What to Do with Yourself When Your Baby Is In the ICU

This year I have really grown to appreciate how different personalities respond to stress. I know that personality tests like enneagram / Myers-Briggs are absolutely “soft” sciences or not really considered very scientific at all, but I’ve found it helpful in learning how to not only get along with people, but respect them for how they individually respond to things, even if it is very different than how I would respond. As a type 5w6 INTJ, or I guess just personally, I wasn’t born with a lot of natural understanding of how people work, so a systemic categorization of personality types is really useful to me. If you would all just wear nametags with your types on them At All Times, that would make my life a lot easier, thanks.

I’m often amazed at how differently people think. For example, we have had a very stressful past few months, culminating in a very risky open heart surgery for our baby daughter, yet my husband and I react in opposite ways to the stress of it all. He basically goes to sleep–complete shut-down–while I get hyperactive, spinning off into a billion directions at once.

Because of that, I’ve taken on a few projects the past few months…I normally don’t share projects I’m working on until they are fully formed and thought out, but in my frantic project-creating madness, I haven’t really fully fleshed out many of these.

Renee’s Stress Projects

  1. teaching two online classes (of course this is done–outside obligations, so not really optional!)
  2. decluttering the house (finished. but might do it again. I love decluttering when I’m stressed.)
  3. reorganizing the girls winter wardrobes and creating capsule wardrobes for each of them (this took awhile since there are 5 of them)
  4. writing a poem a week (mostly accomplished)
  5. creating a new poetry manuscript (haven’t quite started yet, but there is a file on my computer for it)
  6. publishing my CL manuscript (I entered a few contests but I probably could try harder here)
  7. creating a new style and capsule wardrobe for MYSELF! (this is so frivolous. I decided that I would be 90s grunge from now on but quickly decided that isn’t really the direction a mom of 5 should go in? so I might return to this project, suggestions welcome)
  8. writing a nonfiction book (not  started yet, see next point)
  9. studying how to write good literary nonfiction (in process)
  10. keeping us on schedule with homeschool (check check check. but taking a break for the surgery)
  11. running (big fail, no time for it)
  12. making new heart mom friends (yes, I think so! mostly online, but still, progress?)
  13. planning an amazing themed secret christmas present for the girls (done, bought, hidden in my mother’s basement)


So many things! I think if I were to make this list 2 or 3 things, like I normally would, I’d get them done, but instead I’ve been restlessly hopping around because that is how I feel right now, terribly restless. While B’s stress has shown up in naps and sleep sleep sleep, mine has been in insomnia, in my heartrate so fast randomly, and having this blood rushing in my ears sound, with a regular steady heartbeat that I wish I could gift my baby girl.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s