With bread. And cake. All the cake. Quickly.
Augustine Louis arrived with little incident! I got to wear an oxygen mask, which I’d rather not do again, and eventually got drugs, which was great. Still, it would have been nice to get help for the pain before the agony, which I hear-tell IS possible, just not for me, apparently. But: Nobody got kidney stones! Nobody dragged half the garage from the wall and bent the drivers’ side door of the car on the way to the hospital! You may think these are odd celebrations, but they’ve been known to happen when I have babies. And I did the glucose test again today, so hopefully I am free of the Gestational Diabetes Albatross. I certainly hope so. I may or may not have eaten nine sugar cookies one after the other while standing at the kitchen counter the other night.
As of now, I have successfully completed 72 hours of parenting three children– without help and with no help on the horizon. The fact that about 75% of that time they’ve been at school or asleep is irrelevant. It’s got to be a similar feeling to combat–long periods of waiting/peace punctuated by a few moments of frenzied chaos during which you meet the very face of your mortality and are shown with brutal clarity what in fact you are made of. I have a friend who has eight children and is one of the most serene women I’ve ever met. Sam calls her “The Boss.” I’ve had three for less than six weeks now and I can tell you with the utmost confidence that if I was ever serene, I will likely never be so again. It’s the standard list of anti-accomplishment: Is the laundry done? Nope. Are there clean spoons? Negative. Do your feet stick to the floor just a little bit? Indeed. But Augustine is getting fat, has a clean diaper on, and Malcolm and Bella have not been taken by child protective services yet. Poor Sam may still feel a little invisible and in my head I keep meaning to tell him what a good job he’s doing, so on my list of things to do, like, shower, I need to add: Talk to Husband. Many failings happening here, but–ALIVE to fight another day, so what we need to take away from this is:
I’m nearing the end of that magical time after childbirth when I can sit back and watch the number on the scale go backwards while eating like an absolute pig. I seem to have, how shall I say this, plateaued. I’ve been given the green light to begin exercising again. And I can’t wait. (Spit-laughs into hand) That’s a lie. We all need exercise. I know this. I see this in the mirror. But it is often an uncomfortable process. Auggie feels me. Babies need to strengthen their little necks and assorted other muscles too, right? They tell us to give our babies “tummy time.” I’m assuming this is normal, but neither Mal nor Bella particularly cared for Tummy Time. Auggie loves Tummy Time.
I wore work-out clothes today, ya know, just to get in the spirit of things. Maternity work-out clothes. I must now figure out when the heck I’ll have time to do any working-out. Since my phenomenal parents and mother-in-law left (let’s all pause for a moment to applaud these fine folks), my priorities have consisted of cleaning and feeding. And once Sam and the kids are home, well it’s still cleaning and feeding, but I’m significantly outnumbered, my strength of will is outclassed by a 4 year old, and my exhaustion is only exceeded by my frustration that it’s already 8:00 and I don’t have the energy to watch my shows now that everyone is in bed. I fantasize about living in the same town, hell, same state as our parents. Not that I’d rely on them to do everything, but that there’d be the option to ask for help if I needed it. Just being able to ask is a comfort, even if I don’t actually do it.
I have a moment of absolute panic when I hear sirens while in traffic on the H1. I know I’m supposed to get out of the way, we all know it, all 4-5 lanes of bumper to bumper cars of us. It makes me proud of humanity to see a way made for the ambulance to pass through and then gracefully zippered back together again once it’s gone. There was one time though when I was on a two lane access road waiting to get on the highway and I heard the sirens. My options were: concrete wall buffered by a few thin shrubberies or car next to me–whose options were: Me or apartment building buffered by sidewalk. Panicpanicpanicpanic I chose the shrubberies. I think I might still have leaves stuck in the van’s sliding door mechanisms. I could see the whites of the ambulance driver’s eyes as they passed, but they managed to get through. There’s always enough room for help to get through, but I have to get out of the way.
A couple of weeks before Auggie was born I got terrible news about a friend. In that moment my two miscarriages seemed merciful. I haven’t seen her in years and am only really connected to her through Facebook, but I felt punched. Heartbroken for her and terrified for me. Then, watching from my computer, I saw and felt what faith is. I’m not there and there is no way I can claim to know anything about how they feel, but from what I read in the few updates she gave I can say what she made me feel. Grace. Hope. Not serene, but hopeful. A way has been made and it won’t close back up. I’m still a little terrified, but I think all new parents are. I’m not sure that makes it ok.
I need help. In a big way. But not just with being a mom or getting in shape(ish); I can figure that out. (…right? right?) I would like very much to be serene or the kind of woman who can reach through the pain and hold tightly to the hope I know I already have. I just have to get out of the way.