[00:00:00] Hey, my name is Patricia Ciavarello and I am obsessed with all things motherhood and helping you keep calm in the chaos of motherhood and life's unexpected moments. I am a mom of twins with a doctorate in business and whose world fell apart and had to pick myself up piece by piece. I am not an expert, but I have totally been there and I am so far from perfect, but definitely not afraid to get real and vulnerable.
I teach you the secrets to motherhood and life I wish someone told me because as much as we wish there was nobody hands you a mommy manual. So pull up a seat, get comfy and get ready for me to spill my secrets. This is Real Mom Truths Nobody Tells You. I am so grateful that you are tuned into this episode of Real Mom Truths Nobody Tells You.[00:01:00]
Today we are going to talk about a very sobering reality and you know, truth be told I've actually had this lesson be taught to me twice and both times it is never, ever lost on me because it just shows you how precious life is and how really, you know, one minute you could be sitting there talking in your head and saying, oh my gosh, you know, I felt this way. I feel that way. And then in a split second, something changes and totally changes your perspective.
So let's backtrack a little bit because you're probably like, well, what is it? What is this sobering reality? Well, truth be told it's happened [00:02:00] twice.
So if this is your first time listening to this podcast, I have twins and right now they are just about to be three. And unfortunately, I have had the experience of being in the hospital with them both. And it wasn't at the same time, they were both on separate occasions, but if there was ever, ever, ever, ever a sobering reality, those were it, so let me backtrack and kind of take you into my world a little bit.
So the first time that I had this experience, you know, every mother, of course, as you're listening to this, [00:03:00] I'm sure you can relate when your child gets sick. It's like you would do anything in the world just to get them better right. Just for them to feel better. I mean, it could be anything from a, runny nose to a cough, to a fever and, in an instant it's like you're on overdrive and your alertness and your worry and your fears, they all kind of consume you and, you question, like, am I doing this right?
Am I doing that right? Should I give this medicine, that medicine? And you're just a ball of worry. And given that I have twins and I'm sure any mother can attest to this who has more than one child, you know, when one child is sick, the likelihood of the other child getting sick is like, almost inevitable, right?
Like at least in my house, like, there's just absolutely no way to separate them. Like I know once one of the twins gets [00:04:00] sick, the next one is right around the corner. So here I was, one of my twins got sick and, you know, long story short, his fever was high and he was spitting out medicine and wasn't drinking fluids.
And, you know, we were all really nervous and we ended up taking him to the emergency room because he was really dehydrated. They took such good care of him and they gave him fluids and, and they really, I mean, took the utmost care of him and. It just kind of goes to show you how I remember, like maybe the day before or a few days before when nobody was sick and you know, it [00:05:00] was one of those days, one of those days where like you hardly got any sleep and you're really tired and you're dragging and the day seems so slow and you're just trying to get through it.
And I remember just feeling so tired and so overwhelmed and so exhausted. And at that moment, right at that point in time, like it all just seemed,, it all just seemed so much. And, you know, sometimes you find yourself sitting in that and just kind of like being frustrated by how tired you are or how exhausted you are, or the million times you have to clean up the toys off the floor or the meal that you prepared that they didn't eat.
And [00:06:00] the, you know, milk spilling on the floor or the tantrums, whatever it may be for that day. Right. We all go through it. We're all you know, don't think for one second that it's only like that in your household, because I guarantee you, every mom is going through the same thing. And if they're not telling you, then they're just not being honest period, because if they were they wouldn't paint the perfect picture. And they would say, oh my gosh, you know, like I'm really tired today. Like these kids are driving me insane. The tantrums, the toys. I mean, literally I know at least in my house. They can't even agree on the same cartoon show to watch. So even that's an argument sometimes, and there are days like that where you just feel like you can't win.
Right. And then something like this happens where suddenly you find yourself in an emergency [00:07:00] situation and you're in the hospital. And I mean, we waited in the ER for such a long time as is normally the case in any ER, because they're so overwhelmed. And I remember just sitting there with him in my arms and he had fallen asleep on me cause we were there all night and I thought to myself like, wow, like a few hours ago we were in the comfort of our home.
You know, or a few days ago, you know, everything was fine and look how quickly life changes. It's it's almost like the moment you start complaining, then something gets worse and you're like, wow, I really shouldn't have complained to begin with because even though it felt really hard in those moments, look at where I am at right now.
Right. So I'm laying in the hospital with him and suddenly perspective [00:08:00] shifts, right. Suddenly you would be grateful for that milk on the floor. You would be grateful for the tantruming, because that means he's better. You would be grateful for sitting on your couch instead of sitting in that, ER, and it just gives you that sobering reality of, you know, whatever it is that you're going through, whatever it is, you're feeling, whatever it is you're frustrated about, overwhelmed about, sad about, I mean, yes, life is hard. Life is tough. It's going to give you moments. You're allowed to be tired. You're allowed to be overwhelmed. You're allowed to be mad. You're allowed to be sad. You're allowed to be happy. You're allowed to be all those things. But when those moments hit and you're looking at your child, who's sick or whatever the case may be, whatever you're going through in your life.
