WIWS and Opening my Eyes...

Linking up to Fine Linen and Purple.

I'm kind of cheating here, because I didn't get a picture of what I wore to Mass this morning. But I can tell you that it was a repeat dress:

The Blogger

...with a different sweater. My reason for having no picture? I went to Mass at 6:30 a.m., after having been up for a while, because I needed to go to a short Mass so that I could make it through without pain medicine (since I can't drive while taking the pain medicine due to extreme sleepiness). Anyway, Mass was challenging, and when I got home I changed back into pjs as quickly as I could, took my medicine, and curled up in bed with a heating pad. My body's reaction post-surgery is a bit more challenging than I was hoping for, but it was about what you'd expect, given how long that lovely kidney stone was lodged in place and all that. I'm just so very grateful that it's out and there is relief in the foreseeable future. I tell you, the past year of my life has taught me one thing - I am tremendously grateful for modern medicine. Between a hyperemesis pregnancy and these kidney stone battles, I'm not sure what shape I'd be in were it not for the fantastic doctors that God has placed in my life. I am so grateful for them!

Now, for another note.

I love Cam's blog for so many reasons, but one of them is for how honest she is about the ups and downs of parenting. In one post, she lays out how much her view of children at Mass changed once she had more than one child. And now, having my second child, I totally get it!

Sister Stinky presented her own challenges, and I often had to step out of Mass with her, but I was always able to get her calmed down enough for re-entry. I couldn't fathom having an inconsolable child.

Until I met my youngest daughter.

This poor baby has awful reflux, and being just a little overtired can easily push her over the edge. It is not uncommon for her to have a long spell of inconsolable crying on her particular bad reflux days. (I'm sure any parent with a colicky or refluxy baby knows exactly what I'm talking about! And yes, she is on medication, but these things take time to treat.)

Every Monday, I like taking the girls to Mass with me, usually at the chapel in the archdiocesan office building. They may have their ups and downs, but they are generally good girls.

Last Monday, we got there in the nick of time, and poor Sister Nugget was exhausted. I tried to nurse her and - as is par for the course with a reflux baby - she totally lost it. I tried pacing in the back with her and Sister Stinky, but she was inconsolable. Then, I tried stepping just outside the chapel doors, but no matter what I did to soothe her she wouldn't stop crying. Finally, I took her and Sister Stinky outside and then she calmed a bit. I tried to take her back in to the chapel and she lost it again. Needless to say, I quickly retrieved our things and we left.

But, it was kind of heartbreaking. Here we were, at Mass, standing just outside the door...and I couldn't step in because my baby was crying inconsolably. It's not like anyone said anything to me - the people at this Mass are generally quite kind or at least indifferent...but usually quite kind! However, she was screaming inconsolably and there was no way we could just sit there. If she were fussing or crying sporadically, it might have been worth a shot. But crying at top volume without stopping? Yeah. Not so much.

Of course, as soon as we were walking to the car she stopped. Poor Sister Stinky was so confused, and I tried to explain to her that Jesus understood that her baby sister wasn't feeling well, and that it was okay that we had to leave. But it was so frustrating because, I just wish there had been a cry room. Now, granted, it wouldn't be a practical location to have one. It's an old chapel, in a building that used to be a seminary (I think) and there are rarely babies or children at their Masses. The congregants and the priests there are also very welcoming to small children, so a fussing baby would normally be very welcome.

But, before Sister Nugget, I don't think I realized that some babies do cry inconsolably on a regular basis. Sister Stinky did not have colic and if she had reflux it was very mild - so, call me novice, but this is whole new territory for me. 

And so, when throwing around those lovely debates about cry rooms...can we keep in mind that there is this strange niche that exists in the Church? That little niche is fully of colicky, refluxy babies, and their mothers need the Eucharist desperately!

So, cry rooms might have a place after all!

This whole experience, the experience of parenting Sister Nugget over the past year, has been humbling but very, very good. From the experience of the hyperemesis (and the need to stay home from Mass and receive Anointing of the Sick, and even once returning to Mass needing the priest to bring me Communion in the back of the church) to the experience of kidney stones (most likely the result of an HG pregnancy) to the experience of parenting a child with reflux and possible colic - I have learned so much. I have learned that I most certainly don't have it all together. I don't have all the answers, but I also don't need to. Rather, I need to rely fully on God. I also have learned to be more aware of those with unique needs around me. I've learned through my limited experience, that there are a whole myriad of challenges and sufferings that people around us are facing that we are entirely unaware of. It's so important to open our eyes and hearts to the needs of others and to be considerate of those needs! I am so guilty of being stuck in my own little bubble, but my small sufferings have been a powerful reminder to me of the need to be aware of the much bigger sufferings of others.

And, on that note, I have a very serious prayer request to make of all of you. The Abbot's cousin has a sweet little six year old boy. The other day, they took him to the ER for a fever, and after running some tests determined that he has a brain tumor...and that it's cancer. You better believe that news quickly dwarfed any challenges I've been facing! He's scheduled to have surgery this week, and with the help of a biopsy, they'll be able to determine where to go next. Can you please pray for him, and spread the word? His name is Ethan. Thank you, friends.


  1. Praying for your recovery and for Ethan!

    And I'm with you on the cry room issue - screaming babies and families with a million little kids who are almost impossible to keep in the pew... If our parish had a cry room we might be able to go to mass as a family! We're trying again next week... Pray for us?

    1. Agreed. It's one of the reasons the Byzantine parish in our city is so attractive. The cry room is huge with an open window so we still feel apart of the mass. You'd think that more Catholic Churches would embrace cry rooms considering the number of large families.

  2. Prayers for your recover and for Ethan!. I definitely agree about needing cry rooms. We don't use them a lot, but we have used them...(mostly with a 1-yo toddler who is too young to understand sitting still). I don't think I've ever really used one with a real screaming baby (I'ver really had a screaming baby who wasn't calming by walking around..that sounds really awful.


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