The other day, I went back and read about 9 days worth of our first month as a family. I started to tell Stephen how, back then, every day, every hour, was touch and go. It felt like I was barely surviving. I think I'm going to start re-reading those early posts to remind myself that it DID get better. I need to get more grateful-er.
Because the last few months? Balls to the wall. I'm not even kidding. Stephen made Chief and went through a five week induction. Lizzie cut, like, a bazillion teeth (all four pre-molars) and I went from cute-preggo to grossly-distored-angry-preggo. Also? The dog won't quit eating baby toys.
I'd like to say I'm doing it all with perfect poise and a grateful heart and all that jazz but LET'S BE REAL.
Two More (GRAPHIC) Reasons I love being Pregnant?
1. My nipples are on fire. Every morning I expect to find a cheese grater and a lemon wedge in my nightshirt. Or maybe some 60 grit sandpaper and a salt lick. SOMETHING that might account for the rawness and burning. The nursing night-terrors have begun. I'm starting to get nervous about all that newborn nursing madness.
2. Constipation? Nah. Constipation is what E gets when she eats a banana every day for a few days in a row and then poops pellets. What I have? I don't even know. The only image I can bring to mind, the only metaphor I can imagine, has to do with bricks. In my bowels.
*********************I've started rocking Lizzie before her naps. I don't do it every time and it doesn't make her fall asleep. She has never been the rocking type. When she's tired, she usually whimpers and whines until someone dumps her in her bed, where she prefers to sleep.
Something has changed recently. Maybe it's the pre-molars she had been working on cutting for over two months or a new found sense of separation anxiety or possibly even Daddy's erratic schedule during Chief Season. Whatever the reason, she seems content to be held close and rocked in her squeaky rocking chair. She fondles my necklace or insists on playing my least favorite game of all time; Fingers in Mommy's Mouth. GAG!
Eventually she starts half-humming/half-growling and that's my cue to start singing her a song. I hum a lullaby I made up or an invitational hymn like Jesus Saves or Just as I Am or Softly and Tenderly. She stares off glassy-eyed, listening, peaceful. I slow down and let myself relax and be in the moment. Things right now are so crazy and rushed and this is the time for Mommy to shush and rock.
Sometimes we barely get settled and comfortable before my brain sighs and the tears start to flow. Not sad tears or upset tears, I'm simply full to the brim with emotion and responsibility and this is where my body and my mind stop long enough to let my feelings catch up with the rest of me.
One day I will comfort my daughters as they cry over bullies or boys or shattered dreams, but not today. Today, Elizabeth comforts me as I silently cry over my insecurities. That I'm not spending enough time with her. That I will fail when Stephen deploys and leaves me to care for her and her sister. That I'm doing it wrong, this life-business, focusing on the wrong things, neglecting the important. Also? I'm pregnant; rational emotions are optional.
Life is tough. I know it's just a season and soon it will be over, but I am tired and crabby and selfish and jealous. As I rock, I think of Elizabeth. I hope she knows she is loved by her Mommy. Like my absent-minded husband, I forget that she doesn't just "know" I love her. She needs to be reminded, hugged, uplifted, every day. We don't read enough books or go on enough outings, but I try to be patient, to greet her in her crib with smiles, to look into her eyes and learn her personality. I hope I am never the parent to her that I had growing up.
I compose beautiful and humorous blog posts in my head while I rock. They never make it here, to this page, but the mere act of contemplating them, of solidifying their memory, THAT is the purpose of even attempting to blog them in the first place. So they don't get shuffled around and lost in the stacks of "other stuff" that won't even matter 20 years from now.
Sometimes I am selfish and think of myself. How my life IS hard. How my sacrifices ARE over-looked. I need that pity party. I need to acknowledge my feelings and cry out some angst and then move on. I feel better. I feel rejuvenated. Sometimes? I realize I'm being a big puss and need to check myself. Those are the best times because self-realizing that you are over-reacting is WAY BETTER than having someone else try to tell you. (Ask my husband :)
I'm really staring to enjoy our occasional rocking sessions. They probably won't last much longer. She is transitioning to one nap now and soon enough there will be TWO little girls grappling for my attention and before you know it, I'll be arguing with them over bare-midriff tee-shirts and curfews and junk and I'll be screaming in my head GET YOUR ASSES IN THE ROCKING CHAIR AND SHUP UP FOR A GOSHDARN SECOND. Mommy has needs too, ya little punks.
No, I didn't have two coherent thoughts to rub together for a blog entry today. Even with 6 weeks of down time, this is all I can come up with; preggo complaints and "that story where I explain why I'm crying all the time". I'm also working at break-neck speed on this little house of ours and preparing to lose my husband to a new submarine and it's hectic deployment schedule.
What I'm really trying to say is that I miss coming here and venting and I'mma try to come back more often but I'm not making any promises. This blog always seems to be the first thing to get left by the wayside when things get rough and I feel like that's how it should be. Let's just agree that life is crazy and we are gonna try to stay friends, mkay?