Sunday, November 22, 2009

Soggy and Serious. Sorry!

UPDATE: so you guys know I wasn't trolling for gifts, right? (this will make more sense if you read the whole post) I was talking more about the emotional side of it all. Just wanted to clarify that my intention was not to make you all send things! As usual, you all overwhelm me with your kindness.

So I'm sitting here in my relatively quiet, relatively clean house. To be honest, I'd like it to be both cleaner and quieter, but concessions need to be made when you have one sick kid and are trying to keep him away from the other kids who may or may not be sick. My neighbor texted this morning from their Thanksgiving trip to tell me two things; 1) She also has pinkeye, and 2) not to have the baby today.

So I'm hoping this sickness is something that is just between our two houses and not our homeschool co-op or the entire school. Jace seems to be feeling better today, but he came out of his room around six because his eyes were completely crusted shut. It was gross. But I was actually really impressed by how well he found his way out of bed, through a hall, past a gate, across a room, and to me without tripping or falling with eyes that were sealed shut.

Seth woke up literally four times last night. The last time, early this morning, he was up because he had graced us with the grossest bowel movement ever. On his sheets. overflowing from his (cloth) diaper. And I couldn't find the wipes. Or pick him up, Or lay him down. It was ugly. I'm hoping it was the brownies I let him have yesterday for my mom's birthday and not that he's getting sick.

But the waking up? Got to stop. There is not one single night that goes by lately that I don't end up with a four and five year old sneaking into my bed and a one year old screaming every few hours for milk or to be rocked or just to remind me that he's here. I know, Seth. You're here. You're the baby. I get it.

As far as the older kids go, Jace just wakes up and wanders around. I can usually send him back to bed okay and he'll be fine. Ava, though, does it because she's scared and nervous and dealing with other stuff. In the past couple of days I've also heard what sounds suspiciously like stutter when she's talking. I know she's feeling a lot of pressure about a lot of things right now, and I know her...she's exactly like me. She internalizes every bit of it. This happened just before Seth was born, too, and we had to really be tough on her to get her back in her bed full time. It worked well then, but things are a little more complicated now, and it's harder to be the one to get up and walk her back to be every single time when I've just fallen back asleep myself.

So the nights have not been great. Then, last night I was doing a fetal kick count before bed, and the baby came thisclose to failing it. Something similar happened just before Eli died, and John and I shrugged it off, so I was kind of a mess. All the kids were asleep, the neighbors were out of town, and I wasn't sure what to do. In the end, I repeated the count for another hour and she ended up just squeaking by, but I was still really nervous. It was my mom's birthday and I didn't want to bother her, and I had no reason to believe that my husband would come running.

So it's starting...the anxiety over trying to keep her in so she can grow over the anxiety over wanting her out so I know she's not going to die on me before she's even born. And yes, I can pray. And yes, I do pray. All the time. And yes, I know that God has a plan for her just like he did for Seth and Eli and Jace and Ava. But  plans go awry, in the fallen world we live in. So it's impossible not to worry. (And if you theologically don't believe that some things happen that God doesn't mean to happen, I respect that, but don't tell me the whole reason for everything right now.) Then I get to worry about if she does come and has to spend a month in the NICU. How do I do that? I'm a single parent. I've never typed that before. I hate it. When Jace & Seth were born and in the hospital I had both my husband and my mom around to help, and it was still crazy.

Ok. This was not my plan for today, but I'm going to have to ask you all to bear with me as I wallow and talk about my marriage for a minute. I don't do it a lot anymore, but I hope you can put up with me for a few minutes. My brain is just going on without me today.

I guess the worst part is that my husband is missing it all. Not really missing it, per se, since it's all been his choice, but I know the man he was and if he misses his daughter's birth the same way he's missed her pregnancy, there is going to be a day where it hits him harder than he's ever imagined. Because yes, it's easy to say he doesn't want to be a part of her pregnancy and birth because I'm a part of them, but she's our baby. These are our kids. You can't just take me out of the equation. I'm not just an incubator for these kids until they appear.  And there will be a day she asks what happened on the day she was born, just like Ava has, just like Jace has. They know all kinds of details about their births. Ava knows her dad almost passed out when she was being born. Jace knows just how sick he was. and how his dad sat by his isolette for four hours until the nurses finally figured out something was wrong with Jace and took him to the NICU. They care about these stories, just like Seth will care when he sees the video of everyone in the room completely losing it laughing and crying when he was born screaming.

