened, I called to get an appointment. I was guessing it was an ear infection since she had been holding her ears so much. My usual doctor was not there so we saw a new doctor and he said her ears and throat looked good and prescribed a stronger cough/congestion medicine. She did much better last night and we both got some sleep.

Tuesday night was one of those nights that every mother has had for one reason or another. Even though I was too exhausted to do much deep thinking while I was sleep-walking from the kitchen to the chair and back, since then I have realized that it is nights like that that sum up what motherhood is all about. Mothers have to be willing and ready to do whatever it takes at any given moment to meet her child’s needs. I am not saying it was an easy night. I’m not saying that mothers respond cheerfully to sacrifice every time it is required. I got impatient and frustrated, but throgh it all, I knew she needed me and no one else could fill that spot because I am her mother.

All three kids are on the mend now, thanks to prayer, rest, and mangosteen juice! Dresden is still congested but we actually slept last night, and in a horizontal position, too!


7 Responses to “The Long Night”

  1. heidi said

    You are such a good Mommy. Your patience often inspires me as a Mom!! I already have quite a resume for all-nighters in my first year of motherhood and I wouldn’t trade them…it can be scary, endearing, frustrating and wonderful all at once 🙂

  2. jana said

    Oh goodness…you both inspire me. Mara Kate has been sick for the first time this week, but I think she is starting to feel better. After 3 nights of fitful sleep and frequent awakenings—last night we were pretty much back to normal…thank goodness! I am still learning all it means to be a mother—and even though it IS hard at times, it is wonderful being the 1 person they want and need when they are sick

  3. Dad said

    I am impressed with the mommy skills of all three of you. But, then, I watched firsthand as you spent your childhoods learning those skills from another pretty incredible mommy (who had her own share of all nighters)!!

  4. Mom (Mimi) said

    It doesn’t stop when you are a mommy. It goes on into granmotherhood, or “mimihood” so to speak! I was up that night watching you go through all of that. You are so right about what you all 3 said about being a mommy. There is no job like it in the world. It is the most blessed of assignments from God. I would not trade one minute of it all!
    I love you all very much! Love, Mommy

  5. Mom said

    Sorry, I spelled grandmother wrong. Sorry. Love, Mom

  6. Jeph and Heidi said

    Aw, it’s like a family-fest on Tara’s Blog 🙂 (Mom, really, we forgive you for the typo.)

  7. lisa said

    haha i love ya’ll! i hope everyone is feeling better. i had a cold this whole week too…but i’m starting to feel a little better!

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