The Blessing of Quarantines

If you would have asked me before last Monday how adding a third kid has been, I would have sheepishly answered, “Great, actually.” It’s been an unnervingly smooth transition so far.

Maybe it’s because my last newborn shot vomit across the room 873 times a day and this one doesn’t. Maybe it’s because having 2 boys is already insane enough that adding a third is no big deal. Maybe it’s because kid #3 is completely immobile.

Whatever the case may be, the first 4 weeks were a breeze. Truly.

And then Monday.

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A while back a friend of mine shared with me about the existential crisis he experienced after his third baby was born. “I couldn’t physically be there for all 3 at one time and it really, really bothered on me.” I brushed it off because…duh. That’s the whole struggle with 3+, right? Logistics get challenging.

But over the past week, his words started to make sense.

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(Spoiler: the odds were NOT in his favor.)

On Tuesday of last week, Hutton and I spent 3 hours at the pediatrician’s office. The second we walked in the door and they heard his labored breathing, they rushed us back to start a breathing treatment. Then some monitoring. Then a steroid shot. Then another breathing treatment. Then more monitoring. Then some purple vomit that scarred another patient for life. (I don’t even know.)

3 hours deciding whether he was ok to go home or needed to be hospitalized.

3 hours of my heart trying to figure out how it would continue beating if I was forced to choose between being at the hospital with him or keeping our newborn alive and well at home.

Thankfully I didn’t have to choose because he was able to go home where he – despite the 104 degree fever and pure exhaustion – ran around like he was on speed. (Turns out 1 dose of medication in the breathing treatment is the equivalent of a shot of espresso, and he had 4 doses. Insanity, you guys. Like a tank with rocket boosters.)

But I get what my friend was saying now.

Each time I retreated to the bedroom to feed the quarantined 4-week-old, I thought my heart would rip in half as I yelled, “I’ll be right back, buddy.” to my crying, giant, febrile, wheezy toddler. And when I snapped at my preschooler to HOLD ON A FREAKING MINUTE before realizing he’d already waited about 34 freaking minutes for a cup of water. And when I let the newborn cry for a substantial amount of time as I rocked the bigger baby who needed his mama.

{Insert a Purell-bath between each interaction with each child.}

The hard part hasn’t just been logistics, the hard part has been experiencing my first fractured mama heart.

It hasn’t been the most fun week ever.

But.

In the midst of one of the hardest weeks to date – emotionally and physically and steroid-infused-toddlerly (roid rage is a real thing, you guys) – I was overcome with gratitude for our tribe.

One friend left breakfast and my favorite iced coffee on our porch.

One friend drove 45 minutes one way to deliver the first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season.

One family that I met (and fell in love with) during a speaking engagement in Maryland sent a present for Davis that arrived on theexacthardestparentingdaytodate.

And then there are the 4 weeks previous to The Week of The Croups, when well over a dozen friends delivered meals. And countless presents, cards, and well wishes were sent our way. And my precious friends threw a sip-and-see shower to celebrate our newest.

Can I tell you how awesome our tribe is? 2 separate friends left MY baby shower saying, “I felt so loved.” They felt loved at MY shower.

These are my people. They are far greater than we deserve.

One day I’m going to write a post about the importance of community and some ways that can even come about (hint: church and persistence), but in the meantime I will just continue being overwhelmed with the blessings God has bestowed up on the beautiful chaos that is our life.

…and then I will bang my head against a wall because the other big caught the dreaded virus and is currently on day 4 of fever.

I hope you die a thousand painful deaths, croup.

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