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An Impossible Choice

Allison is in the hospital. Allie in the hospital with RSV

She has RSV. She is congested and struggling to breathe, needing oxygen, breathing treatments, medicine, and lots of love. She cries a lot because she isn’t allowed to eat (too much mucus), and she is most uncomfortable.

Allie needs her momma.

Grace is at home.

Grace’s baby sister, the one she waited for for so long, is very sick. Her sister is in the hospital, and she isn’t allowed to visit.

Grace has a bad cold (probably caused by RSV), so she’s a little more tired, a little more whiny, and a little less patient than normal. She is worried and worn out and misses her mother and sister.

Grace needs her momma.

There is only one momma. Yesterday, I stayed with Allie, needing to talk with the doctor and get the prognosis and understand the treatment.

But Grace woke up four times during the night, hysterical. She cried and cried, I miss my momma. I want my momma.

Dad wasn’t the right guy. Aunt Amanda wouldn’t do. She needed comfort and consoling from her mother.

In her existence, Allie has known primarily one person. My smell, my heartbeat, my voice. She cries and cries, too. She needs comfort and consoling from her mother.

This evening, I’m going to go home to Gracie. My heart aches to think that I have to leave my baby, my tiny, 7-week-0ld infant, while she is so sick.

But I have to.

I can’t be in two places at once.

They both need me.

Edited to add: You can read about my decision in this post.

© 2011 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

36 thoughts on “An Impossible Choice”

  1. Praying for all of you, Tara! You do what you have to do and feel no guilt. When Noah was born he was very sick and in the NICU. My husband stayed with us in the hospital the whole week and my parents were with Emma, who likely very much wanted us with her as well. But it was just what we had to do and haven’t regretted it for a moment. ((HUGS))

    • No guilt. I just feel sad because they are both my babies, and they both need me. Grace doesn’t stop needing my love and support just because Allie is in the hospital.

      I don’t know if there is a right answer. It just sucks.

      • Times like this is when you have to rely on your mama instinct , if your heart is telling you Gracie needs you at home while Joe is with Allie that is what your family needs. <3 We said prayers for you all at church today and will keep them going at home.

        • Thank you, Allie.

          That’s exactly what I did. I trusted my instincts and came home to be with Grace. We had a good night, and she practically slept under me. It was the right thing to do. I miss baby Allie like crazy, and I’m headed back in as soon as my mom can pick Grace up, but this time together was invaluable for Gracie. I’m glad I came home for her.

  2. My heart breaks for you Tara and your sweet girls. I have been in your position a number of times when I felt the need to literally break myself in half so I could give 100% to both my boys at the same time. We just can’t do it and so at times like these we have to do the best we can.
    I’m sending prayers for peace that surpasses all understanding upon all of you and special healing prayers for little Allie.

  3. Oh Tara. I am so sorry! I cannot begin to imagine what you must be going through. I would give you a big hug if I could. I will be praying for all of you, especially baby Allie and a quick recovery for her so she can go home soon. Much love, DAWN

  4. Tara — I’m so sorry. 🙁 That IS an impossible choice, and of course, any choice you make is the right one. But… it still hurts!

  5. That is a hard situation. I lived on the side child side of it growing up (my siblings were hospitalized a lot) and am not looking forward to having to deal with it when we have another child. Good Luck! I hope Allie gets better and comes home really soon!

  6. Ohhhhh, how hard! Both of your babies love you and know your love, no matter who gets your physical presence in any given moment. But, of course, you know that. And it’s just a hard situation. I pray for rest and healing for all of you – and soon!!

  7. My mom and Keenan were able to bring Kaitie to the hospital, so that I would be able to see her, but she hated to leave, just as much as I hated to see her go, but in your case I would go home in the daytime to spend time with Grace, and maybe Joe can be with Allie.

    • That was nice! There are 7 other babies with RSV on the pediatric floor, so they won’t allow any visitors under 12. It’s probably better that the rules say she can’t come because Grace would want to be there all day long, and she would quickly become a nuisance.

  8. You ARE only one mama, and you’re doing the absolute right thing. When my dd was in the hospital as a baby, I spent the days with her and the nights at home with her big brother. Please don’t be hard on yourself. You’re only one person. You’re a fabulous mom!

  9. So sorry to hear this! I’m a long time reader but I don’t comment like I should. My heart goes out to you. Times like these are hard. Keep the faith! Allison will be home soon. Just imagine the blogosphere wrapping their collective arms around her sending healing vibes.

  10. My heart breaks for you. I can not imagine the pain you and your family is going through. I’ve often wished there were two of me with two littles ones, but I’ve never had one in the hospital like this and she’s so young. Oh, You have hugs, prayers and support in anyway I can help. I hope Allie gets better very soon!

  11. I have been there more then I would care to have been. Each of my boys had RSV and 2 wound up hospitalized with it. My youngest got it but never hd to be hospitalized thank God. You feel torn. The hospital we were at allowed the younger brothers to come to a community room or waiting area so we could spend time with them as well. Is there anyplace like that in the place you are?? Even some contact of any sort can help Gracie..

    • I went home last night and spent the night with Grace. We had dinner together, slept in my bed, watched tv together, read books together, and played. It was good for both of us. She wanted to come with me to the hospital, but she didn’t argue when I told her that it was against the rules and that she’d have to go to Grandma’s. I think the time was exactly what she needed.

  12. Tara, I know your heart aches, but going home will only go back to the germs that brought this on. You have to stay with Allison and take care of her, Grace has got to stay with your husband to keep the germs at home.

    My son had RSV at 5 months. No one with a cough or any signs of illness could be allowed in our ward. I slept in his mist-tent, and watched the pulminologist and respiratory therapists carefully as they clapped with curved hands on my boy, clapping his back while resting face down on their laps. They’d clap him after a breathing treatment, to get the gunk out of his lungs that’s causing the infection. Then, after clapping, I’d suction his nose and mouth to get the stuff out, and continue until I could get no more. We’d do this every hour on the hour. He’d remain in the mist-tent, and so would I 90% of my day, except to eat and use the restroom. It was a grueling time, but all that work, the hundreds upon hundreds of times clapping his back and suctioning him out is what eventually did it.

    I tell you this, Tara, because I found out that the clapping technique is not something all doctors and hospitals do. I was surprised by this, as I can’t see how they get that gunk out any other way. I’d ask them about this, if they’re not doing this, and implement it. It works, I can attest to this, and my son’s stay was only 5 days long, and he’s healthy as a horse now.

    I hope she heals quickly, and I hope you’re able to find a slice of peace soon. I know it’s hard, sweetheart. Hugs and prayers to you all.

  13. I am so, so sorry that little Allie is sick! And it makes my heart ache to hear about Grace and how much she needs you, too. I’ve been there, too, and it is a tough place to be in as a mother! I hope Allie gets better quickly, and that you can continue to take care of yourself and Grace. Hugs!!

  14. I’m so sorry…
    I remember that pull in both directions well…it is an impossible choice….you’re right.
    Praying that by the time I’ve read this…you are at home with both.

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