A lot has happened since we last spoke, my friends. It all started last Wednesday in the early morning when pain from my bad kidney was strong enough to wake me up. I had to get some fasting-necessary blood work done that morning, and of course, I had to drag both girls with me. I returned home, packed for our trip up north, stared in disgust at the five bags I needed for us three girls for two days, unpacked, re-evaluated and repacked, and ended with four and a half bags. By the time I arrived at Matt's work to pick him up early for the drive up north, I was passing a rather painful kidney stone (how the hell is the boulder not blocking any littler stones from passing?!). I was crying, yelling, stressing. I think it says a lot about Matt that he didn't turn around, get back out of the car, and go back to work. We calmed down and let the stone finish passing while grabbing some food and I regained my composure.
A four hour car trip and two sobbing, car-weary children later, we spent a few days in a not-in-any-way child-proof cabin relaxing in that "on vacation, yet I have small children" way that is only sort-of a vacation. I drove home with the girls by myself on Friday while Matt stayed up for the weekend for the annual whiskey tasting. Eleanor broke Abigail's record and scream/cried for 1 hour and 25 minutes in the car, I managed to keep my temper when hauling both girls to Mass, and there was one point when I was trying to move a bookshelf across the living room by myself and it started to collapse with two small children running/rolling around underfoot. Yet somehow I managed to keep my temper from exploding by burying everything inside and when Matt returned on Sunday night, both girls were in bed, the house was clean, and I was quietly reading a magazine.
Oh, but it keeps going. The girls' dresser is - literally - falling apart and I would love to replace the long-and-short piece with something more efficient. After a few weeks of mulling over options, I finally decided what I wanted and checked out Craigslist to see what our budget should reflect. When I found what I wanted for an amazing price, I set up an appointment for early Monday morning. Monday went something like this: Get everyone up, fed, showered, in the car, drop Matt off at work, drive another 30 minutes, meet my mom at the dresser, buy it, follow her back to my parents' house, drive home, get Abigail to school, do some laundry, pick Matt up from work, drive out to my parents' house, begin restoring the dresser, drive home, put the girls to bed, make bread, collapse in bed myself. Get everyone up, fed, showered, in the car, drive 30 minutes to my parents' house, drop the girls off, buy paint, work on the dresser, drive home, get Abigail to preschool.
As I was finishing up at my parents' house yesterday, Abigail expressed her complete frustration in the long-lasting upset in her schedule by throwing my dad's drill bit set down the basement stairs. The girls need some normalcy before the craziness of surgery; we all do, Matt argued. I agreed to shelve plans to finish the dresser until after surgery and try to relax.
But that very same afternoon, I realized the dozen things still left to do before my surgery and panic set in, so I continued the freakout at home. Surgery has prompted nesting instincts as if I were pregnant: the fridge needs cleaning, the cupboards need inventorying, the bathrooms haven't been cleaned in an embarrassingly long time, I need to get a few things from the store, the bookshelves need another round of baby-proofing. Ugh. This morning, the girls were totally feeding off my panic. There was crying, biting, hair pulling, and more crying.
We over-exerted ourselves, yes - but life is always oscillating between bored out of my mind and so busy I can't sleep, so why the heck did I keep resorting to adrenaline-fueled panic get to me through it?
But it took me writing this post to realize that the reason everything kept turning into panic and desperation is because I'm scared. And I'm channelling my fear into panic. I'm scared of surgery. And for three reasons:
-I'm scared that it will end my breastfeeding
-Or that the decreased time nursing will bring my fertility back (which of course my paranoid mind has decided will mean we'll get pregnant right away and I'm not ready yet).
-I'll have to have the stent put back and re-live the most painful experience of my life all over again
I know that I'm largely being irrational. I have strategies in place to make sure I am still nursing; if my fertility does return, we'll re-read the NFP book and figure it out again, just like we did after Abigail was born; and, well, the stent is the most legitimate fear, but it's only a possibility that I'll need it, so I shouldn't waste energy worrying about it right now.
But that doesn't change the fact that I am scared. Now that I realize what I've been doing, I plan to re-channel that energy to do something productive, like getting the apartment ready for me to be off my feet for a few days, finishing off this baby weight, or doing Abigail's homework with her (it's like 4-6 pages a week! She's three!).
Oi. Deep breaths, slow breaths. Writing really helps me sort everything out, bringing about a sense of calmness in itself. Thank you for listening.