Friday, August 04, 2006

Friday, August 4th

I can't sleep. Usually when I pull myself out of bed at 5:00 am, it means that I'll be eating an early breakfast, followed by some delicious mid-morning treat to tide me over until lunch. But not today - I sit here starving and anxious because in just under four hours I should be wheeling into surgery to meet baby #4.

I know that I wanted to blog something this morning, but honestly, I have no idea what to write. I found myself crying intermittently yesterday, and especially last night, and I'm also not quite sure why. There are too many reasons, I guess.

First, I hate C-Sections. It is really painful to have that damn numbing medicine to even get the spinal in the first place. I mean, really, really painful. Like, I almost had a panic attack yesterday in the pre-admission center yesterday when the NP was reviewing the procedure with me and commented that oh by the way, that shot hurts and I like to prepare my patients. Actually, probably my second or third thought after finding out that I was pregnant was an anxious "damn, that spinal hurts." I kid you not.

So there's that, and also that I am already starving and I believe that I won't be allowed to eat again until Sunday. Maybe they'll let me have a drink of water tonight. Some thing to look forward to!

Also, I have a sore throat. When Adelyn was born, I had a cough, and, talk about pain! Try coughing every thirty seconds after major abdominal surgery.

But then there's the bigger stuff, of course. That I really am not doing a great job parenting the kids that I already have. That I got chastised yesterday but a twenty-something lifeguard at the swim club because Riley and Bella were swimming in the deep end of the big pool and Bella was floundering, clutching on to her big brother even though he couldn't stand either. I, of course, was in the baby pool with Adelyn and did not see what was happening. I think he said something to the effect that he couldn't be responsible to watch them and that they needed to be supervised, and only later did I think of such obviously snarky responses like - wait- aren't you paid to be the lifeguard? - but mostly I was just too frustrated and upset that my last day, my last minutes even, at the swim club as the mother of three were spent feeling insecure and incompetent. Neglectful, even.

Plus, the kids are totally on edge. Their basement playroom is covered in plastic from the construction and their swingset unreachable behind the enormous dumpster in our yard. They have been going to "camp" every day at the new preschool, Adelyn too, and then the older two are relegated to sitting on my bed (in the living room!) to watch TV while Adelyn naps, before they head out to the swim club for some good old unsupervised drowning.

Adelyn, my baby girl, cries every morning when I drop her off at camp. She starts just before I gesture to leave, as if the anticipation of our pending separation is too much to bear. Allegedly she plays with wild abandon after about five minutes of tears, and she is admittedly reluctant to stop playing and go home with me when camp is over, but still. I would not have her in camp this young in the first place, but for the construction going on here. I just have nowhere safe for her to be all morning, and lugging her with me to Lowe's to pick up ceiling fans wasn't a terribly viable option either.

So instead, I've missed my opportunity to smother her with affection during our last days before her little sister arrives, after which she will be violently ousted from her throne as the youngest of our clan. The construction has been so all-consuming, in fact, that I have also not taken the opportunity to cherish these last days of pregnancy that I will ever know. And, just to add to my frustration, they have also been the hottest in Philadelphia's history.

So we're hot, we're cranky, we have no kitchen, and we're having another baby. Today. I have no idea if we're doing the right thing, but it's certainly too late to turn back now. I just pray that the baby is healthy, and happy, and that I can be a good mother to her. To all of my children. And while my heart breaks for Adelyn, I hope that she likes being a big sister.

I always wonder what Bella would be like if we'd never had Adelyn. She loves being babied, and she is quite jealous of Adelyn in many ways. But the other day, I asked her how she felt about being a big sister again.

"Good," she said, straining to look around me and see the TV.

"You know that this is going to be the last baby we have in our family," I added. This got her attention.

"That's not good," she said, looking like she wanted to cry. I wanted to cry too, but instead we just hugged, and she turned her attention back to the TV, laughing at the antics on the Cartoon Network.

So, maybe Bella really is OK, and maybe Adelyn will be OK too. Maybe we all will. And maybe, if I'm really lucky, I'll be able to emulate my daughter, and accept what is without pausing to regret what might have been. And if I'm really lucky, I'll find laughter there too.


Blogger LeggyP said...

Hope the surgery went well and wasn't too painful. Can't wait to hear the details!

3:28 PM  

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