Gi’s Journey

“Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self!”

My Mommy Meltdown That Changed Everything

I was shopping at Target minding my own business, looking through the kid’s clothes and I hear giggling followed by a little boy coming around the corner, running at full speed. He had to have been a little over a year and he looked like he was having a blast! Of course, chasing after him was his over-exhausted mom who did not find him running around and laughing at the top of his lungs amusing. I gave her a quick smile to somehow show her I was in solidarity with her, when all of a sudden the little boy crashed right into me and fell. He thought it was hilarious as he kept laughing and his mom rushed by my side to apologize. I re-assured her it was no big deal because I totally understood. It was then she noticed Gi, who I had wrapped in the baby carrier sleeping. Vi was entertained looking through clothes she wanted me to buy.

“Oh how cute! How old is she?”

I hesitated because I know the reaction I get when I tell people, but I responded, “She’s 13 months.”

She looked surprised and told me how little Gi was. She told me that her son was 10 months and quite the handful.

She looked at me and said “Gosh you are so lucky to have your baby sleeping while you shop! My kid will never take a nap! Always running around, talking, getting into things. It’s exhausting! I wish my baby slept through the store like yours.”

I quickly felt sick. I half smiled but before we could continue our conversation, she was off chasing her son through the racks of clothes.

Lucky? How the heck am I lucky?

This lady thought I was lucky, but had no idea of the challenges I faced along with Gi. She wasn’t sleeping that day out of luck or because I had her sleep trained or something. She was asleep because she had just gotten out of an hour of intensive physical therapy and it takes her double, triple the strength to do what normal kids do. She was exhausted! She made assumptions, as many of us do (including myself) that by looking at a few moments of another person’s life, or whatever they post of Facebook is perfection, when they can be putting up a front or be dealing with serious things behind closed doors.

She called me lucky because my daughter wasn’t running around the store, yet she had absolutely no idea of the hours I spend not only taking her to physical therapy but working with her at home in hopes of one day I will see her take a step on her own.

She called me lucky because my daughter wasn’t talking loudly and making a bunch of noise, yet she has no clue that Gi has been to countless 3-hour appointments in regards to hearing and speech so that we could figure out if one day she will speak. My heart so desperately longs for the day that I will hear her say “Momma” or “I love you”.

She called me lucky because my daughter wasn’t knocking things over yet she doesn’t know that I spend hours driving back and forth from various forms of Occupational Therapy in hopes that she will start using her hands that have sensory sensitivities. I do this so that one day she may be able to make the messes that every other mother normally dreads.

All of her stresses were my desperate prayer requests that I made to the Lord on a daily basis. Although it may be hard to believe, but the fact that kids are loud, messy, energetic and sometimes rebellious is the greatest indicator that you have a “NORMAL”, HEALTHY child.

I left Target, got the girls in the car and cried like I hadn’t cried in a very long time. Maybe ever.

I cried because I was taking in all that was going on with Gi

I cried because I was angry at the lady (who wasn’t at fault, but I was emotional)

I cried because I was angry with myself for crying

I cried because I was embarrassed for crying

I cried because I was crying

I cried because I was exhausted

I cried.

I grieved

It wasn’t the lady’s fault at all, however her words exposed something so deep in my heart that I was unaware of. This was the very first time I had allowed myself to feel any real, unguarded emotion about everything that was going on with Gi. I had been a machine, as I was consumed with all the appointments and tried to hear the information in a logical manner – putting emotions aside. So without warning, a few words were able to render me helpless and bring me to my knees.

It was in my car, I grieved for my child. Now this may sound morbid or exaggeration considering the circumstances. My child is not dead, nor is she terminally ill. However, I grieved that day.

I grieved for the dreams that may never come.

I grieved for the fairytale I had of being a family of 4

I grieved for the normalcy I once had

I grieved for the normalcy Gi didn’t and wouldn’t have

All the hopes and dreams I had for Gi, were now shifting into something else and I mourned for that along with the fact that nothing would ever be the same again. I mourned for her disability and the lack of ability I had to take it all away.

I started to feel heaviness in my heart and honestly didn’t even know what I was going to do. It was just a rush of raw emotion that began consuming me and I just cried out:

“Ileana! Get it together! God will never leave you or forsake you, all things work together for good, when my heart is overwhelmed take me to the rock that is higher than I, give me peace that surpasses all understanding, you are made strong through my (and Gi’s) weakness. “

My pity party revealed that instead of giving over my worries, fears and hurt to Jesus, I was hoarding them in and in return it was crippling me. I was trying to navigate this whole new world by myself and I wasn’t relying on Christ to hold me through it.

