It’s 4am on a Sunday Morning and I have just finished hooking up the last (can’t believe I was able to use that word!) of 294 doses of IV antibiotics. 

I’m a Heart Mom and proud of it. I knew it would be difficult from the moment I heard the words “serious heart defect” on that dreadful day. I knew challenges would face us. But none of those challenges can you really prepare yourself for. 

I was asked a couple weeks ago by a man I had only known for maybe 6 weeks (whom I met the week before the blood infection appeared that started the antibiotics) why I always look like I’m going to cry. 

Initially I told him it was RBF (if you don’t know google it). And I was offended. How dare someone I hardly know ask me that? Do I really look that way? And I found myself asking everyone else around that night, if they thought the same. 

It wasn’t until the next day when I stopped to think. I wasn’t offended at all. What he said was spot on. Truly my emotions have been in about a gazillion different places the past year. They have changed. At the drop of a dime I COULD cry. I feel things harder. I love things more. I empathize with my fellow heart moms. I read a story on a baby with CHD and all of those emotions flood in and I can’t stop them. The other night I watched one of my favorite shows and there was a baby with CHD who had HLHS, a dear friend of ours has that. And I cried. 

Besides the past year I’ve been through, I haven’t slept more than a 2 hour increment (2 hours may be a stretch) in 6 weeks! That’s fully functioning taking care of a medically challenged, horribly teething, nursing all night on top of it, dare devil of a little boy. Working a full time job (which is way more challenging then one would think) and taking care of one 4 year old whose past year hasn’t exactly been a bucket of candy (although that’s all she wants to eat!). That doesn’t include laundry, cleaning, dishes, groceries (of which I currently can do none because I haven’t made it to the store, so we have no laundry detergent, no dish soap, no toilet paper, and we are down to 3 Kleenex (that aren’t hiding under someone’s bed) and one roll of paper towels). ***I would not trade a single piece of any of this, I am growing as a mom, person, and friend; but I’m entitled to complain occasionally, let’s just get that straight*** 

When asked why I always look like I’m going to cry, how I should’ve responded was, “go read my son’s caring bridge”, “go read my blog”, “search #iwearredforcharlie”. (That’s one of those loaded answers you don’t want to throw at someone so you say something else.) If I replied any of those ways you  wouldn’t question why I look that way. You would understand. And you would know that when I do smile, it’s completely genuine. 

So now, it’s been a half hour and I am going to shut off the 294th and last IV medication. And I’m going to cry. Because I’m tired, I’m sad it ever happened, and my favorite reason to cry, because I’m so extremely happy to put it behind us and I’m so proud of that little boy for dealing with it. 

And then, I’m going to sleep. 

One thought on “294

  1. Sally Gleason says:

    Hi Shelby, You have grown into such a strong woman. Give yourself a pat on the back and you know you are in God’s loving care. The kids are so blessed to have you for their mom. I don’t know how you can not be on an emotional roller coaster. You have so many praying for your family. Blessings to you . Sal G


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