I woke up in the wee hours of Tuesday morning with stomach cramps. It was that same crushing tightness of a labor contraction. Except instead of giving birth to a tiny, sweet-faced, sleepy conehead, I spent the next six hours ejecting foul-smelling slime. From everywhere.
My body was pissed and exhausted. I handed the morning child care duties off to my husband and proceeded to alternate between the bathroom and bedroom. I knew without knowing that I could barely migrate between my bathroom/bedroom route (cussed third floor bedroom with no bathroom), let alone feed and entertain my children for the day.
Scott kicked into gear and arranged for an extra day of child care for the kiddos, cancelled some of his work duties, and got the kiddos ready and off for the day. I stretched a shaky, grey finger to my cell phone to text him and ask for some Gatorade.
All day long, I dozed. I also admit to moaning for my babies, as if they were capable of being cuddly little teddy bears for more than .3 seconds at a time. I am pretty sure I even whispered “Mommy…” a time or two as I kicked the comforter off and on, off and on, a bizarre OCD dance.
When Scott picked the kiddos up in the afternoon, I couldn’t even wobble my way downstairs to say hi until after Vi went to bed.
So, if you’re ever doubting your worth, Mama’s:
$110 for extra day of child care for two kiddos
$20 for dinner for dad and kids at Chipotle
45 minutes of 18-month old screaming for mama at bedtime
Husband scrambling to do all the things you usually do and the things he usually does
On the plus side, this morning, when I awoke feeling much better, an air of appreciation hung in the air. My kids were really happy to see me, and I them. It happens to be my birthday today, and Max launched into “Happy Birthday” about four times before 8 a.m. Violet even pitched in with, “Buth-day boo.”
It is good to remember the household can survive without me, but next time I hope to do something more fun than reenacting childbirth with a vomit baby. And it is not the worst thing in the world for your partner to have to do what you do, every day, without really thinking about it. It is sweet to miss and be missed.