I will not get answers here on earth and I have to trust God in that everything he does is for a greater purpose than what I will ever know here on earth. As I felt useless and completely unprepared, I have now come to understand that God equips the called and doesn’t require us to be equipped before he calls us. So if God has called me to be Gi’s mommy, then he has fully equipped me to be the best mommy for her. He uniquely designed me for her and her for me. Knowing that God specifically has called me to this, gives me a peace about what I am doing and strength that only comes from the Lord. I have to cling to his promises daily. I have to check myself. Check my heart, check my attitude because if I don’t, these emotions of despair and fear will cripple me and I will in fact “wreck myself”. The story isn’t over, but on that day at Target the story of this journey restarted with a fresh and new perspective!

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0 thoughts on ““Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self!”

  1. Illeana your my hero! You’re such a great mom to you girls! So thankful for your friendship. Your post 😭 awe!. Love you guys!

  2. 😭😭😭 Ah! This one made me cry with you! I loved this part, “I have now come to understand that God equips the called and doesn’t require us to be equipped before he calls us. So if God has called me to be Gi’s mommy, then he has fully equipped me to be the best mommy for her. He uniquely designed me for her and her for me” 👈🏽 TRUTH! You’re such a great mommy!! Gi and Vi are two blessed little girls! 💗 Love you friend!

  3. An amazing post. Thank you so much for sharing. You are such a blessing to your daughters and all that know you…you are an inspiration and an amazing woman that I admire so very much. May God continue to pour endless blessings over you and your beautiful family.

  4. Literally in tears 😭 although I cannot possibly know what it feels like to be in your shoes, as a mother, I know the love one has for her child/children. You’re courage by just posting this is so admirable and your faith shines through. Sending all the love and well wishes your way friend and continued prayers for your little Gi<3

    1. Thank you so much Melina! It was hard to talk about that particular incident at first, but I as time has passed, I’m confident that some good will come of all this! Thank you for your prayers xoxox

  5. I’m so sorry that people don’t understand – stay strong momma, you’re number 1! I have CP and I didn’t take my first steps until age 5. Remember that technology has come so far, there is hope.

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement! I hold on to stories like yours and many others as I hope to see my baby girl walk one day. Technology has grown and so many kids are benefiting from it, it’s unbelievable!

      1. Just remember that as far as Tech goes….iPads are doing wonders for speech. They’re now able to create what they “think” would be your child’s voice when speaking through whatever program you choose – by the time she’s old enough to get one…they’re will be many more options out there. I didn’t walk til 5…there is so much hope for you and your little one. I even use technology totally for school and all my functions. I’m in college now and driving…so much hope.

  6. Now it’s your turn to bring tears to my eyes. Your words will heal many hearts. It’s okay to grieve the baby or life you imagined. And I love that you turned to a higher power for strength and peace. I’m learning to do the same. The mama warrior instinct is so powerful, yet we are just human beings who need rest, relief and hope.

      1. I have made some really wonderful friends through this journey into the land of super special kids….we have to stick together!

  7. This was really touching. People have no idea what we go through as we parent our lovely children. They have no idea that their “headache” is our dream for our children. I will be praying for GI!

  8. Hi, I saw your daughters picture on IG and decided to read your blog. It made me cry. I currently have a 10month daughter who was born with IUGR and Is still very small/petite. Her head is small which is technically microcephaly but doctors haven’t called it that as of yet. She only weighs 12 pounds and is 26″ long. So no one believes she’s as old as she is. And currently she’s hitting milestones and all but I still feel how you felt when you went to Target. I feel like my dreams of what my life with her would be is over. And I hate that I think like that, because I know GOD is not wrong in any way. So I have her the way she was meant to be, and I just need to stop and be happy for a baby that is alive and well. Thank you, for reminding me of that. 😊❤️

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! It’s always the hardest thing to see the bright side of any difficult situation, but she is thriving and as we like to say “she’s inching her way to the milestones” 😊 celebrating the little things keeps us in the moment and not worrying about the future we can’t control 💛

  9. I’m so glad I came across your blog and your Instagram. You have an incredibly beautiful family. We are currently facing challenges with my 7 month old son and my heart aches in a way that sometimes I can’t see what a blessing he is. I also have a 3 year old daughter who isn’t quite sure she understands what’s going on. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s made me feel like I’m not so alone with my fears.

    1. Hello and thanks for stopping by! I remember in the early months and years it was hard. Looking back now that Giselle will be 3 I’ve come to realize that I just needed to give myself some grace and that it’s ok to be heartbroken. The problem is staying in that place of brokenness. It doesn’t happen over night but you will look back and see how far you have come as a family!!! It’s also ok for your 3 year old to not get everything that is happening. My 5 year old doesn’t understand all the details besides her sister needing therapy to help her do “big girl things”. In time you can share more and more with your daughter but for now just let her love on her brother 🤗. I’m so thankful that our story resonates with you and it’s why I write and share – so no one with a special needs child ever feels alone ❤️

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