I am not meant to handle this.

I don’t mean this post as a rant. I also hope that it doesn’t offend anyone but I have to be honest here. It is a place where the good, bad and ugly can come out.

While I use to have the luxury of editing and quietly writing these posts now they seem to come when my brain is over flowing and consuming itself and I need a place to let some of it to come out. They are usually raw, full of errors and at some points I am sure I am the only one that knows what I mean.

One thing you wont hear as a NICU parent is it gets easier. The absence of that advice is advice enough.

It doesn’t get easier, it gets harder. 

What you are told is one day at a time and at times that it too much.

That is where I am hanging right now. I am taking each day hours if not minutes at a time.

In this struggle I keep getting hit over the head with the sentiment, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.”

But I am telling you plain and simple He does.

No I am not dead, I am technically “handling” it but I can tell you right now this is more than I can handle.

I don’t understand how this is meant to be comforting.

How is this supposed to comfort people who have lost a child, lost a spouse, are going through divorce, loosing their home or even dying?
One night, a sleepless night, the night after Aiden’s surgery I cried out to God angry.

I wanted to know why God would have this as part of Aiden’s plan. How could this be the path for such a perfect innocent baby? It was bad enough that he and his brother were brought into this world far too early and have had to move mountains since their birth but to drag him to deaths door and make him fight his way to survival as a frail innocent child unleashed an anger in me that I can’t put words to.

As we sat in his room the days before his surgery, when he was almost guaranteed to die I just kept asking people, “why would God bring Aiden in this world only to live such a short life full of pain?”

The idea that God is giving AIDEN this, giving ME this, giving our FAMILY this because we can “handle” it infuriates me.

And I know that even if this is a part of a plan and God did choose this for Aiden and for us he would understand my anger as Aiden and Evan’s mom. I am their protector this is my job as their mother.

What I feel, what I WISH people would say is this isn’t yours alone to carry.

What I wish people would say is that you AREN’T strong enough to handle this, let God carry it for a while.

This may be part of a plan.

This may have be “given” to us.

But with 100% certainty this is more than any of us can handle. It is bigger than us.

Even if God did give this to us, we were chosen for this struggle, please don’t say it.

It does sound warm and comforting until you are the one wondering, “Oh, God why?”

I can tell you with certainty holding my son last night, a week with out food in his belly, 6 days out of his third major surgery, hooked up to monitors and tubes down his throat, wild eyed and crying out in frustration, pain and hunger rooting around at my chest instinctually begging me for food and then having to leave him was last night more than I could handle. 

The phrase, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle”, isn’t in the Bible.

Actually in the Bible time after time people are in fact faced with much more than they could handle.

What always rings true though is that even in the darkest hour God is there for us.

So please before you offer what we know ultimately is well meaning comfort know that we aren’t handling it because we aren’t meant to handle anything alone and that is ok.

Image

trying to comfort aiden last night

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17 thoughts on “I am not meant to handle this.

  1. This is so beautifully written, and honest. I am so sorry your family is going through this! For a year and a half, I underwent something I could not handle, and also questioned faith, God and why this horrible thing would happen to myself and my children. I found comfort in reading Psalms out of a tear-stained bible every single day. They are right though, it does get better. Brightest Bkessings to you and your family.

  2. You are so very right, He DOES give us things we cannot handle – ALONE. I wish I had words that would truly comfort you – but I don’t. All I can do is continue to pray – for Aiden, for you, for the doctors and nurses. And that, I will do.

  3. That is beautifully written!! My 1st child was in NICU only 12 days and only had to “fatten” up and that was extremely hard for me. I can’t even imagine what you and your family and especially Aiden (and Evan and Noah) is going through. I pray for you all regularly and watch for the post saying Aiden is coming home!! I will continue to pray for you and your family for strength, guidance, comfort and healing. I may not know you but I’m a good listener. Just let me know.

  4. He gives us situations that we cannot handle so we depend on Him and His strength. I have been through the NICU experience twice. It is not something anyone should ever endure, but we are chosen and there is a reason for it. I questioned Him several times as I watched my babies fight for every breath. I wanted to be the one who got to care for them, hold them, and be with them. The NICU is a roller coaster ride, but I did learn the fragility of life throughout my experiences and now live every day to the fullest. I am daily reminded of Gods strength and His will, especially in the eyes of my children. May you feel His love and allow Him to carry this worry for you. Praying for you!

