Last night, Matt and I went on a date to see a hockey game. Even though it took everything in us to actually leave the house and get out of our my sweatpants, we did it. It was all going tickity-boo until I got a text message from my dad. Lauren had thrown up...a lot. I don't know why I didn't even consider that as a possibility before I left, but I didn't. It might be because it happens less frequently than it used to and we are so accustomed to grabbing the towels, mopping it up and dealing with it, that I don't really think about it anymore.

Until that text. For some reason it just threw me over the edge and my "What ifs" started flying. What if she passed out? What if they call me in a minute to tell me that they are in the ambulance on the way to the hospital? What if she doesn't get enough calories in? What if she isn't gaining any weight? What if her pacemaker stops working? What if she won't sleep? I was clinging to my phone like it was a lifeline and I couldn't stop checking it. I realized what I was doing (I mean really, is she really going to head to the hospital for something that you regularly deal with?) and instead of checking my phone, I needed to check myself. When the What-if Monster hits me at home, especially when it is that bad and spirals, I tend to talk myself through it...out loud. Well, in public, that looks especially strange. I did my best to say no to each of the what ifs and try to stop any new ones from popping into my head. It is so hard because they aren't helpful or asked for and they show up so suddenly. To get rid of them, I need to be able to fight them just as quickly.

When we got home, Lauren was snoozing away. My parents had enjoyed their one-on-one time with her and, other than the vomiting, there were no other hiccups in the night. All of my What-ifs were completely off-base. I should have been thinking, "What if this works and Matt and I can go out more often?!" This was the first time that anyone else has put Lauren to bed for the night and it was such a relief to realize that it could be done.

On one of those A&E shows about OCD or something, they use exposure therapy to help people face their fears. My What-ifs are all fears. They are fear of the unknown, of making the wrong decision or of not having control. That is actually funny because, since I'm not God, I shouldn't expect myself to be able to know everything, make all the right decisions or have control of anything (thank goodness because I'm pretty sure I would do a terrible job. I can't even get a simple to-do list completed!). So I've decided that, as difficult as it is to live in the What-ifs and deal with shutting them down, I should do some exposure therapy. Parents - get ready to babysit some more! I need to spend more time on dates with my husband to get used to being away from Lauren. It will be hard, but I'm willing to make that sacrifice if you are.

PS - We saw this while we were at the game. Seeing someone sitting there with an old yellowing novel was not what we expected. Must have been a good book!

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing post, Amanda! The experience of your date night and the ensuing 'What ifs' sounds somewhat familiar - as every mom stresses on her first night away from her new baby - but with the added medical concerns thrown in. I think that you're doing great and that you are so right with your analysis of how we want to control EVERYTHING but that it isn't a healthy way to go through life - God gets it!
    Also, I'm wondering why a librarian wouldn't just celebrate seeing someone at the hockey game reading a book? Ha ha.
    Take care. Love, Ann-Marie


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