When Mommy Gets Sick…

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The first time I was pregnant, Hyperemesis Gravidarum impacted my life greatly.  I missed a LOT of work and people just didn’t understand why I couldn’t cope with my nausea. (Hello…I was in the hospital 5 times!) Work was the thing that was the most negatively affected by my illness. Ray had a hard time taking care of everything, but really, I didn’t care how the house looked because I was so miserable. My biggest worry was that I had clean pajama pants to change into. 🙂

This time it’s different. I have a 3-year-old to care for. Cook. Clean. Play. Laundry. Bedtime. Chase away bad dreams. Repeat.

You better believe it’s taking it’s toll on my family life this time.

Jonah’s pretty articulate, but he’s still having a hard time expressing some of his emotions about Mommy being sick. Ray is taking care of everything beautifully this time, including taking care of Jonah. I swear the man is doing a better job keeping things caught up than I do when I’m healthy!

It’s new territory for me. This “I’m-so-sick-I’m-home-bound” combined with a three-year-old boy state that I’m in. And it’s hard. Oh, so hard. And the guilt. Oh, the guilt. Mommy guilt, no matter the reason, is hard to deal with. For me, I feel guilty about the amount of television Jonah has consumed lately. I also feel guilty that I just can’t keep up. Poor little guy is so used to Mommy & Me fun, but the truth is, I’m just no fun lately.

I’ve been so blessed by some thoughtful people over the past week. While their acts of kindness weren’t monumentally huge in time or expense, they were just enough to mean the world to me. More importantly, they meant the world to Jonah. (The way to a mommy’s heart is through their child!)

Laura from We Wilsons sent Jonah a crown from her Nicholas Crown Project.  Something so simple, but Jonah has worn it every single day since it arrived in the mail. While I could have whipped up a crown myself on a healthy day, I just don’t feel up to making things right now. Laura heard about me, instantly remembered her own time with Hyperemesis, and wondered how Jonah was dealing with my illness. It came on the perfect day to remind Jonah that he is special even though Mommy is sick.

Jonah in his crown

Jonah in his crown

Another way I’ve been blessed was through a friend from church. She called me up out of the blue and said she was bringing dinner. Even though I can’t eat much more than toast, my family still has to eat. Plus, she knew Ray could probably use a break. Normally, I would’ve told her, “Oh thank you, but we’re getting by. Don’t worry about us.” But I just didn’t have the energy to refuse, so I let her bring my family food. No real harm in that, right?!?

My friend went the extra step of sending dessert and a bag of goodies for Jonah. The bag of surprises for Jonah was the thing that meant the most. She said she was thinking about how hard it must be for him. Once again, the way to a Mommy’s heart is through her child!

I know I’m rambling. So what am I really trying to say?

When Mommy gets sick, it hard on everyone. But somehow, the little people are the ones affected the most. They don’t understand why, they just know they don’t like the changes taking place.  There are lots of emotions that bounce around inside those precious little bodies…eventually they have to come out. Good or bad, I know Jonah loves me just the same. I’ve been trying to remind myself of that daily.

Now that the Zofran pump is starting to work, I’ve been trying to “suck it up” and do something fun with Jonah when I feel like I can handle it. We’ve sat at the table and stamped, played countless games of Hi Ho Cherry-O, and read books. Simple things that have meant the world to Jonah. Little things to let him know that Mommy loves him even when she’s sick.

Painting outside on a pretty day

Painting outside on a pretty day--Mommy was a little ambitious!

So I’m wondering…

What things do you do to let your little ones know you love them when you get sick?

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  1. Oh my, you poor thing. Just remember that you were not put on this earth to entertain him. A little (or lot) of TV never hurt anyone! Do not feel guilty. Do what you have to do to get through each day.

  2. I only remember being sick once when my kids were little. I don’t remember whar was wrong… but I had taken benedryl. It’s not a good idea for me to take meds of any kind because they all seem to have side effects. Well…. with the benedryl I was completely out of it. When it wore off, my house was a mess, my kids were HAPPY and all of the popsicles, candy and treats were gone. It seems I’ll say “yes” to anything when drugged and the kids took complete advantage. Luckily, I had older ones who could keep the little ones out of trouble until the sickness passed…. but really, it’s hard being sick when you’re the Mom and your children are completely dependant on you.

    Get well soon!

  3. You go super mom!

  4. Oh Sarah…I’m so sorry you’re feeling so bad. I will be praying for you! I never had morning sickness with my pregnancies, but I had sciatica. It wasn’t as bad with my first, like you said, because I didn’t have another child to take care of. With my second, I had an almost 2 year old that needed Mommy. I would have to just sit or lie down for a lot of the day because my back pain was so intense. M and I spent hours reading and cuddling together. I was so thankful she loved being read to, because I couldn’t play much with her. Reading worked for both of us, and it gave us special one on one time together!

  5. Mrs. John Jennings, Jr. says:

    Back in 1985, I became chronically ill, so when my daughter was born, she never knew a well mother. My son suffered the most because we went from an active family to an isolated family. I have something along the line of the boy in the bubble. My daughter never knew what it was like to have a healthy mother. Over the years, the Lord has shown me how to turn isolation into solitude. The difference is our mindset. For my son, Jeremiah, this was never accomplished and being a social butterfly, it was hard on him. My daughter, Esther, loved the peace and quiet at home and embraced this with open arms. People often ask my daughter how can she stand to be home so much, she replies, you have to know my mother, she is fun to be with. The home can wait, clutter can wait but children cannot. My home was never what I would call great, but as my daughter grew and realized the help I needed the home slowly become better clutter wise. I made the children the priority and let the home be. Only once in 25 years did any church come by and clean my home, so we do what we can and let God take care of the rest. Be sure to take time for your self, children need a mommy who can be at peace. It requires time with the Lord to receive this peace, for what we receive then we can impart. We did manage to home school our children all the way through high school and it was a blessing. God bless you and yours.
    Mrs. J.

  6. Wow. Your post is so touching. I hope you feel better soon and I’m glad you have so many people who love you and take care of you.

  7. we’ll pray that God will continue to give yu grace during this difficult chapter of your life. there is no question it is difficult. Our prayers continue for you, baby and all your family.

  8. Melissa W. says:

    You are probably done with your pregnancy now, but, I’m currently in the same game as you were. I’ve got the zofran pump and I feel fortunate that I am getting enough relief to play with my 2 children. I can’t say much more for what you were doing except you do what you can, it’s like being in survival mode. For future moms to be reading this, just know it’s worth it in the end and if all you can do is lay in bed and snuggle with your current children while they watch a movie, then that is what you have to do!

    • Amen Melissa! And even now that I’m done, we’re still in survival mode with a colicky baby. I have to remember that this is a season and we’ll be out of it soon. Hope you feel better soon!


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