  5. So sorry for what you and your family are going through. So sorry for the pain that Aiden is experiencing. Know that there are many praying for your family. Hope you can feel the love that we have for your family.

  6. My heart breaks reading these words. They ring so very true and close to home. It is so hard to understand “why” while in the middle of a hardship. I am reminded of the poem “Footprints in the Sand.” The poem was written in 1936, long before the amazing NICU technology we have today. You are not alone in your heartache and frustration and anger. We have all been there at some point in our lives.
    The Bible promises us that God will never leave us or forsake us. He will carry us through the trials of life, He will carry us when all is lost. He desperately asks us to trust Him, above all else, with everything. He knows we are going to be angry, and we are going to question Him, and we are going to fight against the events taking place. He knows and understands.
    He also knows the pain of losing a child. He sent His own Son to take our place on a cross, to die a brutal death fitting only of the worst criminals. Yet He did it anyways, and His Son obeyed anyways. That is how big, how wide, how strong His love is for us. He loves us so much!
    In the trials and heartaches and pains of life, it is so hard and frustrating to remember and believe these things. Don’t be strong, honey, be weak. You are human! The Scripture about God not giving us more than we can take is actually in reference to temptation, and God allowing us a means of escape. God does give us more than we can handle. He needs us to learn to trust Him in all things, not just the easy, life is great things, but in ALL things.
    In trusting Him with all things, we also need to remember that Aiden belongs to Christ first. He has been entrusted to you for a temporary amount of time, whether it be the rest of your life or not. The hardest thing in life is letting the people closest to us go. We may not ever understand why God gave us the trials we suffered through, but sometimes when we are ready, God takes us back to that time and reveals His truths about the situation we were too blind to see at the time.
    Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Only through Christ can you be strong enough to handle this, to endure climbing this mountain. But you can make it, because you have Christ. He is carrying you, and you are lifted to Him hourly, daily by those who are fervently praying for you and your family. Be nothing in life except what God has called you to be, and today He is calling you to surrender to Him that He may increase your strength.
    Your sons have moved mountains, they are miracles to the wondrous love of their Heavenly Father. Cling to the hope that is Christ. Cling to the hope that God gives and takes away, and that pain and sorrow may come, His joy comes with the morning. His love for us never ever fails.
    You are loved, you are supported, you are covered, you are His.

  7. I can honestly say, I have been where you are now many times in life, and still struggle when faced with certain obstacles. You are absolutely correct, no where in the Bible does it say God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. People make that up to try to cope. What it does say over and over and OVER again, is that we are not supposed to handle things alone, we are SUPPOSED to give it to God, to trust him and follow him and allow him to guide us and be OUR STRENGTH, because none of us are strong enough on our own, ever. That is the whole point of the relationship with God, and the Bible is FILLED with his words and examples, of how he is our strength and our guide and through him ALL things are possible, but he tells us over and over again that we are humans, our strength is through him alone. Also, God does not give our children sickness, the devil does, the devil is here to steal, kill, and destroy, but God is here to give us life. He is all powerful and could allow us to all be completely healthy, but would we ever need him if everything was perfect? We would take him for granted, as we already do when things go well, we usually only really talk to him and seek him when there is trouble. Not saying we all do that, but I see it all the time, and have been guilty of it myself. Before my son got sick, I hadn’t been to church or read my Bible in years, and put anything else before God. Since all this, things have changed, drastically. My husband, who was a Satanist when we first started dating (wrap your brain around that one lol) now reads the Bible with me and prayers with me every day, and we go to church together now. God in fact DOES give us more than we can handle, because we are supposed to trust him and let him handle it. God was us to be dependent on him, he is our Savior, Our God, and our Father, we are not made to take on the world alone. What I notice time and time again, is if I just say, God, I can’t do this, I’m not meant to, you are, so I trust you and I put this in your hands, and then I do that and realize I do not have the strength to fix it, he comes in and takes care of everything and I am just standing there awe-struck and thanking him for being so amazing. Everything is God’s plan, and part of that plan is for us to see we do need him, and we should be dependent on him, and when we get to that point, he will rock our world lol. I am not saying I am perfect, or that my life is perfect, there is no perfection outside of God, but I will say, I have seen this first hand, and I know it to be true. Just as a father wants his child to come to him and know he will help and the child is not alone, so should our relationship be with God. We should come to him and say, I can not carry this Father, but I KNOW you can, so I give it to you and I am trusting and following you.

