I’m writing this to give a much warranted update (even though there isn’t much an update to offer on Jolie), but also because we have been going through some emotional things with both Parker and Jolie that I hope to never have to deal with again, but if I do, I’ll be able to walk through this experience with knowledge and someplace to look back on if I write all this out on paper.. err, the internet. I started this blog as a documentation of our life, but also as a place for ME to look back on of memories as well as for times when I’m thinking to myself (in regards to the other two babies in the house) “what the heck did I do (in this situation) with the twins?” I read the monthly updates of all the kids more often than you might think, ha!
many of you have been praying, emailing, messaging about Jolie and I am SO thankful. we have been covered in prayer and those prayers have been felt! I don’t want you to think that I’m just dangling you along and carrying on our merry way when our daughter has been going through some very scary things for a 4 and a half year old. because thats not the case.
there is little update to give, and honestly I wish I had more to type here about her.
a couple things.. NO FEVERS. its been three weeks of a completely fever free Jolie. YES. AND she has been acting more of herself as far as my normal joyful JoJo versus the BEAR of a child we witnessed during the last several months. we finally made an appointment with a rheumatologist for OCTOBER.. and I’m sure the poor lady setting our appointment could tell my frustration with that time frame and quickly asked if I would like to be on the cancellation list.
after running through some details and events over the last several weeks with our pediatrician she thinks that autoimmune could be a stretch. OK, so more unknown and misinformation and a complete reach for a diagnosis. don’t get me wrong- I am positive they are seeking the greatest possible care for our girl and finding a diagnosis is at the top of their list, but they just don’t know what to do because her symptoms are very inconsistent. the west nile virus has now been thrown on the table. its a very violent disease and apparently there are two types- one is viral and presents like what Jolie has suffered with and the other attacks your nervous system and is completely debilitating- much like meningitis. I’ve watched a friend deal with the latter and it is the scariest thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life. so, in this situation, I am thankful Jolie doesn’t have that. while, health wise, things are looking up for our girl, emotionally she’s wrecked. I was walking through all this with Jordan (we talk about it daily it seems..) and have placed blame on ourselves for not explaining to sweet Jolie about what she was going through. dozens of doctors and procedures and blood draws.. putting her little body in tube after tube for tests and never once did we really sit her down to walk through what she was about to do or why we were doing these tests on her. WHY? WHY didn’t I/we explain it??? I think part of it was that I was trying to figure out myself how to process what was happening with her and I completely forgot to include JOLIE in this.
parenting 101 and I got a BIG FAT ‘F’.
she’s been traumatized through her experiences and has now developed severe anxiety thats keeping her connected to my hip 24/7 and up all night long in fear of who knows what.
I can’t even sit them down for dinner and walk back to the bedroom to pee without her following me back there in tears because I “was taking too long”. if I am putting a baby to bed she will sit outside the room against the wall waiting for me to come out. bedtime takes about an hour once we get them in bed- the up and down and more reassurance and kisses and hugs.. she’s starting in her room but wakes almost nightly with night terrors and screaming, so we basically have a permanent palette on the floor next to the bed.
she’s always been the more emotional one of the two girls. she’s also the sweetest most gentle soul I’ve ever met. this girl has SO MUCH love to give. she also has developed this emotional anger that I have no idea how to control. this started after the first weekend we separated them to take Jolie to the hospital over several days for tests and exams. they had never been apart for more than 24 hours and Parker was with her BB and Papa for 3.5 days. we FaceTimed and sent pictures, of course. the person Jolie cried for after coming out of her first CT scan wasn’t mom or dad or BB, it was Parker.
