So far, these last two and half days have taken approximately ten years. I remembered bedrest last time as being, in its way, somewhat fun and an interesting change of pace. It took a while to get used to it, but I settled into a pace of reading and eating and napping. There were certain shows I would watch at certain times, people I would call every day. It wasn't mentally stimulating or anything, but it was tolerable. At night, someone would bring over dinner, or Jim would pick something up or cook, and we would eat together in the living room. Then we'd play cards or cuddle and watch a movie or something.
My memories of bedrest were of being, yes, bored and hot and sore and frustrated, but also of being cared for and feeling loved and pampered. I received genuine sympathy when I had to take my Brethine and endure the shaking and heart racing, the dizziness and feelings of anxiety. I felt appreciated and acknowledged for the actual work I was doing by laying still and allowing our child to continue to grow safely. I didn't feel like a burden or an inconvenience.
Yeah. This is nothing like last time. The most obvious difference, of course, is the presence of a toddler in the house, needing changed and fed and bathed and dressed and played with. Her fingerprints, her toys, her sippy cups, and her Veggie Tales DVD's are everywhere, her magnetic letters and her doll stroller and her play yard. Every time I get up to use the bathroom, it's like navigating a maze. And the main objective throughout the day and night is to keep the kid occupied and happy and cared for.
Jim is still pretty miserably sick, and Addy is high-energy and full of new needs every five minutes. She makes messes all over the house- like peeing straight down the front of the couch last night after fleeing naked from her bath- and by the time she is cared for, I sort of feel like my needs or wants are petty and selfish. Jim uncomplainingly brings me my water or vitamin or whatever, and he doesn't act put-upon or anything, nor resentful, just tired. Obviously, understandably. It's just that Adelay has to come first, and by the time Jim gives her what energy he has with a horrible cold, there's not exactly an overflow to be spent on rubbing my sore back and inquiring solicitously as to my emotional well being.
I realize this sounds horrible. I realize I sound whiny and childish and ungrateful. That I maybe AM whiny and childish and ungrateful. This realization is kind of scary to me, and makes me even more depressed and low than I already feel. I need to put on my big-girl pants here and realize that this sucks for everyone, and it's just going to suck for awhile, but it is what we have to do. And it could be MUCH worse, as already noted, in that the baby could be imminently arriving, or that we could live far from all relatives and friends and really be stuck up a creek right now. This is just inconvenience here, nothing truly devastating.
But can I just whine, here, for a little bit? About how my hips and shoulders are all sore and out of whack from tossing from side to side, and about how these contractions really hurt already, and the Brethine is making me feel miserable and I don't want to take it even though I need to, and about how I'm gross feeling and dressed in unmatching pajamas, and how my eyebrows need plucking and my legs need shaving, and my bikini line doesn't even exist anymore? And also, may I tell you about how I see myself, my lumpy thighs and my stretch marked belly and my grouchy, shiny face, and I wish Jim wasn't seeing me like this? I hear my voice asking for a blanket, or a glass of juice, or for my crosstitch project (which my shaking hands can't handle anyways) and I wish there were a way to have my needs met without his having to wait on me hand and foot.
And of course there is also the Bad Mother guilt about how Addy calls for me and I can't come, it has to always be Jim or someone else, and also there is the guilt that I'm not enjoying this pregnancy more. I keep thinking, "I need to cherish this! It will be over soon!" And I will, for a few minutes. I will admire the way my baby rolls around visibly under my taut belly skin, and will gasp audibly at the sharp kicks to my ribs. It is amazing. But also, there is the (whisper) constipation from the medicine/pregnancy/lying around and getting literally no exercise. And there is the crumbs all over me every time I eat and the dizziness every time I get up for the few things I'm allowed to get up for. There's the irrational despair I felt last night when the DVD player crapped out and I realized I was facing a weekend with no movies and nothing but basic cable, which essentially means golf or the Tour de France coverage.
I think what's going on this time is that it's not in the least romantic, the way it kind of was last time. We had this month of enforced togetherness, time spent just sitting and talking and daydreaming about the baby, enjoying our last weeks of alone time. It was like a honeymoon or something.
And this, with the lingering headcolds and tantruming toddlers and trying to arrange round the clock childcare... This is not so romantic, and feels nothing like a vacation for any of us. More like Survivor.
But survive we shall. For instance, last night Jim went to the grocery at almost ten, after Addy was in bed, to get me the pie I had been craving for two days. This was above and beyond. And this afternoon, while my mom has Addy for awhile, I am entertaining myself so Jim can get in a few hours of video games with his friend, and not have to run and fetch anything for anybody. I think as long as we keep giving each other these little things, we'll manage. It won't be a honeymoon, but we'll make it.