  8. I want to jump through the screen and give you a hug. I feel I could have written that post eight years ago. I had twin sons at 24w2d in May of 2004. I have read other blog entries of yours as well and the similarities are amazing. My boys are now almost nine and you would no longer know they were micropreemies. The only scars their bodies carry are some monitor scars on their chests and several hundred prick marks on their heels. Battle wounds of their many months in the NICU.

    It is so, SO hard. I will keep you in my prayers.
    Most sincerely,
    Melissa Luukko

  9. I get it. I have struggled as you are to make sense of the insensible. My faith has wavered and will likely waver again. I have never understood…no, never BELIEVED that God intends for babies and children to suffer. That isn’t the God I believe in and if that’s the reality, then it’s not the God I want to be with. I dont pretend to know why these things happen and Ive made myself crazy trying to.

    I have despaired and cried and feared. I know you have too. The only thing I can say now, on the other side of it, is that I have a strength I never knew I had, never wanted but begged for.

    It’s such an emotional, heart wrenching thing for a mother to watch her child, worse her newborn, fight for life. It goes against every instinct, every thought, to not be able to hold them, comfort them, feed them.

    My heart breaks for you. You don’t know me, but I know that part of you. I hate that you know that part of me and others.

    You forgot to say the rest of the NICU mantra: one day at a time yes, but sometimes one hour, one minute, one moment at a time. Because that’s all you can do, all you can handle. And it’s ok if you can’t. There is always someone there to hold you up. You don’t have to bear this alone. You will feel this pain more acutely because your Mama, but please give some of it away. To God. To your family. To social workers. To strangers on the Internet. Lean and bend so that you don’t break.

    My heart and my prayers for you and your boys.

  10. God Bless you and your family.

    Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

  11. My heart breaks for you, Aiden, Evan and Noah. Although I have never had to experience the hardships that you are facing every minute of every day, please know there are many of us on Facebook who pray for all of you daily and anxiously await news of the day when all of you are home.

  12. I have no advice to give, only empathy. My husband and I lost our first baby, Elizabeth, 9 years ago. She was born early and with too many heart problems to fix. She only lived 22 hours in the NICU, but she was hooked up to more wires and tubes than I could have imagined. Her short life was filled with so much pain, and I understand being angry with God, even when He is the only Comforter.

    I can tell you that years down the road, I began to see glimmers of good things that had happened or are happening because of our sweet baby girl. Her life, short as it was, changed mine forever.

    My prayers are with you and your family and your precious babies.

    P.S. I noticed your mailing address. I also live in Kettering, 45420. If you would like to talk, send me an email.

  13. You don’t know me but I came across your blog via a friend on Facebook. I am a fellow NICU mom, though in comparison to your twins, my daughter would have been considered healthy. My heart breaks for you with every post I read, this one more than most, for I know all too well how you feel, and I don’t think it’s something that can be understood without experiencing it. I too had an older child to take care of while having a NICU baby and the challenges of that were immense. I wanted to just leave you this comment as a means of encouragement, a way of knowing that you are not alone, your feelings are valid, and people you’ve never even met at cheering your little ones on. I am so happy that you have your youngest home now, I can remember well bringing my Molly home just 2 weeks ago. The frustration will not end there, unfortunately, I know, but every little step forward is reason for a huge celebration as you already know. Keep plugging away, you will make it through! Don’t be ashamed of asking for help, and never, NEVER, feel guilty about supplementing your boys with formula. I BF my first for 20 mo, so I know your thoughts on “breast is best”, but please remember that taking care of yourself (I.e. not pumping when it’s overwhelming) is just as important as anything else, because more than your milk, your boys need you, their mother, and they will always have you as their biggest cheerleader!!

  14. Oh, my. My heart breaks for you. I wish I could give you a hug and pray with you. But I CAN pray for you from afar, so I will. Our three spent a month in the NICU so the exhaustion and frustrations are something that I well remember. I am praying for strength, rest, peace for you and healing for your little bud.
    And YAY for getting so much milk!!! That was certainly not my experience, so hurray for feeding them so well!!! =)

  15. I also hate when people say, Everything happens for a reason. No, sometimes life just sucks and sucks hard. Sending good thoughts to you all and hopefully it will suck less soon!

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