I guess I'm just disappointed in myself, because even after everything, I never thought that he would let himself become someone who doesn't show up for his kids and the mother of his children. I mean, fine. Hate me. Be in love with someone else, or whatever. But I've carried and delivered four children, about to be five. I gave up a lot, too. I have spent six years insane with pregnancy hormones, not knowing who in the heck I was half the time. I just wish men could understand how pregnancy, breastfeeding, the hormones, all of it, turn you into a person you don't recognize sometimes, and it's not an excuse, and it's not just a myth. I remember when I was pregnant with Ava I read some quote that basically said to make as few big, life altering decisions during pregnancy as possible, that between the hormones and the inevitable misunderstandings that would arise, it was a recipe for disaster.

Yeah. You could say that. I hate this. I hate being so emotional I can't hold a conversation without crying. I hate feeling so sorry for myself and my kids all the time. I mean, why would I want to be with someone who wants to be with someone else anyway? I have never, ever been that type of person. And yet here I am, a stupid mess over someone who blames me completely for every problem we've ever had, who has a freaking  girlfriend while he's still married.

I'm an idiot.

But God, I'm looking at my kids playing right now and they're laughing and rolling around on the floor together and what am I going to do when I have to deal with telling them that I'm not married to their dad anymore? Because that's the thing. I don't believe in divorce. Even after it's all over, I'll still feel married. I actually believe that vows mean something, that love and devotion and loyalty are choices and not feelings. That it's forever, even when you're annoyed or unhappy. I mean, towards fixing it. But don't give up and start from scratch, especially when you have several years and several kids under your belt! If you're willing to start over with someone new you don't really know, why in the world would you not start to rebuild what you have, what you made a vow to God you would preserve, instead? I don't want my kids to have a step mother. I don't want them to even have to know this girl exists, but that has already happened. I'm sick of being jealous of someone who is not even worth it. I hate this. I don't want to be in the hospital having my baby and have everyone feel sorry for me because my husband didn't feel like coming.

I hate this. I should be stronger than this. That's what the biggest joke about all this is. Everyone talks about how I'm so strong and how they would have never been able to deal with their baby dying, and their baby being deaf, and their husband leaving and being on their own pregnant with three kids for five months.

Here's a newsflash, though. It doesn't mean you're strong, it just means you're still alive. If I was really strong, I would want nothing to do with him. If I was really strong, I would have been able to grieve Eli and hold onto my marriage. If I was really strong, I would have done a better job balancing my kids and my husband, even through Seth's insane first year. I mean, truthfully, if I was really strong, I would have actually made a case for the fact that I'm not actually the only who is capable of making mistakes.

But instead, I'm here with them, and at some point, I won't be strong enough or good enough, and they might give up on me, too. Who knows. Maybe they'll blame me for all the things he does. Because I can't hold it together every second, and I can't be the parent I want to be for them without someone to support me, too. Because I want attention, too. I want someone over the age of five to like me, to walk in the door and be happy to see me. I want someone to leave me notes and hug me and make me feel special because I'm delivering a child for them. I don't want to sit in my house Christmas morning and not even have a card to open, all the time knowing he's spent time picking out something special for someone else and hasn't even thought of me, or what that morning will look like for me and the kids without him there.

Man, I feel sorry for myself today, huh? Wow. I just wish I didn't have to feel like such a loser for not getting over my marriage overnight.

Thanks for letting me whine. I appreciate it. I think I'm just exhausted from this week and sometimes this all gets really old.

I'm off to the hospital in a little while for monitoring and hopefully will be back home today. Thanks for all the prayers, I really appreciate them.
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