Suddenly, you can appreciate those hard moments and I'll never forget we were there actually for five days and thank goodness he got [00:09:00] better and he drank and, you know, ate and, and everything ended up being fine in the end. Thank goodness. But I remember like sitting next to him in that hospital bed and him, I'm going to try not to cry, him, pulling his, putting his little hand out through the slits and like holding my finger.
And that was everything. That moment, right there was everything because he needed to hold mommy's finger. Right. He knew I was there. He knew I was there for him. And nothing else mattered right there. A lot of my like friends and family, you know, they said to me like, were you scared?
And honestly, I felt like, of course I was scared, but I felt like in that moment I went into such [00:10:00] like crisis mode, mommy mode that I didn't even have the chance to be scared because I was like, okay, he needs me. This is what we have to do. And even like, from driving to the ER and the whole nine yards, it's like, I didn't, I was actually surprised that I wasn't afraid, that I didn't crumble.
I definitely crumbled after when he was fine. And I was like, okay, now the emotions can come through now. He's okay. Like, let me just kind of feel all the feelings of what just happened. In the thick of it, it was like, I just went into mom mode and I was just like, okay, this has to be done. This has to be done.
And there was a moment actually really scary moment where he pulled his IV out and we were in the room and I turned around and I just, all of a sudden I see blood and I just ran for that [00:11:00] call bell and pushed it. And you know, like I need someone in now and the nurses came and they, you know, they all rushed in and they helped him.
And even in that moment where you expect to be like, oh my God, you know, it was almost like this. He needs me do it, has to be done, you know? And, and thank goodness that I was able to kind of process it that way and be there for him. Those are scary moments, right? Any parent who has any child who's sick or in the hospital, like those are scary moments and it's allowing yourself to feel what you feel, allowing yourself to be human in those moments.
And maybe say, I'm not okay, or I'm really struggling, or this is hard. Or, you know, I want to trade places with them, and like, it's those moments that not only give you the sobering reality, but that [00:12:00] also could really break you to your core and really not only show you the vulnerability in yourself, but the strength that you have that maybe you didn't think you did.
So that was actually the, the first sobering reality. And then the second sobering reality was with my daughter who suddenly one night she had like a really bad cold. And she started coughing and coughing and she wasn't stopping. And we, we have like a nebulizer at home and she just was getting worse.
And we ended up having to call 91 1 and EMT came, the ambulance came and we took her to the ER and it was almost like history repeating itself all over again. And there I was in the ambulance, going to the ER again, [00:13:00] and for completely different reason, her symptoms were totally different from him.
And this is lmonths and months and months apart, but I was like, oh my goodness, these kids are not even hree years old yet and I've already been to the hospital twice to the ER, and that is the most terrifying moment as a parent to sit there, feeling helpless because your child is sick and you, of course you would do anything in the world to take that from them.
And, you know, we got to the ER and again, great team took great care of her. But the fear and the panic. I mean, at one point I remember a nurse turning to me and she said, we may have to intubate. And my mouth almost like dropped to the floor and I was so afraid. And thank goodness, it didn't get to that point, but [00:14:00] I don't think there's a more sobering moment or more vulnerable moment than experiencing that with your kids.
And I hope that you never have to experience that because it's scary. And it's really hard. And you just want to give anything to trade places with them, but I will tell you this. I was so proud of both of them. They were resilient. They thank goodness, both recovered and I mean, she had like this astronaut mask on and, you know, she was like afraid to sleep in the crib.
And next thing you know, she's sleeping like in my arms all night with this astronaut mask on and a million IVs and a million wires and looking at her, you're almost [00:15:00] like, wow, You are incredible. Like you are taking this like a champ and you are, you know, recovering and getting better. And, I'll never forget this one act of kindness.
That was like the simplest and sweetest act. So we were in the ER all night long and then she was transferred to the pediatric ICU. And at that point, I mean, I hadn't slept for two nights. I was running on empty and adrenaline. And, you know, she was afraid to sleep in her crib. She's sleeping on my chest in like a recliner chair.
Right. And every time I tried to put her back in the crib, she would wake up, be petrified of the hospital. I mean, it's scary stuff right. And the next morning this nurse came in as the shifts change. And she said to me, do you want breakfast? [00:16:00] And I was like, yeah, you know, I'm just waiting for them to bring something from the kitchen and she's like, no, I'm going to Dunkin Donuts.
Do you want anything? And I, I was like, yeah, that would be really great. And I, you know, I reached for my bag to give her money. And she was like, no, no, no. It's on me and we fought about it and I said, no, no, no, let me give you the money. And we went back and forth, back and forth, and she ended up not taking the money and bringing me breakfast.
And it was the most simple act of kindness that just meant so much to me in that moment. Not because of the food. But because she was so selfless and she saw a mom that was tired and that could use a cup of coffee. And that could, I mean, it was like the best breakfast I ever had, because at that point I would have eaten, I would have eaten cardboard if someone gave it to me, I think.
