Monday, October 10, 2011

Recovery Week

People say that it's only after the traumatic subsides and the dust clears that we truly realize just how exhausted we are. This is probably why I haven't written anything in my blog for over a week. It has taken that long for me to feel like I have any energy or ambition to do anything but nap. Perhaps it's because I found myself buried under a mountain of dirty laundry, or perhaps because my midsection has grown to the approximate size and weight of a small mountain, or perhaps it's just that every molecule of stress hormone in my body had been expended after Naomi's last three days in the hospital, but napping suddenly took priority over all else.

Not that I've had an excessive amount of time to nap. Matt was still in training out of town all week last week, so beyond the childcare and housework falling to me, I also took the kids down to visit him one evening and swim in his hotel swimming pool. Though the evening was a success I think I've had to conclude that the days of car trips are over for me until after this baby is born.

I've also concluded that I like pregnancy less each time I am pregnant. With Naomi everything was so new and exciting, the wonders of new life within me far overshadowed the discomforts of carrying a watermelon under my skin. Now that I've experienced every wonder five times, it seems far more appealing to be the only one living in my body again. I feel slow and awkward and breathless and tired and sore, and this child seems determined to make an exit straight through my abdominal wall any minute now.

So I make an effort to lay down each afternoon now, but it is easier said than done. It takes more than ignoring the housework to get rest in this house. The baby protests with squirms and kicks each time I cease moving, and I'm sure he's crying with all his might in there. I smile and think, "Cry all you want now, baby. I can't hear you!" but those powerful kicks to my ribs can be hard to ignore. Toby has been protesting his nap as well lately, and some days I have to settle for resting and listening to him ram trucks together in the room next door. Usually my girls are relatively well behaved when I rest, but occasionally a fight does break out over who had the idea to dress the baby doll as Queen Lucy first, and adult intervention is required.

Toby, over a year ago, sleeping with kiki and vacuum
Yesterday afternoon one of my worst nightmares came to life, and I feared I might never sleep again: Toby's kiki went missing. "Kiki" is what Toby has called his white blanket with the satin trim ever since he began baby-babbling, and kiki is an essential ingredient to any peace and quiet in this house. Kiki is usually filthy and stinky, though he's washed several times a week, but Toby doesn't mind, and kiki must travel with us, wherever we should roam. Yesterday, after a long morning at Sunday School and church and a fellowship meal, Toby grew cranky in the van on the way home. I turned to grab his kiki from the diaper bag and made a heart-stopping discovery: kiki wasn't in the diaper bag.

Matt turned the van around and ran through the church building while I sat in the van with the kids, but ten minutes later emerged to ask, "Are you sure it's not in the van? Because it isn't in here!" It most certainly wasn't in the van, and Toby had no recollection of where he'd left kiki, so I joined Matt in his search, along with several others from our church. We opened every cupboard and drawer and looked behind each unlocked door. We looked under tables and cloths and couches. We looked in the nursery, the library, the offices, the closets...but no kiki. I started running through the nearby stores in my mind, wondering which ones might have a white waffle-weave blanket with satin trim in stock. Finally Matt got a key and unlocked a Sunday School room that had only been unlocked for a smidgen of time before the church service, and there, tucked fully away within a craft-supply cupboard, was Toby's kiki.

Last night I had the usual interruptions to my sleep: a perpetually squished bladder and a restless baby inside me, Toby peeing through his pull-up all over his sheets, Emma wanting to sleep on my floor because she had a bad dream, and Naomi complaining of a mysterious ache in her arm, but at least we had the kiki. And, with kiki in custody, I have every intention of prioritizing rest again this week, for whatever it's worth.

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