Oh my goodness, it has been quite an eventful 24 hours. Let me start from the beginning. Yesterday, Thanksgiving started out great. Almost too great. My son was happy as could be all morning, and mornings are usually not his happiest hours. He wasn’t crying like he usually does, and he was sleeping! Sleeping doesn’t happen much around here. I said to my husband, “Do you think he’s ok?! Is he sick or something?” His mellow behavior was just out of the norm. For a moment, just a moment, I thought that maybe my fussy baby was going to turn into a happy baby permanently.
We went to our family Thanksgiving celebration around 12:30pm and things were still looking good. He was in a good routine of sleeping and eating, and was generally still very happy. I couldn’t believe it. Near the end of the event, he was starting to get a little fussy, but still not nearly as fussy as his usual self. My husband and I were so excited to have a happy baby!
Then 5 o’clock hit. Now, evenings are never good times for us, and Jude’s fussiness usually peaks in the late evening, just before he goes down for his long 4-5 hour stretch of sleep. So I wasn’t too distressed, because I knew he would soon fall asleep and all would be well. Oh how wrong I was. This was just the beginning of a long night.
The crying, screaming, fussy behavior continued well into the night. My husband and I traded off rocking, bouncing, walking, doing anything to try to stop the inconsolable crying. None of it was working. Jude wouldn’t even nurse, which is very unlike him. Because Gabe had to work in the morning, he finally decided to go downstairs and try to get some sleep while I continued to try to comfort Jude. I think one of the worst feelings in the world is trying to comfort a child who is inconsolable. It is literally almost gut-wrenching to hold a screaming baby who will not stop crying.
I don’t remember what time, but well into the night Jude finally closed his eyes for a little sleep. He was still fussing in his sleep, but he would keep his eyes closed so I left him lying down. This pattern of inconsolable crying and fussy sleeping continued throughout the entire night. It even continued well into this morning. Finally, around 10:30am, Jude laid down for a nap, and slept for about two hours. I sat on the couch the entire time, hoping this was the end of the extreme fussiness. He is again down for a nap this afternoon while I write this post, and I am slowly but surely gaining my sanity back.
Now, I know having a fussy baby isn’t the hardest thing in the world. And I am trying to be more grateful, especially at this time of Thanksgiving. Because, after all, babies are little miracles and I am truly blessed to have a child of my own. But wow, I have found myself really doubting God these past 24 hours. I can’t tell you how many prayers I have said, and they have felt completely unanswered. I have found myself questioning why my Heavenly Father, who loves both Jude and I so much, wouldn’t take away our pains. Why couldn’t He just comfort Jude himself, and end this inconsolable crying? Why wouldn’t He come to my rescue and take away my problems? Why does He allow us to suffer? I felt like crying out, as Jesus did, “God, why have you forsaken me?” I was doubting if He was even there, or even cared about me.
But as I have had time to ponder, I have realized something this afternoon. Heavenly Father does not “give” us our problems. He is not up in Heaven, doling out woes and misery to help us grow. Bad things just happen. Hardship just happens. It happens to good people, it happens to bad people, it happens to people of faith, it happens to people who pray, it just happens. It is part of life. Praying will never quickly take your problems away. What praying can do is help you get through your hardships.
Jude is going to be a fussy baby. That is just reality. No matter how much I try to pray his fussiness away, it is just not going to happen at this time. What I can pray for, though, is patience. I can pray for help. I can ask my God to be with me through the long nights, and He will. Always. When I feel inadequate, He will help me to persevere and to be the Mother I am meant to be.
No matter what you are struggling with, if you feel God has forgotten about you, and if you are doubting the power of prayer, please know you are not alone. Our trials are unique to each of us, and the only way we can get through them is with the help of Heavenly Father. Someday, all we have endured will be well worth it. Life is hard, but it is oh so good.