And then at the [00:17:00] same time, I didn't want to eat in front of my daughter because she couldn't eat. She wasn't allowed to eat. So I'm literally like hiding in the corner, eating this food. You know, she was sleeping at the time. So I mean, it all worked out, but like, even that, like, I felt guilty eating with her sleeping next to me because I knew she couldn't eat because of the medicine and everything they had her on, but it was something so simple that I will never forget.
And I mean, the staff was great. They really treated us incredibly. Those moments are moments that mean the world to any family, to any mom. You know, they are caring for your family in a time and period that you are so vulnerable and you are so. [00:18:00] Emotionally charged and worried and fearful and all of the above.
Right. And just that one little act is just so tremendous. And I always think to myself, I said, oh my gosh, what if we could ripple that effect? You know, what if we could all do one thing for someone who was going through it, what kind of world would we live in, if that were the case, right. Wouldn't that be awesome?
I mean, I know me personally, I love doing something for someone else and it could be as silly as a kind card that you mail or, you know, I always used to go into the supermarkets in the baby section and like sneak a few dollars into like a diaper box or you know, baby food or wipes. And I [00:19:00] always think about, I wonder who finds it and I hope it made their day a little brighter, and I always wonder what they're going through or what their day may look like, what their life may look like.
And it's those small acts of kindness that I mean, I'll never forget that. I will never forget that nurse. And I will never forget that experience and those, the two experience, matter of fact, and you know, now when I'm in my living room, having my moment of, oh my gosh, if they tantrum one more time or if they don't eat this, or if they don't eat that, I bring myself right back to that ER, where I would give anything for them to tantrum to fight over that cartoon, to, you know, fight over the same toy or whatever that may be. And I'll never forget when we were riding in the ambulance. [00:20:00] The EMT was so kind to my daughter. And, you know, as scary as the moment was, fortunately, my daughter was, you know, it wasn't like she was unconscious or in an emergency state like that she was alert and she was talking. So I was trying not to scare her about the whole experience. I said, okay, we're going to go on an adventure and we're going to go in the ambulance and it's going to go. Weoo, weeoo, weeeooo weeeooo, and we're going to go for an adventure. So she got excited. She was like, yes, let's go on an adventure.
So we go in the ambulance and the EMT has her computer and she's taking down all notes. And, my daughter is with me and she starts observing the ambulance and she's like, look, mommy, ua square light look, mommy a square window, look at the cars look. And she is literally having this [00:21:00] imaginative little kid adventure moment in the ambulance as we're being rushed to the emergency room.
I mean, it was almost like being in the middle of both worlds. Like you're in an emergency, but you're also in the imagination of this child who like, even in the thick of not feeling good and, you know, coughing and not being able to breathe and she is like in her imagination and she is not scared one bit.
Let me tell you, she actually told the EMT as we were getting out, thank you for helping me. And I was like, oh my goodness. I am really, really blessed because. I mean, who says that right in the thick of an emergency, she was like, thank you for helping me. And, and she was telling the residents at the hospital, nice to meet you.
And I was just in awe of how really lucky I am, even in those [00:22:00] scary and petrifying and overwhelming moments of fear where all you are praying for in that moment is that your child is okay.
So my message to you is this... if you are having a hard day, if you are struggling in the moment, whatever it may be, whether it's the mess, the monotony of the day, the food, the tantrums, the toys, the lack of sleep.
And look, I'm not trying to sugar coat motherhood. Motherhood is hard, period. Right? I don't care if you have one child, two children, 10. It's hard. Put yourself just for a second in that ambulance. And I promise you, it will be a sobering reality that grounds you [00:23:00] back to a moment of gratitude because. I can tell you, I mean, especially my kids are turning three they're in the, you know, terrible two stages.
We have our days where it's like, oh my goodness, I don't think I'm gonna make it. They are just on level 1000. And all it takes is a split second of remembering that siren and picturing them in that ER, and nothing matters anymore. The tantrums, the mess, the arguing, the fighting. None of it matters because they are in front of me, healthy, whole and happy.
And I'm very fortunate that my kids were okay. You know, some parents aren't so lucky and that has to [00:24:00] be one of the hardest hardest things to deal with as a parent is losing your child. But when you can take those hard days and really change the narrative and change the perspective, and even if you've never been in a situation, like I was, just think to yourself, what if, what if.I was and how would that make me feel in this moment right now? And I guarantee you, it will give you gratitude and appreciation for whatever hard things you may be going through right now. And yes, they are hard, but I promise you that you can get through it and it will get easier. .
As always, I promise to be here for you and serve you and cheer you on every step of the [00:25:00] way and spill all the secrets of motherhood and life I wish someone told me. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Real Mom Truths Nobody Tells You podcast. Until next time, keep on celebrating you because you, my friend, you are so worth it. I am literally doing my happy dance with you because you just finished another episode of Real Mom Truths Nobody Tells You. I felt like that episode flew by way too fast. Right? If you want more head over to www.realmomtruths.com for show notes, and if you're looking for a new mom group, to uplift and encourage you and for helpful tips, be sure to join me and my community on Facebook. The link is waiting for you at www.realmomtruths.com.