“I need my Parker.”
we FaceTimed Parker and they were both in tears before the call was over.
the twin bond is very real.
after Baker was born Parks had some anxiety just to the extent that she needed a little extra love before bedtime, but this time its overwhelming the amount of stress this girl has. my going back to work has put her over the edge, coupled with Jolie getting extra attention, PLUS a new baby.. its a lot for her little heart to handle right now. I’ve gone on multiple dates, just Parker and me. Jordan has done the same and her BB has picked her up a time or two just to spend some quality one on one time. all those things have helped!
goodbyes and bedtime are the most stressful time of the day. leading up to me leaving for work or saying good bye to the nanny (she’s with them three days a week) can last up to 20 minutes and still end in a tantrum because I didn’t wave from my car goodbye or say I love you eleven hundred times.. even though I DID.
the tantrums. so bad that I’ve googled “psychiatric disorders in children related to tantrums“.
one time she was throwing a fit so out of control that it took me and her Papa holding her down in the carseat to buckle her in and then she puked all over my car in exhaustion from screaming so much. she freaked out on me at 2am one night (of course when Jordan was at the fire station) when I told her to go back to her bed and that tantrum consisted of nearly kicking a hole in the wall, woke everyone in the house and lasted over 60 minutes. she’s lashed out at her sisters. kicked the nanny. told me she hated me numerous times..
thrown food all over the floor and destroyed a handful of toys.
life has been TOUGH. as tough as its been for me and the rest of the house, I know that she’s having an even harder time trying to process her feelings. we recently met with a social worker in hopes she could offer some help and insight as to how we should be dealing with her- because nothing is working! thankfully, after she assessed her history and chatted with her a bit she didn’t think this was a permanent emotional disorder. girlfriend is just really anxious.
in turn, we have changed the way we do bedtime (reading stories, no television, sleeping in our own bed) and have started practicing saying goodbye and good night so they don’t last forever and end in distress. I’ve also begun reading a recommended book ‘anxious kids, anxious parents‘ and have come up with tools to help Parker work through her emotions while also keeping my cool.. it is SO EASY to lose my mind on this girl when she is misbehaving.
theres a FINE line between discipline and managing Parker’s fits.
good news is that the tantrums have subsided from everyday multiple times a day to less often. I think/hope that we’ve been able to make her feel comfortable enough to work through whatever emotions she’s dealing with at the moment as well as diverting her attention to something else, which is actually working really well.
obviously, you all basically see the 2×2 happy highlights of our life- and why shouldn’t you??
assumptions can easily be made by what it looks like from those posts, and yes while most of the time we are living a happy life, you will not see the time when Parker has torn her room to shreds and taken a bite out of my leather couch in pure uncontrollable anger and frustration..
I’ll also spare you the terrifying moments when Jolie is running through the house screaming “MOMMY!!!
” in fear searching for me at 1:37am in the morning because she’s had yet another night terror.
tears are rolling down my cheeks as I type and relive some of these events of the last month or so- partly because I have never been this stressed out and exhausted in my life and also because I feel vulnerable to share all this after I get many complements for how well I handle 4 children.. well here it is:: I feel completely hopeless as a parent. not in my wildest dreams would I think that I would be dealing with this kind of thing EVER, but here we are. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can. I’ve got some happy and healthy kids- life is chugging right along and I’m loving being a mom to Parker, Jolie, Baker, and Brady. BUT- do not assume that I have my crap together because I most definitely DO NOT. tomorrow I’ll follow up this post with something light and cheery, lets talk about makeup or food.. or what we did over the weekend! but not because I’m sweeping over the hard stuff in my life, but because its helpful to remain positive during the hard times Jordan and I have been dealing with. we have a very strong faith and leaning on each other as well as pressing hard into the Lord allows us to keep a smile on our face. it is EASY to fall into the doom and gloom “poor pitiful Amber”.. but we won’t. life moves on with or without us and dwelling on something like this is easy, trust me.
the good, which is about 90% of the time is SO GOOD. we are so blessed and life is SO good.. just going through some tough stuff right now.
we will get through this stage of life and move forward.. looking back to forget the really hard stuff and focus on how we grew as parents, in our marriage, and as a family from this experience.